Saturday, December 17, 2016
"For Duty and Humanity!"
Last night Turner Classic Movies played the 1934 hospital drama, "Men in White", which starred Clark Gable and Myrna Loy.
I pointed out to my wife that The Three Stooges parody , "Men in Black", is much better remembered than the film itself.
'Calling Dr. Howard Dr. Fine Dr. Howard" is one of the Stooges' best known catch phrases, and the ending - when they tear up the intercom and finally silence it by pulling out revolvers and shooting the vacuum tube that is still chattering ("Oy, they got me!") is a trope of striking back at technology.
"Men in Black" was the third short made by the Stooges for Columbia and introduced a lot of the business they used in the 187 other films they later made, until 1959.
Ironically, "Men in Black" received an Academy Award nomination, in the Best Short Subject category. while the film it parodied didn't received any nominations - although it was very commercially successful.
Years later, the title "Men in Black" was co-opted by a totally different series of films.
The final irony? In 1998 National Lampoon made a straight-to-television parody of the Will Smith vehicle, and called it "Men in White".
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