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Back when the "Blondie" comic strip was very young, Dagwood wanted to marry a flapper against the wishes of his rich family and staged a hunger strike for her sake. This is the basic premise of "The Sitter Downers" (1937, short number 27 in the Columbia series) in which the boys want to marry against a father's wishes and camp out in his living room. The second half is concerned with the now married Stooges trying to build a home for their brides with predictable disastrous results. Very funny at the start, stale material in the second section. "Nutty but Nice" (1940, number 47) has the boys trying to help a melancholic girl by finding her kidnapped father. It starts interestingly with the boys as a team running a musical restaurant, but it turns to more familiar material as they try to escape from an apartment using the dumbwaiter. (They will never learn not to send Curly down first.) What makes this entry more interesting is that Vernon Dent gets to play a straight, sympathetic part that calls upon him actually to laugh at the Stooges' routines. "Slippery Silks" (1936, number 19) starts with the boys as "fine" woodworkers--destroying a precious Chinese box brought in by Vernon Dent for reproduction--and then finding they have inherited a gown shop. After they reason that designing furniture and gowns is all the same, the results are truly funny as Larry's cabinet-like creations are displayed by attractive models who play it straight. However, the director (Preston Black) decided that the script needed a good pie throw (or cake throw in this instance) ending, and the last sequence offers nothing new along those lines.

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CO05494 Three Stooges DVD: Nutty but Nice (A-Ducking They Did Go, Hoi Polloi, Halfwits Holiday, Higher Than A Kite, False Alarms) $14.95