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Who Done It? is the 114th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team the Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.

PlotEdit

The Stooges are private eyes at the Alert Detective Agency who are called upon by the wealthy Mr. Goodrich (Emil Sitka). Goodrich reports that the Phantom Gang, of which his own niece (Christine McIntyre) is a member, have been murdering socialites, with Goodrich as their next target. By the time the Stooges arrive, Goodrich is out cold and locked away, with the butler (Charles Knight) (also a member of the Phantom Gang) greeting the trio. Goodrich's niece flirts with Shemp, ultimately trying to poison him. Finally, a towering goon named Nikko (Duke York) chases the Stooges from room to room. After Shemp knocks Nikko cold, he literally bumps into an unconscious Goodrich, who spills the Phantom Gang's plot. A fight then ensues with the lights out, and the Stooges ultimately get the baddies.

ProductionEdit

Director Edward Bernds had completed the script for Who Done It? in 1946 and was ready to shoot the film after Half-Wits Holiday, Curly Howard's last starring film with the Stooges. Howard's untimely stroke rendered him unable to continue with the act, so Bernds jettisoned his original script and hastily rewrote it for Columbia Pictures comics Gus Schilling and Richard Lane. Schilling's part was written as a combined Curly/Larry role, while Lane's was as Moe. Schilling & Lane's version of the short was called Pardon My Terror, which also included Emil Sitka, Dudley Dickerson and Christine McIntyre in its cast.

Bernds later admitted that the rewritten script was not a good fit for Schilling & Lane and was determined to have the Stooges film Who Done It?. He took his original script, substituted several lines meant for Curly with lines fitted for Shemp's brand of comedy. Jon Solomon, author of The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion commented that "this well-balanced mixture of physical abuse, verbal banter, and emotional surprise is particularly vibrant even for a Stooge film." He added that "the scene in which...Christine McIntyre and Shemp point out their favorite painting while switching the drugged drink elegantly builds to a climax unparalleled in all of Stoogedom with forty seconds of Shemp wheezing, 't-k'ing, meeping, shuttering, flipping, flopping, chicken-with-its-head-cut-off-ing, and then slamming his legs on the ground in near rigor mortis."

NotesEdit

Who Done It? was reworked again in 1956 as For Crimin' Out Loud, the last film Shemp made before his death in November 1955.

ReferencesEdit

  • Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. pp. 346–347. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.

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