Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Joe DeRita
THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT (1962). Director: Edward Bernds.

"The arrow's pointing half-way -- I don't know if it's half full or half empty!"

Needing a place to stay, the Three Stooges (Larry Fine, Moe Howard, and Joe DeRita) answer an ad placed by a scientist named Danforth (Emil Sitka). Danforth has invented a kind of combination sub-tractor-copter-spaceship which hardly looks like it could get off the ground but at one point shoots the boys into orbit. A handsome Air Force man, Captain Tom Andrews (Edson Stroll of McHale's Navy) comes to look at the professor's invention, but spends more time looking over his daughter, Carol (Carol Christensen). Then there are a couple of Martians, who resemble Universal monsters, hovering about and planning an attack on the earth. A sub-plot has the boys being told that their cartoon show will be canceled unless they come up with a new approach and arrive at the studio by a certain time. The Stooges are fine, but even they need decent material, and even kids would probably find this a little too silly. Sitka isn't funny at all, so his casting is strange (even stranger is that he later became one of the stooges after Fine's death), Strangely, Sitka reminds one of Dustin Hoffman! Many jokes are repeated too often.

Verdict: Good-natured if really stupid. **.

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