Thursday, June 7, 2012

Variations On A Gag #2—Getting Married To Inherit Money

Blog pal Who Am Us Anyway said in a comment the other day "Now, it's a sad commentary on me—I mean, on people—but a compendium of Stooges bits followed by clips of their bits' origins might-could have the same effect the British blues bands had on 60s kids who otherwise might never have listened to Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson ..."

That is a great idea. And all it would require is a little effort on the part of yours truly. But as you can see, I've been making as little effort as possible recently, and there's a ballgame on at 1 p.m. to boot. So you'll have to wade through these unedited and draw your own conclusions.

First up is Seven Chances, Buster Keaton's feature-length comedy in which the Great Stoneface must get married by the end of the day or lose a large inheritance. Hard on its heels are not one but two Three Stooges shorts, In the Sweet Pie and Pie (here it's three women who have to get married—to Moe, Larry and Curly) and Brideless Groom (a Shemp one where he's the one who must get married). That's six Stooges for the price of one!

Hold hands, you lovebirds!

Seven Chances (1925)

In The Sweet Pie and Pie (1941)

Brideless Groom (1947)


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Not only a great film critic and historian but the greatest DJ you can hear after 3; it's the Mythical Monkey, ladies ' gennelmen, the Mythical Monkey. Naturally this is the one & onliest weekend in years when all my fam has come to visit and I have not a nanosecond for fun i mean non-family stuff but I'll be baaaaaack to this very entry many a time over the coming week. I can't wait to check this out. Thanks man.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

The Cosmic Dog of Time!

Maybe Mary Might Marry Me ... mmmm?

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Buster's car is powered by quantum physics! It's the only explanation!

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

The hat check woman beats up on the other 7 ...

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Dang, the unfunny racial things keep popping up when you least expect them; kind of takes you out of the moment ...

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Intermission! And still 30 minutes to go! I'll be back tomorrow with more gems, more pearls, more nuggets of experience on my voyage through ... seven chances!

P.S. Note how Buster is turning 27 -- the most dangerous age in rock 'n roll as well! Coincidence? I think not!

Mythical Monkey said...

Dang, the unfunny racial things keep popping up when you least expect them

I think Buster was definitely a product of his time -- not just the racial politics of the era, but the stylized humor of the vaudeville stage. He sort of talked around the subject in an interview with Herbert Feinstein in 1960:

Q: "Do you remember a character named Stepin Fetchit?"

A: "Very much."

Q: "Do you think Stepin Fetchit was very funny?"

A: "Sure, he was a funny guy!"

Q: "But you can see why some Negro groups might object to him as a phony stereotype?"

A: "Oh, well, sure, because he plays a stupid." [sic]

Q: "That's it. And he might be used by some anti-Negro groups to say this is what the Negro is"

A: "Well, that's the wrong way to look at it from the theatrical viewpoint, because you've got stupid people in every walk of life and in every country. Our American rube used to be a very funny character. And very witty, in the bargain. We've lost him. We don't have him anymore either."

Then he discusses various other actors who played "rube" characters -- Will Cressy, Eddie Buzzell, Judy Canova, Bob Burns and Will Rogers ...

I wrote about Stepin Fetchit once (played by actor Lincoln Perry). As a postscript to my review of King Vidor's Hallelujah. It's floating around here some place ...

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

AGAIN with the Monkey confusing me with the Stepin Fetchit facts – they just take me out of the moment; that’s all I’m saying … woah, I’ve got an idea: tonight I could save up all such live blogging comments & put them into ONE comment rather than stealing the Monkey’s bandwidth by making 10 SEPARATE annoying comments.
On the one hand, that would be like sending one memo when I could send out 3, which goes against the fundamental principles of office as I know it. But on the other hand, this isn’t an office -- it’s Myth’s place. So OK, I’ll consolidate then … for Industry!
Now where was I? Oh yeah, I think around about where the hat check girl puts her hand on her hip and gives him the knowing now I’ve seen it all look – that was cool.

Continuity problem! When buster bribes the guy sitting outside the side entrance so as to get backstage, the guy puts the money in his pocket. But when Buster comes back out the guy is holding the bill in his hand like he just got it.

Man that’s a load of extra wannabe brides – if he’d waited 8 years to make this film he’d have had to pay them all scale! Ouch!

Dang I can’t read the note steppin’ hands Buster while they’re hiding in the crawl space! I know it’s from Buster’s girl & so I’ve got the gist though ..

The clock shop scene – a great short in itself

Ha! The football stadium scene stands up – that’s great. Of course the Stooges often found a way to stumble on to the field during a game as well

Ladies day at the Turkish Bath! More women trouble for Buster!

I wonder what city this was filmed in … is it L.A.?

Yowza, did Buster do his own stunts? Is that him swinging from the hook off that boom in the yards at Gray Iron Castings and Electric Steel Castings – wait: Electric Steel? what the hey is Electric Steel? Is that like, psychedelic or something?

Barbed wire! Ouch! I once ran into that stuff playing on my grandpa’s farm in Missouri when I was but knee-high to a married grasshopper, whatever that means …

Amazing stunts & physical comedy here in the paper Mache’ I-hope boulder scene (I worry about you Buster; this is dangerous!)

OK that was great – and hey, loved the soundtrack, Robert Israel!


Tomorrow, the Stooges.

Mythical Monkey said...

woah, I’ve got an idea: tonight I could save up all such live blogging comments & put them into ONE comment rather than stealing the Monkey’s bandwidth by making 10 SEPARATE annoying comments.

We encourage multiple comments here at the Monkey!

Mythical Monkey said...

Yowza, did Buster do his own stunts?

He sure did -- and sometimes did everybody else's stunts, too. As a matter of fact, he fractured his neck doing a stunt for Sherlock Jr. -- a scene where he falls from a train. It wasn't discovered until a couple of years later when he had an unrelated x-ray.

Buster's standing order to his cinematographer was to keep filming until he said "cut" or was killed.

Mythical Monkey said...

I wonder what city this was filmed in … is it L.A.?

According to, it was -- at Greater Page Temple on West Adams Blvd & La Salle Ave.; on the corner of Jefferson & Arlington -- and at Beale's Cut in Newhall, California.

Mythical Monkey said...

boulder scene

In an interview, Keaton said that initially there were only three rocks in the scene and that it was an accident -- he dislodged a rock as he was running and it dislodged two others. After the test preview, he realized he had a real opportunity for a big gag there, so he had 1500 boulders "built" and refilmed the scene.

Mythical Monkey said...

Tomorrow, the Stooges.

And after that, the world!

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

But first we take Manhattan. And THEN we take Berlin

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Stooges In the Sweet Pie and Pie

I hope the Stooges are as good as the intro, but if not Leslie Nielsen & the sound effects man alone are worth the price of admission.

I wonder if that fleet’s going to Honolulu before or after Pearl Harbor … must investigate … later

An eerily prescient news paper photo of the Stooges that upon examination is nothing less than a live action moving picture! This predates The Daily Prophet by [a large number of mathematical type] years!

Did death row prisoners really get official prison hats to wear while in stir?

Brother in laws! Niagra Falls! Slooooowly I turned! Step by Step!

At - 13:40 (left, I guess) Curly gives them all A Packet of Nutty Buddies!

@ - 11:54, you haven’t heard Shave and a Haircut until you’ve heard the Stooges’ version …

Until death till us part, nyuk nyuk!

@ -10:40, Moe: “Who cares, I’ll be a skinless (indecipherable?) (aka possible Who hearing aid problem)”

@ -10:34, Curly: What does the label I say? I can’t read it and I can’t get up!

I say, Jasper, how’s your tape worm?

Never has he been through such a lion fight

Are you familiar with the Great Wall of China?
No, but I know a big fence in Chicago, nyanoyk!

Pearl Harbor / Honolulu investigation: Pearl Harbor = Dec. 7, 1941 (of course!); In the Sweet Pie and Pie = 1941, month unspecified but most likely pre-Pearl Harbor & hence once again EERILY PRESCIENT

Tomorrow or soon thereafter: Brideless Groom (1947)

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

OK, HERE'S the Packet of Nutty Buddies, this time for sure

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

The Brideless Groom (1947), a short review

Just 2 points:

Ah, I miss Curly so bad.

And you didn’t need to invest a dime to make a phone call then either. No Sir. A good old buffaloe nickel would do the trick. But do you realize how primitive that was? You’re making sparks.

So anyway thanks for the movies, Myth. Sorry about all the spilled popcorn & crackerjacks, and yeah maybe a little Coke ended up on your floor too, but I really enjoyed the shows and of course your full size in-home theater can't be beat: i thought only movie stars had these!