SPHE Press Release: The Three Stooges: Hapless Half-Wits

Ronald Epstein

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Three Stooges Return For More Eye Gouging, Nose Tweaking,
Stomach Poking, Ear Pulling, Head-Slapping and Seltzer Spraying …
Digitally Restored and Looking Better Than Ever
THE THREE STOOGES:
HAPLESS HALF-WITS
Beer Barrel Polecats & I’ll Never Heil Again – Featuring Larry, Moe & Curly
Brideless Grooms & Dopey Dicks – Featuring Larry, Moe & Shemp

All Available On DVD February 20

Collection Arrives in “Color and B&W” with “ChromaChoice” Technology Allowing Viewers to Toggle Seamlessly Between the Original Black & White and Colorized Versions of the Films


CULVER CITY, CALIF. (December 11, 2006) – Alongside the great comedy teams of film history – a group that includes Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello and Martin & Lewis – The Three Stooges stand out for their uninhibited mastery of slapstick comedy. The boys are back on DVD and better than ever when Sony Pictures Home Entertainment debuts The Three Stooges: Hapless Half-Wits, featuring the immortal masters of mayhem at their eye-gouging best. The celebrated trio star in four short subjects – Beer Barrel Polecats, I’ll Never Heil Again, Dopey Dicks and Brideless Grooms – each restored from the original negative for the very best picture and audio quality. The collection will be available as a single disc and priced at $24.95 SRP.

These shorts have the added feature of the “Color+B&W” production process designed to increase the appeal of classic black & white films to a new generation of viewers. Each film was extensively researched in advance and exhaustive efforts were made to utilize as many original source elements as possible. The original black & white masters have been faithfully restored, then subsequently remastered in full 1080i hi-definition video for the highest picture quality. Finally, with the color design help of West Wing Studios, who referenced Columbia Pictures archives’ production items (props, cloth swatches, etc.), artists were able to achieve the highest level of historical accuracy in the images.

The Three Stooges: Hapless Half-Wits also features “ChromaChoice,” which allows viewers to toggle between the original black & white and colorized version of the films in a seamless manner using the DVD remote.

I’ll Never Heil Again (1940)
A follow up to “You Nazty Spy,” the Stooges have taken over the country of Moronica, where Moe is Hailstone the Dictator, Curly is a Field Marshal and Larry is Minister of Propaganda. They are planning to conquer the world, however, the former king's daughter gets into their headquarters and plants a bomb which Curly detonates. All ends well as the king regains control of the country and the stooges wind up as trophies on the wall.

Beer Barrel Polecats (1945)
The boys make a whole batch of homemade beer, but get tossed in jail when Curly sells some to a cop. Their minor indiscretion turns into a 40-year sentence when a keg of beer Curly has hidden under his coat explodes while the boys are being photographed. In prison the Stooges get into more trouble with the warden and wind on the rockpile when they try to escape. Released as old men with long gray beards, the first thing Curly wants is a bottle of beer.

Dopey Dicks (1949)
The boys become detectives and go to the aid of a girl in the clutches of a mad scientist. The boys arrive at a spooky mansion where the madman is building a mechanical man that needs a human head. After declining the offer to supply one of theirs for the experiment, they find the girl and escape, only to wind up in a car driven by the headless robot.

Brideless Grooms (1947)
Shemp Howard is a vocal coach whose most adoring student is a homely young miss. As soon as her lesson is over, Moe and Larry show up and inform him that his Uncle Caleb has left him a half a million dollars – provided he is married by six o'clock that evening. Shemp needs a bride in a hurry, and after a series of mishaps, he has no choice but to take his awful voice student to the altar. As the justice of the peace (Emil Sitka) is preparing to wed them, mayhem breaks out as an angry group of Shemp's former girlfriends show up, battling furiously to become Shemp's bride.

DVD Special Features Include:
• Digitally Remastered Audio and Video
• Full Screen Presentations
• Color+B&W production process
• ChromaChoice
• Audio: English (Mono)
• Bonus Previews
• Closed Captioned

The Three Stooges: Hapless Half-Wits has a run time of approximately 137 minutes and is not rated. Artwork is available at www.SPHEPUBLICITY.COM. Visit Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on the Web at www.SonyPictures.com.

DVD Catalog # 18000
UPC Code: 0-43396-18000-0
Order Date: 1/18/06
SLP: $24.95
 

Mark Cappelletty

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Four shorts for $25. Unbelievable. Do the idiots at Sony realize that even die-hard Stooge fans like myself have abandoned this horribly misguided "colorization" experiment? Hapless Half-Wits indeed.
 

Steve...O

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I thought Sony was finally going to provide chronological releases encompassing two year periods starting in 2007? This is not good news.

The title of this set (Hapless Half-Wits) sounds more appropriate for those who are marketing this set.
 

GlennWD

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Yeah, I thought in 2007 we were going to get the full blown awsome sets we have all been waiting for.
 

Rod J

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Not even worth a rental.

Sony will be disappointed with sales and further delay what we're waiting for.

 

Joe Karlosi

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Well said, Mark! I am a huge lifelong Stooges fan and I too have COMPLETELY ABANDONED their crappy line of discs. I have unloaded all the previous compilations I was originally dumb enough to buy in the beginning, and I refuse to buy anymore. I have never bought one of these pathetic "colorized" abominations, and I never shall. Sony literally couldn't GIVE me one of these DVD's for free. I'd use it as a frisbee.

Sony - get your act together and start working on nice and complete compilations of the Stooges' 200 shorts in proper box sets like every other studio is doing. I have no use for you otherwise and I know I speak for many other diehard fans of Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, and Joe.
 

Joe Lugoff

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This makes me sorry the Stooges ever signed with Columbia. If they'd been with Universal, we'd have been getting chronological sets for quite a while now.

So were the rumors of chronological sets just rumors? Is there anyone at Sony who could understand what we're talking about and give us a sensible answer?
 

Eric Peterson

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Count me out of this nightmare too. Until we get the complete sets, I'll stick with VHS (GASP!). These sets are so horribly over-priced and under-valued that I'm amazed anyone is buying them.

Although, I met a stooge fanatic at a movie-collectibles show last weekend who loved the colorized versions so much that he said he wouldn't watch the black & white anymore. At that comment, I stated "I no longer trust anything you say" and walked away.


Truthfully, I think this is Sony trying to maximize the double-dippiness for these releases. I'm sure there are people out there still buying them all and they're the extreme die-hards that will gladly re-buy the new sets also.
 

CaseyL

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I'm a Hard-core stooge fan, and I won't pay what they're asking for these. It's rediculous. I appreciate the restoration, but ditch the "Colorization" feature and lower the price. 4 episodes of the 3 stooges should be $5. Count me out as another no-buy.
 

Aaron Silverman

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I'll ask again about the chronological sets, but I got that information directly from Sony's PR department.
 

Michael Elliott

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I'd personally never trust anyone in the PR department but that's just me.


As for Sony, forget them and these stupid releases. I'll simply give someone else my $60 for the Complete Stooge Collection. Some studios throw a fit about fans going to other sellers but this crap has gone on long enough so it's clear Sony doesn't want my money. I'll have all of the shorts in my collection within a week so I really don't care what Sony does from here on out.

$25 for four shorts is downright crazy considering Warner gives us 2-disc SEs with a movie, featurettes, commentaries, documentaries AND 2-5 bonus shorts for a cheaper price.
 

Jack Theakston

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Folks, folks, folks!

Take a second out to remember that DVDs take about half a year from the time they go into production until when they're out on store shelves. This set was being produced six months ago, when the previous head office was in effect at the video department.

There are and will be major changes in staff going on at Sony right now, for the better, as I see it. Wait it out and I think you'll be pleased with their results.
 

Mark_TS

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ah, yes...anyone remember the good old days of the 3-4(?) LASERdisc box set
that had quite a number of the shorts-the bulk of them made up of the original stooges...A nice package, though mine went through the famous SONY(Rot?! What rot?) DADC plant Laser-rot and is now unwatchable due to confetti...
 

David Deeb

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Great. We should see results any day now.

I'll wait this one out too, just like I have the other 3 or 4 over-priced, edited, randomly sequenced, bare-boned, "half-witted" colorized sets. What a crock.
 

David Deeb

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P.S. According to their press release, Sony shows a running time of 137 minutes. Actually, that's really 68.5 minutes. They are counting the running time twice since it's in color. Maybe they should double that as well to 274 minutes as we could watch with the subtitles on in black and white, and with subtiles on in color and therefore double our running time and double our enjoyment. Half-wits indeed.
 

Gary OS

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I'd love to know why Sony is so allergic to anything black & white? They just love colorizing everything. It makes me sick.

Gary "this release is a joke, especially in light of what we heard a while back about the boxed sets" O.
 

Joe Lugoff

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Every single time they come out with one of these stooge-brained colorized travesties, we're told, "Just be patient. Wonderful things are right around the corner." And we're patient, and wait a few months, and then out comes ANOTHER stooge-brained idiotic waste of time and money, and we're told, "Just be patient ... "
 

Matthew H

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Yeah, my patiens are wearing thin. Even us over at ThreeStooges.net don't know what's going on, which is why I started a thread about this a few days ago. Any word yet?
 
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As much as I look forwards to the new sets, I am enjoying the colorization efforts. They really are quite amazing in their own right. Great way to get kids into the Stooges I've found.
 

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