The Three Stooges

by Michael D Walker on May 16, 2012

The Three Stooges

The Three Stooges are enjoying renewed interest in their work thanks to the Farrelly Brothers’ new Three Stooges movie currently in theaters. I haven’t seen the Three Stooges movie yet but I’ve been seeing very good reviews about the great job done by the actors portraying the Three Stooges: Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly.

While a lot of younger movie fans are being exposed to the Three Stooges for the first time, I also learned something new this week about one of the first film appearances by them back in 1933.

As readers of this blog might recall, in 1933 Thorne Smith was working in Hollywood at MGM Films. While I’m not certain what his exact job title or instructions were from MGM, we do know he wrote the script for the 1933 film short “Menu”, which was nominated for an Oscar Award in 1934 in the category of Best Short Subject, Novelty.

We also know that I gave praise to author Anthony Slide for the research he did on Thorne Smith related films in his book “A Man Named Smith: The Novels and Screen Legacy of Thorne Smith.”

While re-reading that book this week, I made a connection that somehow was overlooked by Mr. Slide and by myself the first time I read his book.

One of the story treatments Thorne Smith created while at MGM was called “What a Liar” and was to feature Jack Pearl, Jimmy Durante, Polly Moran, and W.C. Fields. As is typical of Hollywood scripts, many changes were made, among which was dropping W.C. Fields from the project and bringing in screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (who would later write the screenplay for “Citizen Kane”).  Polly Moran was replaced by Zasu Pitts, and in addition to Edna May Oliver, another group of new stars was added to the film. Those stars were billed at the time as “Ted Healy and His Stooges.”  Eventually the project was renamed “Meet the Baron” and released in October 1933.

So, call it coincidence or luck but it’s somehow fitting that as the new The Three Stooges movie is playing in theaters, I discover that Thorne Smith helped create one of the first movies The Three Stooges ever appeared in. Granted, Thorne did not get on screen credit for his part in the project but it’s still a fun tidbit of information that has not been widely known all these years.

Below is a photo of Ted Healy and His Stooges from the movie “Meet the Baron”

And here is the “Meet the Baron” movie trailer:
YouTube Preview Image

Fortunately, “Meet the Baron” is available on DVD so you can easily order it!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherie Miranda May 17, 2012 at 12:06 AM

I’m a big fan of The Three Stooges and wasn’t familiar with “Meet the Baron” until now. I will definitely check it out. How cool to know that Thorne Smith was involved in what became a Three Stooges film! Thanks for posting the clips.

Cherie Miranda

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Body language of listening May 17, 2012 at 1:02 AM

Michael, what a great article about Thorne Smith and what he has done.
Scott Sylvan Bell

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Clare Delaney May 17, 2012 at 1:53 AM

Ah, they just don’t make films like they used to!

EcoFriendlyMatters

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Body Language: Secrets Of The Neck May 17, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Michael,
I like the Three Stooges – I was able to watch it in Bulgaria. I am impressed by your research and study about Thorne Smith’s life and legacy.

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Kevin Hogan May 17, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Do you think that Thorne would believe that his idea would have gotten so popular?

Mark Hogan

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Discover The 7 Steps To Amazing Health! May 17, 2012 at 8:02 PM

That is a fun bit of trivia. So many years later and his idea still stands.

With Passion & Conviction,

Wendy Schauer: Author – Speaker – Chiropractor – Kettlebell Trainer

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Plant Based Enzymes And Vitamins May 17, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Michael,

Have you had a chance to see the new 3 Stooges film, if so, what did you think of it?

Yours In Health!

G.E. Moon II

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Lyle R. Johnson: The Sales Wizard & Mentor May 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM

The Baron … and the (at one time) famous “vas you dere sharlie?” is fading … just as “he got Moxie” is dying. Too bad.

Lyle R. Johnson – aka The “Wiz”

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Web Dating Expert Advice LA Cty May 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Hi Michael,

Oh what a fun piece of old school classic Hollywood trivia to have discovered and uncovered that weaves in with Thorne Smith. You must be delighted, yes?

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell, CHt, RH

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Carson October 13, 2013 at 1:41 AM

The Three Stooges are a good comedy group,

But other comedy goups like these guys were in features as well as Moe,Larry and Curly to Curly Joe.

The Marx Brothers,Abbott and Costello & Laurel and Hardy

A lil’ nuts when Shemp and Joe were in Africa Screams with Abbott and Costello.

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