‘Restless Knights’ (1935) is the 6th short subject made by The Three Stooges for Columbia Pictures. It was photographed from Wednesday, December 19th through Saturday, December 22nd, 1934 and released on Wednesday, February 20th 1935. It features Walter Brennan as the Stooges father and Geneva Mitchell as the Queen–she’s the dance instructor who’s attacked by an insect in ‘Hoi Polloi’, causing her to dance a mad jazz ballet which the Stooges dutifully imitate. Though we’re still in the land of the glacial pacing endemic to early Stooge shorts, this one is much funnier than I remember largely due to the long set-piece wrestling/dancing/massaging/tickling scene that consumes a good deal of screen time in the middle of the short. The director, Charles Lamont, was an interesting figure in the world of comedy. He began his career with Mack Sennett, made shorts for Educational Pictures and wound up at Columbia briefly in the mid-30s where he directed the Stooges and Charley Chase. He apparently had a great antipathy to studio head Harry Cohn and left for then low-rent pastures of Universal Pictures, where he directed youth-oriented musicals featuring Gloria Jean (the ingenue in Fields’ ‘Never Give A Sucker An Even Break’), Peggy Ryan and the young Donald O’Conner. Impressed with his economical shooting tactics, Lamont was assigned to direct the studio’s star team Abbott and Costello in their increasingly lower-budgeted films. After squeezing in a couple of Ma and Pa Kettles and Francis the Talking Mule’s, Lamont retired and lived another–get this–thirty-five years, dying in 1993 at the age of 98 in the Motion Picture Country Home. Was there anyone else alive at that point whose career began with Sennett? I’d love to know the answer if someone can provide it. My guess is not.


Sign up for news & updates so you don't miss a thing!

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *