Three Stooges Meet Hercules, The

Tagged: Film

Film (1962). Normandy Productions/Columbia Pictures. Produced by Norman Maurer. Directed by Edward Bernds. Written by Elwood Ullman from a story by Maurer. Cast includes Samson Burke, John Cliff, Joe DeRita, Larry Fine, Moe Howard, George N Neise, Quinn Redeker, Emil Sitka and Vicki Trickett. 89 minutes. Black and white.

Working at Dismal's Drug Store in New York, the Stooges – Moe (Howard), Larry (Fine), and Curly Joe (DeRita) – meet eccentric inventor Schuyler Davis (Redeker). He is working on a Time Machine in his own shop next door; the Stooges insist on "helping", which shortly results in all four men plus Davis's girlfriend Diane Quigley (Trickett) travelling to Ithaca in Ancient Greece. Their strange arrival causes them to be mistaken for gods, and helps the corrupt King Odius (Neise) defeat and capture the hero Ulysses (Cliff). Realizing they have altered history, the boys and Davis help Ulysses escape, which results in their being made oarsmen on a slave galley. Meanwhile Odius takes Diane prisoner, as she has caught his eye. Davis develops large muscles and considerable strength through rowing, which gives the Stooges the idea of passing him off as Hercules after their escape. The actual Hercules (Burke) hears of this imposture, and investigates. After a brief fight, Hercules agrees to help the others in a successful rescue of Diane. Odius winds up in the time machine as the visitors depart for the twentieth century, but gets dumped in the American Old West where he is last seen pursued to an unknown fate by Native Americans. The group returns home without further incident; Davis's and Diane's troubled romantic relationship is repaired.

The Three Stooges regained popularity with the late-1950s release of their short comedy films to television, leading to further shorts and several low-budget feature films. Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959) is probably the best of these, but The Three Stooges Meet Hercules was the most financially successful earning over two million dollars for an investment of less than half a million. [GSt]

see also: The Three Stooges in Orbit.

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