Dizzy Detectives (1943) – Jules White

I have always enjoyed the Three Stooges shorts. There’s not a time in my memory when they didn’t make me laugh out loud. I can remember Sunday mornings spent watching the marathon on television, or going to the base theatre in Borden to watch collections growing up.

So when I saw that they were the next title mentioned in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies, I was delighted. Continuing my journey through the chapter on Monstrous Apes I was more than happy to revisit with my old friends, Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard.

The trio start out as carpenters which quickly descends into chaos until they are notified that they’ve been accepted as police officers. There’s a joke to made about standards there, but I’ll refrain. But I’m thinking it.

They are brought in on a case that sees them investigating a series of robberies, purportedly being done by a gorilla (a man in a suit costume worn by Ray Corrigan).

They soon catch a lead, in a tangle of phones, that leads them to the scene of the crime – which is still happening! Physical gags play out aplenty as Curly gets constantly scared, but also ends up saving the day, after concussing his friends.

It’s simple, it’s silly, and seventy seven years after it was made, it still makes me laugh. There’s just a purity to the physical gags that makes things seem painful and funny at the same time.

Three Stooges shorts are inherently silly, and run on the supposition that physical violence and pain can be funny. If you can’t subscribe to that, then the Stooges aren’t for you, but if that does, and you haven’t seen one of their shorts, I can’t even begin to tell you on how much you’re missing out on.

There’s just something so joyous about laughing along to one of their shows, and sure, the man in a gorilla suit is silly, but everything else in this short is silly as well, and everything works because of it.

I revel in the name-calling, the slapstick, and the moments, and you realize as you watch, that all the violence is cartoon-like, the name-calling isn’t anywhere nears as harsh as it could be, and in fact, for the most part, the Stooges are good clean fun.

And I was so glad to come across them in DK Books’ highly enjoyable Monsters in the Movies. So if you’re looking for something spooky, or maybe something silly, have a look at a classic, or find something new to you within the pages.

Check it out!

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