Sappy Bullfighters (1959)

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Released on June 4, 1959, Sappy Bull Fighters ended the Three Stooges' 20-year-plus association with the Columbia short subject department. Consisting mainly of stock footage from the earlier What's the Matador? (1942), the two-reeler incorporated footage, filmed in 1957, featuring Joe Besser and the statuesque Greta Thyssen. Sappy Bull Fighters actually competed with the enormously successful television re-release of the earlier Stooges comedies. The surprising TV following gave new life to the team and the Stooges would go on to a fairly successful feature-film career. But not with Joe Besser, who left the partnership in 1958. He was replaced by veteran vaudeville and short subject comic Joe DeRita (nicknamed "Curly Joe"), who joined the team for their feature comedies: Have Rocket Will Travel (1959), Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961), Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962), The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962), The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze (1963), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), and The Outlaws Is Coming (1965). Although several later prospects were discussed (with veteran Stooges foil Emil Sitka replacing Larry Fine, who had suffered a stroke), none came to fruition.



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