Pals and Gals

Pals and Gals is the 155th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1954 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.

Pals and Gals
Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written byClyde Bruckman
Jack White
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Christine McIntyre
Norma Randall
Ruth White
Stanley Blystone
Norman Willes
Joe Palma
George Chesebro
Heinie Conklin
Vernon Dent
Frank Ellis
Blackie Whiteford
CinematographyGert Anderson
Edited byEdwin Bryant
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 3, 1954 (1954-06-03) (U.S.)
Running time
16:41
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Plot

Shemp is suffering from an enlarged vein in his leg, and fears that it will lead to amputation. His doctor (Vernon Dent), however, advises that a few weeks in the Old West will cure him. Upon arrival in a somewhat lawless town, the boys befriend the ruthless Doc Barker (Norman Willis). Barker listens to Shemp's story about his bad leg, mistaking "the biggest vein you ever saw" for a gold-bearing vein worth millions. The Stooges take a liking to Barker, but are later informed by the beautiful Nell (Christine McIntyre) that he is an outlaw who is holding her two sisters (Norma Randall and Ruth White) hostage in the basement of the saloon.

The boys hatch a plan to obtain the prison cell keys from Barker's coat. Shemp joins the outlaw in a game of poker, while Moe and Larry prepare beverages for the card players. The two find every possible deadly chemical they can to add to their volatile Mickey Finn, from Old Homicide to paint (plus paint remover). They also prepare a sarsaparilla for Shemp to make sure their pal does not indulge in the suicidal drink. Barker downs the concoction, and screams for water. Shemp grabs a nearby fire hose and sprays the entire gang, soaking them. Moe and Larry quickly grab Barker's coat (claiming he will catch pneumonia) and get the cell keys to Nell, who frees her sisters. Barker ends up dying of heart failure at the Poker table, and his irate gang throw Larry in the cell with plans to kill him at sunrise.

Moe and Shemp attempt to free Larry using every tool they can find, while the girls ride for help. After freeing Larry, the trio stumble upon a suitcase full of old, Southern-style clothing. They then quickly change outfits to disguise themselves from Barker's gang, but a gang member (Stanley Blystone) recognizes them. The boys flee the saloon, and scurry away to hideout outside of town. Just as they are cornered by Barker's gang, Shemp takes off his gun belt, and, now serving as an ad hoc ammunition belt, puts it through a meat grinder. The increased firepower scares the gang away, and the Stooges emerge victorious.

Production notes

Pals and Gals is a reworking of 1947's Out West, using ample stock footage. In addition, scenes of the Stooges escaping the saloon via horseback were recycled from 1937's Goofs and Saddles.[1]

In order to advance the new plot and connect recycled scenes, the character of Doc Barker is killed off by dying of heart failure after consuming Moe's Mickey Finn. Due to careless editing of stock footage, Barker accidentally reappears a few moments later while Nell is singing in the bar.[2] So that the pre-chase scenes would match up with the chase from Goofs and Saddles, Stanley Blystone, who had played the antagonist Longhorn Pete in Goofs and Saddles, was asked to don a costume and play a non-speaking role as one of the gang members in Pals and Gals; That way there would not be such a blatant mismatch when Blystone is seen (via old footage) yelling from the window after the Stooges jump into the wagon and flee. Blystone had appeared as a United States Cavalry Colonel in Out West, a plot device not carried over to Pals and Gals.[1] Director Jules White often took great care in making such matches; he used a moviola on the set to make sure new footage matched old.[1]

References

  1. Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 439. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
  2. Hogan, David J. (2011). Three Stooges FAQ. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 137. ISBN 978-1-55783-788-2.
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