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

Thursday, April 29, 2021


Hercules shows off muscles to Curly
THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES (1962). Director: Edward Bernds. 

The Three Stooges work in a drug store and have befriended a tall if nerdy scientist named Schulyer Davis (Quinn K. Redeker). Davis is working on a time machine, and when the stooges fiddle around with it they, Davis, and his fiancee, Diane (Vicki Trickett), all wind up back in Ithaca in 900 B.C. Greece. Their untimely arrival causes Ulysses to lose the battle against Odius (George N. Neise) with the added help of a rather unpleasant Hercules (Samson Burke). 

The stooges with the phony Herc
The rather brave stooges manage to free Ulysses from prison but for their efforts are turned into galley slaves. This enables Davis to develop muscles that put him on a par with Hercules. After escaping from the ship, Davis masquerades as the demi-god and gives him the reputation of a decent and honorable fellow. But he still has to face the real Hercules in the arena and get his girlfriend away from the odious King Odius. Odius happens to greatly resemble the stooges' boss, Mr. Dismal, back in the 20th century. 

Two-headed cyclops wants to make a meal of Moe
Well, what can you say about The Three Stooges Meet Hercules? You can say that for a full-length Stooges movie it is rather ambitious and has a more complicated storyline than the usual slapstick outing. Moe (Moe Howard) seems even a  bigger bully than usual in this picture, and although Joe DeRita is more than okay in the film, he is not my favorite Curly. Larry Fine (Larry) is as funny as ever, however. Redecker and Trickett are acceptable without making that much of an impression. 6 ft. 4 Samson Burke was a body builder and professional wrestler who turned to acting; he is fine as an unsympathetic and mean-spirited Hercules. George Neise specialized in sleazy and unlikable characters, but he is not notable in this. The movie is not tedious and it has amusing moments, but it couldn't be considered a "laff riot," either. The stooges have been funnier elsewhere, but this flick is not without interest for fans. 

Verdict: If the stooges are not your cup of java, tune out! **1/2.


angelman66 said...

LOL@Bill. Have never been able to watch more than 30 seconds of a Stooges epic. Maybe one of these days I will try again. Am in the mood for some silly physical humor! We need mindless escapism these days!
- Chris

William said...

Ha, you can't get much more mindless than the Stooges! Their old short movies were a lot better than the feature films they did years later when they were a bit long in the tooth. It's amazing the longevity this silly trio has had! TV rediscovered them and then they were turned into movie stars again. They are definitely an acquired taste!