Here’s ‘Fright Night’ (1947), Shemp’s first Stooge short in the Columbia years iteration of the Stooges. It takes a certain kind of low-budget brilliance to make a fight film that doesn’t actually show a boxing match. (Shemp gets batted about the ring a little bit but its inside the gym and thus there’s no audience which means no extras). In fact the whole film is set in two interior locations–the gym and a warehouse–that are clearly the same space. No signage or interior design was required–except to print the word ‘mothballs’ on a box and the words ‘red paint’ on a paint can. The big chase at the end takes place around piles of boxes. As a filmmaking exercise in reduced circumstances this is an exemplary piece of work. Jean-Luc Godard once said that all you need to make a movie is a man, a woman and a car. In this case all you need are three stooges and a warehouse.


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