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At the very least you'll have a blast watching their eyes bug out at all the incredible adventure, thrills, laughs, horror, shenanigans, suspense, plot twists Even superheroes, and pro-wrestlers! But it was considered artistic thievery, since it was secretly giving one comedian's material to another. Bruckman's script for "Brideless Groom" was a butcher-blocked reprise of "Seven Chances," which he'd co-authored with Buster Keaton a quarter-century earlier.
The plot centers around devoutly unmarried Shemp's like Buster's frantic need to find a wife before an hours-away deadline, or kiss a massive, willed inheritance goodbye. In the Keaton version, Buster's sweetheart refuses to marry him for any reason materialistic. Buster is stymied by his own good luck, engaged to a genuine, pure hearted Miss Right. A well-meaning friend attempts to remedy the situation by taking the story to the newspapers — it winds up on that afternoon's front page.
Suddenly every hulking spinster in the tri-county area is roaming the streets, in wedding veiled hordes, each clutching Buster's photo. What results is one of the greatest, and most original, chase comedies of the silent golden age — replete with a veritable portfolio of Keaton's mesmerizing physical stunts and antics, that would have sent any lesser comedian to the hospital, if not the morgue. Bruckman took the Keatonesque scenario and Stooge-a-fied it, to accommodate the less-death defying comedy of Shemp Howard.
The most original line in the film is not about its words, but Shemp's delivery of them: "Nobody's interested in me! In Bruckman's revamping, Moe puts an ad in the local paper to find his stubborn partner a mate, which is soon answered by every ball-busting poolhall skirt who ever rolled Shemp for a free drink.
A butch battle royale ensues, with slim hope of Shemp's bachelorhood being KO'd before the final bell — even against his will — by the one woman who genuinely wants him regardless of the windfall, a frumpy amazon with a heart of gold, played by plain but statuesque Dee Green. Perhaps it's fitting that nobody legitimately connected to "Brideless Groom" could ever collect a royalty, considering the bad blood it would potentially have stirred.
Keaton was never heard to complain over the Stooges "borrowing" from him. The silent icon was an easy emotional touch, with undying faith in his former collaborators, unruffled by their accused iniquities. Keaton stood by his claim of Arbuckle's innocence, to his own death, 33 years after Fatty's. It's easy to imagine that Bruckman too garnered his forgiveness. Clyde wrote the story to begin with, Buster probably reasoned, so it was Clyde's to rewrite.
THE PALLADIUM MINSTRELS
Artistic license, legal or otherwise, be damned. The real question is whether Bruckman ever forgave himself. Harold Lloyd, who had also employed Bruckman in the silent era, wasn't as charitable. Whatever penalty the industry dealt Clyde Bruckman because of his constant self-plagerism, it was small compared to the emotional toll of the artistic stigma. He was an addict, in violation of a creative trust that perhaps he himself held sacred despite his own compulsive misdeeds against it. Like an alcoholic whose heart yearns for sobriety even while his brain covets drink.
Lloyd's lawsuit tipped the scale out of Bruckman's favor, far enough to crack his will. His predilection had finally cost him his membership in the old comedy fraternity. One night in , the weight could be endured no longer. Packing a. After consuming an expensive meal he was too broke to afford, he went into the mens washroom and put the gun's muzzle to his temple. After several useless takes, she just couldn't mean-up enough to smack Howard around as the script called for. Story goes, the director resorted to pushing her emotional buttons between takes, tweaking her into a semi-legit rage, to color her performance.
Then Shemp, usually a softspoken soul behind the scenes, forced the issue: "Come on, Chris, give it to me, let me have it! The cameras rolled, and Shemp must've thought he'd stepped into the ring with Jack Dempsey. Everyone rushed to Shemp lying prone on the floor. In tears, McIntyre got to him first, to profusely apologize, but he woozily stopped her; "I told ya to let me have it, kid, and you sure as hell did!
Her inner-Moe had broken through — the Stooge-force was with her.
She Stoops to Conquer - Lib
It's unknown whether an immaculate print of this diced and spliced wonder exists, which is a shame. Hardly was there ever a poverty-row curio more deserving of restoration. Filmed just before their Columbia short "Half-Wit's Holiday," during which Curly's career was garroted by a massive stroke, "Swing Parade" almost owned the grim asterisk as the comedian's final screen appearance. Otherwise, it is one of the most overlooked, under-appreciated gemstones in the entire PD dowry.
A hopeful songstress facing eviction Gale Storm shows up to audition, and must battle her way into Regan's heart after being mistaken for a collections-server and repeatedly tossed to the curb. But aided by the Stooges, love and luck prevail. A run-of-the-mill plot as budget musical comedies go, but don't be fooled.
Monogram wisely refrained from the temptation to homogenize the Stooges away from their Columbia-style shenanigans.
The boys are as enjoyable here as in almost anything filmed at their homebase studio — hardly a second-rate outing for them. The gags are of course derivative. Only two are lifted outright from previous Stooge films. First is their patented dishwashing shtick — Larry and Curly absent-mindedly wash and dry the same dish over and over, around Moe's back.
The bit had been reprised so often, however, it hardly belonged to any single film. Second is Curly's plumbing fiasco; he keeps attaching pipes together until he has trapped himself in a maze — with the leak he was attempting to plug still raining down on him. Moe and Curly also take turns recreating snipets of their waiter routine from the Ted Healey years.
Still, it comes off with a certain freshness, and yes, it's still funny. Monogram managed to wrap together a nice little parcel in "Swing Parade," despite its reputation as the studio where the careers of has-beens and never-weres went to die — whose contribution to cinema amounts to little more than the Bowery Boys, some of John Wayne's pre-stardom westerns and Bela Lugosi's dead end as a studio contract star. They wasted little potential regarding their ever-brief ownership of the Stooges, complimenting them with a fine cadre of supporting actors, though they aren't technically the actual stars of the picture.
In a secondary plot this remarkable cast, of war-era Hollywood's most underrated, includes character actress Mary Treen in a rare — singing yet — ingenue role. Some splices look like a sleeve of Scotch tape is being forced through the projector. If the domain stands for anything, it's redundancy. Perhaps a mediocre watch to the average DVD consumer, to cine-buffs who appreciate what "Swing Parade of " represents — a solid effort by a studio not known for greatness, and a showcase of quality performers who were usually taken for granted and under-used elsewhere — it's a brief spring stroll amid the public domain winter.
Posted by Rob Foster at PM 3 comments:. Shemp Howard. To a motion picture, "public domain" is the placard on the graveyard gate. It can mean a movie is ancient, utter crap, or both. For reasons long forgotten, nobody gives a damn — likely because everyone connected to the epic is dead, or at least old and broke.