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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Three Stooges: Stooged & Confoosed (1938-1941)

"I oughta beat your brains in. I think I will."
- Moe Howard

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: August 09, 2004

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard
Other Stars: Bud Jamison, Marjorie Deanne, Vernon Dent
Director: Charley Chase, Del Lord, Jules White

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (comic violence)
Run Time: 01h:10m:32s
Release Date: August 10, 2004
UPC: 043396051195
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+AC+ C

DVD Review

This second disc debuting Columbia's "Chromachoice" colorization process contains four Stooge shorts from the best period of their careers, the late 1930s and early 1940s. The Stooges in this group of shorts start doing one thing, but as so often happens, end up doing something completely different and making a hash of everything.

Violent is the Word for Curly (1938), which previously appeared on the Columbia All the World's a Stooge DVD, is a classic of hilarity as the boys start off as gas station attendants and then wind up at Mildew College, mistaken for European professors Finestein, Frankfurter and Von Stupor. The boys perform their novelty song, Swingin' the Alphabet. The name is borrowed from a popular tearjerker book and film of the era, Valiant is the Word for Carrie. But that picture didn't feature twelve conks to the head and a pair of face slaps.

The remaining three films are all new to DVD. In 1940 the census was a timely topic, making No Census, No Feeling appropriate indeed. The Stooges begin as tramps and then masquerade as census takers, breaking into parties and dumping alum into the punch, while Curly gets worked over with a cheese grater by Moe. The memorable Lake Winnepesaukee gag makes an appearance here before the boys wind up on the field of a football game. A pair of eye pokes supplement a dozen slaps to the face and five knocks to the noggin.

One of the classic satires of Nazi Germany follows, You Nazty Spy (1940). A group of munitions builders arranges for the King of Moronica to be deposed and paperhanger Moe takes his place as dictator. Soon power goes to Moe's head, such as it is. This disc is loaded moreso than many with references to popular culture of the time, with radio and Broadway gags that will probably go way over the heads of many audience members. Four eye pokes, four face slaps and 17 drubbings to the dome make this the most violent short on the disc.

Wrapping things up if An Ache in Every Stake (1941). Starting off as incompetent icemen, the threesome ends up doing the cooking for the birthday party of Mr. Lawrence (Vernon Dent). Only 11 slaps and a head conk, but Dent winds up with three cakes to the face.

This is a very solid grouping of Stooge classics, but it's unfortunate that the number of shorts that are featured on each DVD just keeps decreasing.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: As is the case with the Goofs on the Loose disc, the colorization is less than entirely convincing, with a dated period look and a tendency toward greenish walls throughout. But the colorization has one positive behind it: the attention to each and every frame means a complete restoration has been done making these shorts looking all sparkly and new on the black & white versions also included. The typical Columbia excessive edge enhancement is the only serious defect. Violent is the Word for Curly makes a massive improvement over the old damaged and blurry print seen on the earlier DVD.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: There's significant noise and hiss, but it's never seriously distracting. Dialogue is clear throughout.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English (closed captioning) with remote access
2 Multiple Angles with remote access
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Other than some promotional material that I don't consider an extra, the only bonus feature is an 8m:27s featurette on the colorizing process, showing the computer methods with discussions from some of the principals. It's mildly interesting for those curious about the process. Happily, a Play All feature is included, and one can switch between B&W and color using the angle feature on the fly for making your own comparisons.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

Even though one of the shorts is a double-dip, that one is a vast improvement over the original release. A gorgeous transfer, though the colorization did nothing for me otherwise.


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