Tag Archives: Moe Howard

We Want Our Mummy

Directed by Del Lord
Produced by Jules White
Written by Searle Kramer & Elwood Ullman
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Dick Curtis
Bud Jamison
James C. Morton
Eddie Laughton
Ted Lorch
Robert Williams
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date February 24, 1939
Running time 16′ 27″
Country USA
Language English

This is just the usual Three Stooges hijinks, this time set in Egypt. I guess if you’re a fan of the Stooges you’d like this and if you’re not you won’t.

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Hold That Ghost

Directed by Arthur Lubin
Produced by Burt Kelly & Glenn Tryon
Written by Robert Lees, Fred Rinaldo & John Grant
Starring Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
Richard Carlson
The Andrews Sisters
Shemp Howard
Music by H.J. Salter Editing by Philip Cahn
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date August 6, 1941 (U.S. release)
Running time 85 min
Language English

Universal Australia are currently re-releasing a lot of their Universal classics onto DVD, but it seems that in this country anyway, they don’t want to release any of the classic Abbott & Costello movies of the 1940s. Before the end of the year some Laurel and Hardy films will be released (great) but no A&C. (Not even the classic A&C Meet Frankenstein) I am actually not entirely sure whether there have been any official A&C DVD releases in Australia, although I do know that Africa Screams is available on a cheap public domain DVD. It’s a shame as they are really good films.

Hold That Ghost is one of the earliest A&C films and their first foray into the comedy/horror genre that they would do to greater effect a few years later. One of the first things that I noticed with this film is just how abusive Bud is to Lou. There are occasions where he hits Costello with all the fervour of Moe Howard slapping Larry and Curly in the 3 Stooges shorts. It is quite uncomfortable to watch and I am glad that this element was toned down in later films as it doesn’t seem to have the cartoony humour of the Stooges. It just seems really mean.

It is a pretty funny film and it did provide quite a few laughs, although I found Lou to be a tad more annoying than he is in later films. Here he is a man/child rather than a proper, well defined character. I guess as this was just the third film that Abbott & Costello (but fourth released) made they were still honing their screen personas, even though they had been working together on the vaudeville circuit for many years. He also does that annoying whistle thing that Warner Bros. Babbitt and Catstello always parodied. Otherwise he does have a few golden moments, including the famed candle sequence and is quite funny.

It should be noted that Shemp Howard, one of the 3 Stooges appears briefly in this film as a bartender. He doesn’t really do anything of note but it’s always interesting to see Shemp pop up in non-Stooge films. This was in the years when Shemp was trying to make it on his own and Curly took his place in the Stooges. (Although Shemp would replace Curly a few years later after Curly’s stroke) He’s also in W.C. Fields’ The Bank Dick.

I enjoyed the film a lot and wish that this and other A&C comedies would be officially released in this country onto DVD. They have been released several times in the USA so it’s not that difficult for Universal Australia to do (hint, hint).


You Nazty Spy!

Directed by Jules White
Produced by Jules White
Written by Felix Adler
Starring: Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard

Richard Fiske
Lorna Gray
Dick Curtis
Don Beddoe
Florine Dickson
Little Billy
John Tyrrell
Bert Young
Joe Murphy
Eddie Laughton
Al Thompson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) January 19, 1940
Running time 17′ 59″
Country United States
Language English

Satire was never the Three Stooges forte, they were known more for their slapstick and poking each other in the eyes, yet their greatest film was a satirical look at World War II that was more biting than anything that Chaplin could do. In fact this film was released nine months before Chaplin’s The Great Dictator! Moe was the first ever actor to spoof Hitler.

This is a most unusual short when compared to the Stooges other films. I suppose that is because it is quite clever and not as one dimensional as their other movies. I suppose that they were more venomous and serious with their humour because of their Jewish heritage and to make a profound statement about the atrocities happening in Europe at the time.