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The Bootleg Files: Myrt and Marge

BOOTLEG FILES 621: “Myrt and Marge” (1933 feature film with the Three Stooges).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Possible, but not likely.

Fans of the Coen Brothers may recall a scene from “O Brother, Where Art Thou” where the central characters pause from their shenanigans to watch a corny musical movie. The film within the film was a 1933 musical comedy called “Myrt and Marge,” though most people would probably not have recognized it. So why did the Coen Brothers pick this, of all films? Well, it was because the Three Stooges were in that film, but due to rights clearance issues to the Stooges’ imagery the Coens could not use their footage – thus, they were forced to use a non-Stooges segment from that flick.

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The Three Stooges: Big Box of Nyuks Collection (DVD)

For the respective Three Stooges buff looking for a good holiday gift, or for someone just seeking some good old fashioned laughs and gaffs, Mill Creek offers up a forty hour compendium of some of the more interesting three stooges entertainment. While it’s branded the “Complete” collection, I doubt that we’ll ever have a complete collection considering rights issues, but “Big Box of Nyuks” is still a very impressive addition to anyone who adores these knuckleheads and their antics that have managed to garner a new fan base for every generation. It’s an exhaustive look behind the Stooges legacy and also celebrates their comedy when they were at their peak and at their unfortunate worst, but it’s a great collector’s item.

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The Bootleg Files: Malice in the Palace

BOOTLEG FILES 595: “Malice in the Palace” (1949 Three Stooges short).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On too many public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A lapsed copyright.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: There was one, but it was lost amid the cheapo duped versions.

In some ways, bad comedies are more interesting than good comedies. Because when a comedy fails, it is can be a fascinating exercise to pinpoint just where things began to go wrong and to wonder whether the wreckage could have been prevented with tweaks here and there.

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