VIOLENT IS THE WORD FOR CURLY
(director: Charley Chase; screenwriters: Al Giebler/Elwood Ullman; cinematographer: Lucien Ballard; editor: Arthur Seid; cast: Curly Howard (Curly), Larry Fine (Larry), Moe Howard (Moe), Gladys Gale (Mrs. Katsby), Marjorie Deanne (Miss Katsby), Al Thompson (Professor); Runtime: 18; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Charley Chase/Hugh McCollum; Columbia; 1938)
“This was the film where the Stooges sang the novelty song Swingin’ the Alphabet.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
It’s directed by silent screen comedian Charley Chase (“Saved by the Belle”/”Fate’s Fathead”/”Hello Trouble”). This two-reeler proved to be one of the more popular films of The Three Stooges. The title is a rip on a 1936 movie called Valiant Is the Word for Carrie.
It has The Three Stooges, Moe, Larry and Curly (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard), as three bumbling gas station attendants giving a fancy car delivering three prominent science professors from Germany arriving in America to teach at the prestigious Mildew women’s college the full personal service treatment at the pump, which results in blowing up their car. When the Stooges flee the scene of their folly, they are dressed in graduation robes and are mistaken for the German professors by the college president Mrs. Katsby (Gladys Gale) as they hitch a ride with her. They bring chaos to the campus which upsets the Margaret Dumont-like college president but bring some fun to her playful daughter (Marjorie Deanne). It ends with a basketball filled with nitroglycerin exploding and taking care of the campus and the three German professors. This was the film where the Stooges sang the novelty song “Swingin’ the Alphabet.”
It’s a typical Stooges’ low-life physical comedy romp, with head bashing, explosions and glib wisecracks. Their best one-liner goes like this: Mrs. Katsby: Oh, you’ll just love it. Mildew has a lovely student body. Moe: Yours wouldn’t be so bad either if you took off about twenty pounds!
REVIEWED ON 9/9/2008 GRADE: B-