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|Half Shot Shooters|
|Directed by||Preston Black|
|Written by||Clyde Bruckman|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Cinematography||Benjamin H. Kline|
|Edited by||Charles Hochberg|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Half Shot Shooters is a 1936 short subject directed by Preston Black starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). It is the 14th entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians, who released 190 shorts for the studio between 1934 and 1959.
The film opens in 1918, where, upon receiving medals for "wounds in action" (being beaten up by their sergeant after sleeping through an attack), the Three Stooges are discharged from the army immediately following the end of World War I; they subsequently take revenge on Sgt. MacGillicuddy (Stanley Blystone) in retribution for his attack and overall poor treatment of them.
The film then cuts to 1935. The Stooges are traveling the streets hungry and are tricked into signing up for the army again. Unfortunately for them, MacGillicuddy is again the sergeant in charge. In the office of their colonel at the army base they have been sent to, the still-hungry Stooges fall upon some tomatoes MacGillicuddy had brought in. He orders them to throw away the tomatoes, and, demonstrating, throws one away himself, inadvertently hitting the colonel. As punishment, MacGillicuddy is ordered to polish spittoons.
Moe, Larry, and Curly are then assigned to coast artillery, and begin practicing their "skills". They first hit a smokestack, followed by a house, a bridge, and lastly, a battleship, which just happens to be the flagship of a navy admiral. Sgt. MacGillicuddy and a group of officers rush up to investigate; when they question the Stooges as to whom is responsible for hitting the admiral's flagship, Moe and Larry hit, slap and kick Curly for shooting the wrong target. The vengeful sergeant asks them to line up for a photo shoot. The Stooges agree, glad to be rewarded for their sharp shooting, and pose as Sgt. MacGillicuddy swings a deck gun at them and fires, leaving three pairs of smoking boots behind.
This film marked the inaugural appearance of Vernon Dent, who appeared in more Stooge shorts than any other supporting actor. It also marked the final appearance of the old Columbia Pictures logo of a woman bearing a torch during the credits.
Unusually for one of their films, the Three Stooges are killed at the end of Half Shot Shooters. This plot device was used sporadically through their films, also being implemented in 1939's Three Little Sew and Sews, You Nazty Spy! and I'll Never Heil Again among others.
Half-Shot Shooters has been criticized for its sadistic violence executed against the Stooges, with MacGillicuddy breaking Moe's arm, deafening all three, and then killing them at the conclusion.
- Officer: "Where were you born?!"
- Curly: (unable to hear him) "He says your pants are torn!"
- Moe: "I ain't got any horn!"
- Larry: "No, not warn! Corn!"
- Curly: "What?"
- Larry: "CORN!"
- Curly: "Oh, corn! I got two on both dogs!" (to the officer) "Can you tell where I can get a corn plaster, shorty?"
- Officer: "Were you born in this country?"
- Larry: "What?"
- Officer: "Were you born in this country?!"
- Larry: "No, Milwaukee."
- Officer: "Would you fight for this great republic and-"
- Moe: "Republican? Naw, I'm a Democrat!"
- Curly: "Not me! I'm a pedestrian."
- Pauley, Jim (2012). The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations. Solana Beach, California: Santa Monica Press, LLC. p. 132. ISBN 9781595800701.
- Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, California: Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 82. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
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