“Any resemblance between the characters in this picture and other human beings is a dirty shame.”
Once again, Columbia gives us a collection of six Three Stooges shorts, this time with a wartime service theme. Actually, one of the shorts doesn’t quite fit the theme. “Wee Wee Monsieur” was made before the Second World War and has the boys ending up in the French Foreign Legion. No matter, all six shorts feature Curly and are fairly uniform in quality and entertainment value. None would be classified as being among the Stooges’ very best, but all are slightly above average. 1943’s “Back from the Front” is probably the best of the bunch, with the boys doing a nice job of caricaturing Hitler, Goering, and Goebbels at the end.
The shorts included on the disc are as follows, although not presented chronologically on it for some reason:
“Wee Wee Monsieur” (1938) — The Stooges are eking out a living in Paris as artists, but end up on the streets when they can’t pay their rent. Accidentally enlisting in the French Foreign Legion, the boys soon find themselves on a spy assignment in disguise.
“Boobs in Arms” (1940) — The boys try to help out a wife who’s having problems with her jealous husband. He chases them away, but they hide in a line-up that turns out to be for joining the army. Unfortunately for them, their drill sergeant is the husband they’d had the problems with.
“Back from the Front” (1943) — The Stooges are serving as merchant seamen when their ship is sunk. They manage to survive by sneaking on board a German freighter, capturing its crew, and then trying to deal with the ship’s officers by resorting to disguising themselves as Hitler, Goebbels, and Goering.
“Dizzy Pilots” (1943) — The boys are misguided inventors with an idea for a revolutionary aircraft. When the idea fails, they end up in the military and have to deal with a no-nonsense drill sergeant.
“No Dough Boys” (1944) — Dressed as Japanese soldiers for a publicity shoot, the Stooges go on a break and end up mixed up with Axis sympathizers who believe them to be the real thing.
“G.I. Wanna Go Home” (1946) — Discharged from the service, the boys soon realize they have no home to offer their prospective brides. They set up housekeeping in a vacant lot, but a farmer with his tractor soon puts an end to that.
As with Columbia’s previous Three Stooges DVD release (Cops and Robbers), the video quality of these shorts is pretty decent on the whole. There are the usual scratches and speckles, but the images are fairly sharp with good shadow detail. “Wee Wee Monsieur” is a little darker than the others. There is some evidence of shimmer, but no edge enhancement. The soundtracks (Dolby Digital mono in both English and Spanish) are also quite acceptable with but minimal hiss. Columbia again uses an annoying roulette graphic as part of its menus and there is still no provision to play all the shorts without returning to the menu after each.
Still, Stooges fans should be happy with this latest compilation.