19 June 1897-4 May 1975

Where Danger Lives (and a Degree of Stoogeration…)

It’s been quite a while since I’ve added anything to what was supposed to be a movie review blog about films that had a connection to the Three Stooges (and I couldn’t help but notice that my Flesh Feast review was supposed to go live FIVE YEARS AGO!!!! Hey, I guess if patience is a virtue, I’ve got it in spades!)

Anyhoo–this entry is about one of the oddest degrees of Stoogeration I’ve ever run across. I first noticed it when I was reading the excellent One Fine Stooge many moons ago. It seems that one of Larry’s grandkids were waiting to visit him at the Motion Picture Home and the nurses told them that they couldn’t enter just yet because Larry already had a visitor. One of the granddaughters finally got it out of the nurse just who this secret visitor was…one Edward G. Robinson! It turns out Robinson never went through the regular entrance–he just showed up at the patio door, knocked, and Larry let him in. The granddaughter was obviously fascinated that the G man himself didn’t have to go through regular channels (I must admit, this fascinated me too–in fact, I need to search to see if there’s any photos of them together.)

Note: after a cursory search, I could find no pictures of them together. Plenty of photos of him with the likes of Ted Knight, Clint Eastwood, Phyllis Diller, Frankie Avalon, Joan Crawford, Harry Cohn, and police officers from the many, many, many police functions they performed at during the mid-to-late 1960s.) How and where did they meet? Did they strike up a friendship when Robinson was at Columbia?

I know, I know–you’re asking what the f*** does this have to do with “Six Degrees of Stoogeration?” Welp, Impatient Reader, I’m going to tell you right now: Burnett Guffey.

Now, whom is Burnett Guffey, you may ask? Well, let’s get to the reason why he’s a degree of Stoogeration.

The beginning of a wonderful career in film noir, though you wouldn’t think it!
Who knew that there was an Academy Award winning cinematographer filming a guy in a beat-up monkey suit?
Just LOOK at these credits!
Of course, this needs no introduction…
Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross announcing Guffey’s win for Bonnie and Clyde
(Original Caption) Katherine Ross and Dustin Hoffman are shown with Burnett Guffey, after they presented him with an Oscar for “Best Achievement in Cinematography” at the Academy Awards presentations.
Just LOOK at the shadows here–for some reason, this reminds me of the latter-era Shemp shorts (Gypped in the Penthouse comes to mind), with more elaborate use of shadows, better sets (of course they were from other movies, but still!)
And this last one…JUST LOOK AT IT! It’s glorious!

So, this is how Six Degrees of Stoogeration is played. You can link Edward G. Robinson to Warren Beatty to Faye Dunaway to James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope), to Frank Sinatra (both for From Here to Eternity and The Frank Sinatra Show (1950).

And lest you think I’d forgotten my opening paragraph, here’s a link between Larry Fine, Edward G. Robinson, and Burnett Guffey:

I love this one in particular–you get the whole Hitchockian look (okay, let’s call it what it is…an imitation) but I’d love this even more if Ginger Rogers could be even larger, with Edward G’s head looking less like an afterthought. Brian Keith’s image could be “snazzed up” as well (I’m not a graphics person, so forgive me for my lack of graphics terminology.)

I also like these–I could still do without the obvious headshot of EGR…poster artists could be sooooo creative (just take a look at some of these examples–yet they loved to go back to that floating headshot well…)

OTD in 1955…

The comedy world lost one of the funniest men to ever grace the screen. He didn’t have to say a single word…once he walked into the shot, you felt like laughing, even if he didn’t do anything.

He was also one of the first “sploitation” actors–if you’ve heard the term “Fake Shemp,” this is what they mean. There were four films created with the Fake Shemp (Joe Palma), and since Jules White could direct and produce a film in a matter of HOURS with footage of Shemp from an old short, throw in some new footage of Moe and Larry, and voila! You’ve got a new film to fool theatre managers made for the fraction of the price of a new one! It’s win-win…until Moe and Larry (and even Harry Cohn) realized they couldn’t run the Shempsploitation Express forever…so along came EVERYONE’S favorite Stooge replacement, Joe Besser!

(I actually liked Besser–he was such a totally different comedian that you just went “WHAT?!” when you saw him with the rough and tumble Moe and Larry. No, I’m not giving up my Stooge card–I’ve had it since 1975!)

Rice Krispies Date Pudding, 1928 – A Vintage Recipe Test – The Mid-Century Menu

This looks close enough to the 1920s!

Source: Rice Krispies Date Pudding, 1928 – A Vintage Recipe Test – The Mid-Century Menu

Yes, another food-centered, non-Six Degrees of Stoogeration entry. I’ll get to Flesh Feast (1970) one of these days, I promise!

This is another one of my inspirational sites. I know that I won’t be taking pictures of food (unless I unearth Moe and Larry’s recipes!) but it turns out that writing a movie review is hard work! Who knew?!

BAD MOVIES | Balladeer’s Blog

As usual here at Balladeer’s Blog I like to cover those things that tend to fly under the radar to a large degree. On this page I’ll be looking at bad/weird movies that don’t seem…

Source: BAD MOVIES | Balladeer’s Blog

For the terminally lazy (ME!), I LOVE sites like this that have ready-made bad movie lists! Sure, I know that The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals isn’t worth the film it’s filmed on, and that star Anthony Eisley talked his stunt double into doing most of the walking about in the terrible “jackal head,” and that the director, Oliver Drake was supposedly senile. (I say “supposedly,” because looking at this film, who can tell?)

And if you were wondering, yes, I CAN tie this in to the Three Stooges. Anthony Eisley starred in a couple of Al Adamson films. Al Adamson and Sam Sherman wanted the Three Stooges to star in The Jet Set (which became Blazing Stewardesses). Everything was set until Moe was too ill to go on with the filming (which would’ve begun in March).

Remember, almost everything can be connected to the Three Stooges and/or John Carradine!

There are 228 days before the election, or, the number of days before I buy a TV.

It's an accurate depiction of politicians...
Pictured: ALL politicians

I have to get this off of my chest.

I am one of “those” people…well, almost.

You know the ones–the ones that are proud to say that they don’t watch TV.

(Innocent person trying to make conversation) “So, how’d you like the (insert TV related thing here)?”

(Smug TV-free person) “I haven’t watched TV in years! I still don’t know who shot JR!”

I’m definitely not that, and if I’m ever that smug about something other than the Three Stooges being the best comedy team evar, I deserve to have (insert something quirky and non dangerous here).

No, I’m not buying a TV because I’m in no mood to yell “GO TO HELL!!!113!” every time a political commercial comes on. I don’t care if you have a D, R, I, or Z behind your name, I don’t want to hear your ad. I already can’t tell y’all apart, so your dirty tricks won’t work.

Thankfully, we live in an age where you can watch terrible movies (The Giant Spider Invasion, anyone?) at any time, why would you put up with attack ads? Besides, we all know who’s the best candidate for president!

Fine For President!

300,000,000 to 1? I like those odds!

Millions of People

If you’ve been under a rock, then you don’t know this:

THE POWERBALL DRAWING IS HUUUUUUGGGGE!

There. Now you know.

Anyhoo, after Wednesday’s debacle of not getting ONE number, I’ve decided to let someone else win my millions. Besides, there are lots of other things I have a better chance at doing:

  • Getting struck by lightning.
  • Being hit by a falling piano.
  • Being struck by lightning AND hit by a falling piano.
  • Getting The Zombies to come to St. Louis for a concert.
  • Meeting Larry Fine (the Larry Fine, not the piano guy!) when I return my books to the library during lunch.

Better Late Than Never (or, a TRIPLE dose of If It’s the Last Thing I Do!”)

In this entry of “If It’s the Last Thing I Do!” we have a triple header of goodness:  the last Three Stooges short starring Curly Howard; and the last filmed appearance of Curly Howard, and the last pictorial evidence of a filmed appearance by Curly Howard. (I dare you to diagram that sentence!)

Curly's last short
Curly’s last short

Curly's second-to-last filmed appearance
Curly’s second-to-last filmed appearance

Everyone seems to know about the “Hold That Lion!” cameo, but interestingly enough, Curly had a cameo in a later short, “Malice in the Palace” in which he played a very crabby chef! You don’t really notice it’s Curly until you look at the ears (the Horwitz boys had very similar ears!) He was also taller than Moe and Larry, but about the same height as Shemp.

Curly's last TRUE film appearance (yes, the man holding the cleaver IS Curly!)
Curly’s last TRUE film appearance (yes, the man holding the cleaver IS Curly!)

Unfortunately, aside from the one-sheet and anecdotes from the director and Norman Maurer (Moe’s son-in-law, so Curly’s nephew-in-law?) there’s no other “proof.”  (I’ve also heard that this isn’t Curly, and that it’s some other Columbia day player and/or George Lewis. This doesn’t make sense because Lewis was noticeably taller than all of the Stooges, and he had a very distinctive look.)  None of the footage has ever shown up, which makes me wonder what they did with the deleted scenes in shorts and B-movies–did they just throw it away? Did some enterprising studio employee take it for their own collection? Who knows?

If there’s anyone out there sitting on old Stooge footage, send me an e-mail! I won’t buy it, but I would enjoy hearing the story of how you got it!