(director: Norman Maurer; screenwriter: Elwood Ullman/story by Norman Maurer; cinematographer: Irving Lippman; editor: Aaron Nibley; music: Paul Dunlap; cast: Moe Howard (Moe), Larry Fine (Larry), Joe De Rita (Curly), Adam West (Kenneth Cabot), Nancy Kovack (Annie Oakley), Henry Gibson (Charlie Horse, Chief’s Son ), Murray Alper (Chief Crazy Horse), Mort Mills (Trigger Mortis), Don Lamond (Rance Roden), Emil Sitka (Mr. Abernathy/witch doctor/cavalry colonel), Sally Starr (Belle Starr), Rex Holman (Sunstroke Kid); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Norman Maurer; Sony Pictures; 1965)

The last movie starring the Stooges.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The last movie starring the Stooges is one of their better ones, which is not saying much. They worked on another film Kook’s Tour, but it was not completed or released after Larry Fine’s heart attack. Though fans of the trio should get a kick out of their usual physical humor and make it a must see, it’s still basically a kid pic that stumbles around with pointless low-brow humor. For some viewers, like me, Joe De Rita is not a good replacement for the lovable animated Curly, who made the Stooges much more watchable. Moe Howard’s son-in-law Norman Maurer (“The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze“) directs the boys in a pedestrian way with comedy that has no political edge despite its pointed political plot-line, whileElwood Ullmanis the screenwriter framing it around Maurer’s story.

The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Joe De Rita) are photographers forced to leave Boston for Casper, Wyoming, in 1871, when the publisher (Emil Sitka) fires them from the magazine run by the Society for the Preservation of Wildlife for being nitwits. The Stooges’ tag along with their timid editor Kenneth Cabot (Adam West, waiting for his soon-to-be breakthrough role as Batman), as they aim to expose the wrongful slaughter of the buffalo by the white man.

In the lawless confines of Wyoming, where being sheriff is a short-lived job, the boys discover that aspiring empire builder saloon owner Rance Roden (Don Lamond) and his tough-guy partner Trigger Mortis (Mort Mills) are organizing the slaughter of the buffalo for their own nefarious purposes–to cause the Indians to go on an uprising and therefore for the cavalry to be kept off their backs by being ordered to put down the uprising, giving the baddies the opportunity to control the lawless West with their crime organization. When the boys hand out flyers and make noise about the buffalo herds being wiped out and the new sheriff Cabot has a way of surviving all assaults on him, crime syndicate boss Rodan calls in back-up help–like Billy the Kid, Johnny Ringo, Jesse James, Cole Younger, the Dalton Gang, Belle Starr, The Sunstroke Kid, Wild Bill Hickok and Bat Masterson. No problem. The saloon singer sharpshooter Annie Oakley (Nancy Kovack) has the Stooges’ back as she’s fallen in love with the handsome Cabot and makes sure no harm comes to him and his pals, as they get the outlaws to reform with promises of future work on television.