THREE STOOGES GO AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAZE, THE (director: Norman Maurer; screenwriter: Elwood Ullman/based on the novel Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne; cinematographer: Irving Lippman; editor: Edwin Bryant; music: Paul Dunlap; cast: Moe Howard/Larry Fine/Joe DeRita (The Three Stooges), Jay Sheffield (Phileas Fogg III), Joan Freeman (Amelia Carter), Maurice Dallimore (Scotland Yard Inspector J. B. Crotchet), Walter Burke (Lory Filch), Peter Forster (Vickers Cavendish/Randolph Stuart III), Emil Sitka (Butler at Men’s Club), Iau Kea (Itchi Kitchi), Richard Devon (Maharajah); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Norman Maurer; Columbia TriStar Home Video; 1963)
“Below average slapstick comedy from The Three Stooges.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Norman Maurer (“The Outlaws Is Coming”), the son-in-law of Moe Howard, directs this b/w below average slapstick comedy from The Three Stooges, as the unfunny stooge Joe DeRita replaces Curly. Moe Howard and Larry Fine remain in place, though well up in years as senior citizens in their sixties and because of age their physicality is limited. It’s their second-to-last starring feature. Writer Elwood Ullman adapts the story from the classic Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days into a comedy. The Three Stooges are servants in the London household of Phileas Fogg III (Jay Sheffield) and help their master duplicate his great grandfather’s global tour without spending a dime.
The scam artist Vickers Cavendish (Peter Forster) attains membership in London’s famous Reform Club through trickery and tells Phileas Fogg III that his own great-grandfather, Randolph Stuart I, lost everything he owned by betting against the successful completion of that journey. Cavendish, using the name Randolph Stuart III, claims the feat succeeded only because Fogg I was a cheater. This incites a bet with Cavendish and other Reform Club members for £20,000 to see if Phileas Fogg III can repeat the same journey as his relative. The con man and his accomplice Lory Filch (Walter Burke) then frame Fogg for robbing a bank of £50,000, and he and the Stooges are chased after by Scotland Yard Inspector J. B. Crotchet (Maurice Dallimore). Along the way, the travelers rescue the beautiful American named Amelia Carter (Joan Freeman), who becomes Fogg’s love interest. As expected, the Stooges get involved in madcap comedy to save the day for Fogg by earning money in odd ways–like wrestling a sumo wrestler in Japan. The Stooges have misadventures in Turkey, Calcutta, China, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Canada before arriving back in London. Most of the antics are flat, predictable and disappointing. The bland acting of the supporting cast is more of a hindrance than a help.
REVIEWED ON 10/19/2008 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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