Friday, February 22, 2013

The Three Stooges--Horses' Collars

Horses’ Collars is the first of many Stooge shorts set in the Old West.    It makes sense.  Not only were horse Operas extremely popular American entertainment for many decades, but there were, in fact, a number of Jewish cowboys.

The stooges play detectives who are sent out west to recover an IOU from Double deal Decker on behalf of the beautiful Nell so she will not lose her ranch.  After an unsuccessful attempt to snatch the IOU from Decker at a saloon--the stooges wind up nearly lynched--they go to his hideout where Curly breaks into the safe for the IOU and beats up decker and his men after going crazy over seeing a mouse. 

As noted, Horses’ Collars is the first short to feature curly going crazy when he sees a mouse.  The gag is similar to him hearing “Pop Goes the Weasel” in the past.  Curly beats everyone up in a fit while shouting “Moe!  Larry! The Cheese!” until they feed him a piece to calm him down.  The gag occurs three times here.  Once as an introduction to it, once to save them from hanging, and finally to defeat Decker.

Horses’ Collars is not notable for much other than introducing the cheese gag.  There are some funny bits, particularly Curly’s sped up fistfight with Decker and his gang,  but this is an average short otherwise.  The Stooges sing a few bars of “You’ll Never Know What Tears Are” barbershop style.  That is pretty cool. 

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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