The Monkey's big brother, "steveparker1," also known in some circles as the father of Plain Chicken, has alerted me to a Three Stooges marathon broadcast in hi-def. For my American friends with cable television, this marathon is on AMC starting at 7 a.m. and running all day and all night, as the man says.
The Three Stooges first made their appearance on the big screen in 1930, in the Ted Healy short Soup To Nuts (although as a youngster, Moe Howard appeared in the 1909 short We Must Do Our Best), and since we're talking about 1930-31 for a few more days, it's entirely appropriate that I mention them here.
Now I admit the Three Stooges are not everyone's cup of tea. Even now, thirty-four years after the death of the last of the original troop, the Three Stooges remain a polarizing force in American culture, dividing movie fans into camps of ardent admirers and equally-committed haters, often (apparently) along gender lines. Whatever your feelings on the subject, however, I commend two Stooges shorts to you, You Nazty Spy and A Plumbing We Will Go. Both are as fundamental to an understanding of film language as Citizen Kane or the movies of Ingmar Bergman—with a lot more laughs to boot.
You Nazty Spy is often credited as Hollywood's first film spoof of Adolf Hitler, beating Charles Chaplin's The Great Dictator into theaters by nine months. A Plumbing We Will Go, featuring Curly Howard's unique approach to the repair of a leaky shower, serves both as a study of the limited value of good intentions as well as a vivid demonstration of the law of unintended consequences, and as such, should be required viewing for building contractors and politicians of every ideological stripe.
The latter airs, as far as I can tell, at 9:43 p.m. EST.
Both coincidentally are from 1940 and I will revisit them in the future, no doubt with a Special Katie Award in hand.
By the way, we're on a tight blogging schedule this week here at the Monkey. Tomorrow I'm posting the essay for best picture of 1930-31, Wednesday I give you a recap of 1930-31, Thursday promises a top ten list of sorts, and Friday (the New Year) will bring the Katie nominees for 1931-32. In the meantime, I also have to walk the dog, go to the cleaners and make dinner.
Better get busy.
The Roundup: July 29
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