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HAVE ROCKET, WILL TRAVEL (director: David Lowell Rich; screenwriter: Raphael Hayes; cinematographer: Ray Cory; editor: Danny B. Landres; music: Mischa Bakaleinikoff; cast: Moe Howard (Moe), Larry Fine (Larry), Joe DeRita (Curley-Joe), Jerome Cowan (J.P. Morse), Anna-Lisa (Dr. Ingrid Naarveg), Bob Colbert (Dr. Ted Benson), Don Lamond (The Venusian Robot/Reporter/Narrator, voice); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harry A. Romm; Columbia TriStar Home Video; 1959)
“It has the same amount of slapstick, but the Stooges are older and there’s not enough yuks … .”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The title was a takeoff on the then-current TV Western hit Have Gun, Will Travel. TV director David Lowell Rich (“That Man Bolt”) and writer Raphael Hayes put together the usual idiotic Three Stooges bits. It has the same amount of slapstick, but the Stooges are older and there’s not enough yuks with Joe DeRita. He’s the new Curly/Shemp on board for the trio’s first feature film since re-discovered on TV. Joe’s a veteran burlesque comic and Minsky revue regular, who shaved his head and was given the nickname “Curly-Joe.”

The Stooges, Larry, Moe and Curley-Joe (Larry Fine, Moe Howard and Joe DeRita), work as janitors for the National Space Foundation. When a rocket aborts in the lab’s backyard, the Stooges feel obliged to find the right fuel mixture to save pretty woman scientist Dr. Ingrid Naarveg (Anna-Lisa) her job. The foundation’s grumpy boss (Jerome Cowan) informs everyone that the place will be shut down unless they can get the rocket to orbit. Accidentally the Stooges launch the rocket and land in Venus, where they encounter a flame-throwing giant spider and a talking sensitive unicorn. They return to Earth as heroes, the first human space travelers.

Because of this film’s box office success, they went on to make five more feature movies.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”