Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Three Stooges--Pardon My Scotch

Pardon My Scotch, both a reference to liquor and a now rude word for the Scottish nationality, is one of the timeliest Stooge shorts.  Filmed four months after the end of prohibition, the plot centers around a drug store unable to get a stock of liquor prior to the repeal until the Stooges accidentally create an explosive  concoction.

The Stooges are carpenters ineptly installing a door in a drug store when the esperate owner leaves them in charge while he goes to meet with his unable to deliver liquor distributor.  A representative of the distributor comes into the store dejected because he either has to come up with a supply or he is out of a job.  The stooges go in the back and randomly mix together a dangerous drink the guy winds up loving.  He invites the trio to a dinner party if they will bring another brew.

The Stooges have been mistaken for Scotsmen, so they come dressed in full Highland gear.   Typical antics ensue, including a mini-food fight and awful table manners.  The latter include Curly being attacked by a submarine sandwich for the first time.  The gag will be reused several more times in future shorts.   There is also a bit in which the Stooges are talked into doing theit native ance, prompting Curly to quip, “I ain’t taking my clothes off for nobody!”  The Hayes Code must have been more lenient than I thought.  The short ends with the keg exploding when Moe taps it.

Speaking of Moe, he is visibly injured onscreen in Pardon My Scorch.  There is a bit in which he is standing on one end of a table while Curly is sawing a board in the middle.  Naturally, curly accidentally saws the table in half in the process.  The table snaps in half, sending moe crashing to the floor.  He hit’s the right side of the table hard enough to break three ribs.  Moe is visibly in pain as he gets up and works Curly over.   Moe went to the emergency room immediately after, stopping production for a few days while he recovered enough to resume filming.

Pardon My Scotch is not exactly loaded down with laughs, but it is decent.  Why the stooges are mistaken for Scotsmen is never really explained.  They are not faking accents or making a traditional Scottish drink.  Apparently, the idea is solely to put them in odd costumes.   One woul anticipate a bigger smack down at the dinner party, as well, but the Stooges have not quite gained their reputation for massively ruining the wealth’s get togethers.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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