Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stooges book retraces Larry, Moe and Curly's steps - and their slaps, punches and pratfalls

Philly author Jim Pauley spent 11 years and a mess of money to research the thousands of locations seen in nearly 200 Three Stooges shorts. The result: a great, photo-laden coffee table book, "The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations." Pauley will screen and discuss five of those shorts Friday at International House, as part of a Secret Cinema Stooges event .

Stooges book retraces Larry, Moe and Curly’s steps – and their slaps, punches and pratfalls

A new book retraces the steps of Larry, Moe and Curly.
A new book retraces the steps of Larry, Moe and Curly.

It took eleven years and several dog-eared editions of the Thomas Guide map books of Los Angeles, but Jim Pauley, a self-described lifelong Three Stooges fan, has pulled off a remarkable feat: In The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations (Santa Monica Press, $39.95), the Philadelphia-based author relentlessly traces the footsteps – and car chases and bike rides – that Larry, Moe and Curly took in close to 200 comedy shorts made in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. On Friday, Jan. 11, Pauley will screen and discuss five classic Stooges shorts, and sign copies of his book, as Secret Cinema presents a Stooges night at International House.

Pauley became addicted to the eye-poking, head-slapping, pratfalling and forever punning Stooges as a kid, rushing home from school to catch Sally Starr’s Popeye Theater on (then) WFIL-TV. The Popeye ‘toons were okay, but it was the Stooges who really got Pauley going. There’s a rare, heretofore unpublished photo of Starr with Larry (and her stunt double) in the book, a behind-the-scenes shot from 1965’s The Outlaws Is Coming! Fine, of course, was also a Philadelphian, born at 3rd and South Streets, ne Louis Feinberg.

Pauley, who has addressed legions of Stooges fans at the Hollywood Heritage Museum and at the Stoogeum, the Ambler, PA., Stooges shrine,   says that the exhilaration he experienced as a boy watching the Three Stooges has been shared by kids ever since.

“Every generation, it’s the same thing,” he says. “I know kids who are six-years-old right now and these kids know the titles of the shorts. And they want to watch them over and over again. One young man I know loves a particular scene in the short called “In the Sweet Pie and Pie,” where the boys have the best pie fight scene of all time…. I highly recommend that. That’ s a goodie.”

The plan for Pauley’s Secret Cinema event:  “There will be five shorts -- they will be the best of the Stooges shorts featuring the best of the Hollywood filming locations.” And if you buy a copy of Pauley’s book, “you can watch the short first and then go right to that title -- all those shorts are in alphabetical order, so they’re easy to find -- and get a chance to see where the boys filmed their funny stuff back in the ‘30s and ‘40s and ‘50s.”

Info: http://www.thesecretcinema.com International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, 7 p.m. Admission: $9 , $7 students and seniors. Advance tickets may be purchased at the International House box office, or online http://www.ticketfly.com/event/191975-three-stooges-hollywood-philadelphia/

Copies of the book The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations will be available for purchase at the event, and Pauley will happily sign them.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at srea@phillynews.com.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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