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All Gummed Up

Entry updated 20 February 2023. Tagged: Film.

Short US film (1947). Columbia Pictures. Directed by Jules White. Written by Felix Adler (story and screenplay). Cast includes Symona Boniface (uncredited), Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, Florence Lake (uncredited), Judy Malcolm (uncredited), Christine McIntyre, Norman Ollestad (uncredited), Cy Schindell (uncredited), Emil Sitka, Al Thompson (uncredited), Michael Towne (uncredited), and Victor Travis (uncredited). 18 minutes. Black and white.

The Three Stooges (at the time, Fine, Moe Howard, and Shemp Howard) are working as pharmacists. After a few humorous vignettes in their store, they are confronted by landlord Amos Flint (Sitka), who threatens to evict them; his elderly wife (Lake) also enters, though he is rejecting her because she is aged and unattractive. To assist her, the Stooges concoct a youth serum which, after Shemp tests it without any dramatic effects, transforms her into a beautiful young woman (McIntyre) (see Rejuvenation). However, when Flint demands the same treatment, he becomes small and childlike. A final sequence involves a cake prepared by McIntyre to celebrate her new appearance which is mistakenly adorned by Shemp with bubble gum instead of marshmallows, causing them to blow bubbles when they eat some slices.

Numerous sf stories have presented methods to scientifically achieve rejuvenation, but few are as improbable and illogical as the Stooges' serum, assembled by means of a seemingly random process; nor do the Stooges evidence any real interest in replicating or exploiting this remarkable and potentially profitable Invention. This short represents yet another instance in which the Stooges exert themselves to help a woman (see Altruism) while otherwise seeking solely to benefit themselves. It is unexplained why their serum makes Flint's wife a young woman and Flint like a child while only affecting Shemp's personality.

There are alternate versions of this film available that omit either the scenes with Flint and his wife's transformation or the final scenes with the cake. It was remade with additional footage as Bubble Trouble (1953). [GW]

see also: Three Stooges Films.


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