The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)

THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES (1962)
Article 3259 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-22-2010
Posting Date: 7-17-2010
Directed by Edward Bernds
Featuring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Joe DeRita
Country: USA
What it is: Sword and sandal spoof

An inventor, his girlfriend, and three employees of a pharmacy go back in time to ancient Greece, where their appearance causes Ulysses to lose a war to a usurper named Odius. They must return Ulysses to the throne and save the girlfriend, who is in the power of the usurper.

I’m not sure I can think of a comedy team that lasted in movies as long as the Stooges did. I suspect that one reason is that their slapstick knockabout humor transcended trendiness; good timing is timeless. I also suspect that another reason was that they held off on making features until the end of their careers; people are quicker to forget a short that falls flat than a feature that does. None of the features really holds a candle to their best shorts, but given how long in the tooth they were, it’s perhaps amazing that the features were as good as they were. This one gives the whole sword-and-sandal genre a good nose-tweaking, and it’s just well-produced enough so that it does a good job of it. Perhaps my favorite scene is the battle with the Siamese Cyclops, which were played by a set of twins, which is an interesting if unnecessary gimmick, since the makeup is so heavy that it wouldn’t matter if they were really twins or not.

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