Half-Wits Holiday (1947)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Filmed in 1946 but held over until January of 1947, Half-Wits Holiday proved a rather sad occasion for the Three Stooges. A remake of the earlier Hoi Polloi, in which a professor wages that he can turn the three dimwits into perfect gentlemen. Sadly, Curly Howard, who had been ailing all year, suffered a stroke on the last day of filming. Supporting actor Emil Sitka, who made his debut with the team in this film, remembered: "No one -- including Moe, Larry, and Jules White -- ever told us how serious his condition was. It was only after the picture had been completed that I found out he took ill." Producer/director White managed to finish the last scene -- the inevitable pie-fight featuring the Stooges' main victim Symona Boniface (as Mrs. Smythe-Smythe) -- by dividing the action between Moe Howard and Larry Fine and inserting reaction shots of the various bystanders. Curly Howard never returned to the series as a member of the team -- he later agreed to a couple of cameos while visiting his former workplace -- and was replaced by brother Shemp. Perhaps the most beloved Stooge, Jerome "Curly" Howard died at the young age of 48 in 1952.