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A friend forwarded me an early draft of the Farrelly Brothers‘ (There's Something About Mary) screenplay for their hotly anticipated revisionist cinematic treatise, The Three Stooges. The project was (at least according to a 20th Century Fox press release) “written as if The Stooges were still performing today.”

For once, a studio wasn’t misrepresenting its wares through false advertising. What I read was most assuredly the work of strictly au courant knuckleheads.

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Stop the music! 20th Century Fox?! The studio that reduced Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe to cutaway shots from figure skaters in Snow White and the Three Stooges? Does that really count? Will Columbia be generous enough to allow Fox to raid their audio effects library in order to engrave the Stooge-sound so desperately needed? And unless I see the Columbia Pictures Lady with torch held high, it’s not official Stooge-product!

If the Farellys are any indication, Stooge auteurs are alive and thriving. There’s nothing about Mary, not one frame, that made me titter. Given the duo’s penchant for lopsided compositions, mismatched cuts, forced reaction shots, sluggish timing, and nonexistent gag structure, the amateurish Farrellys are the logical choice to fill the incompetent-to-the-point-of-enlightening shoes of Stooge “directors” Jules White and Del Lord.

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In March 2009, it was announced that Sean Penn would follow up his Academy Award–winning role as Harvey Milk by playing another real-life American legend, Larry Fine. There's something about Larry, the frizzle-topped Stooge in the middle, being played by the humorless, bigheaded Penn that doesn't compute. Imagine the walking master class on acting wrapping his velveteen tongue around such irrefutable dialog as “We better scram,” “I’m warning you,” “Hey, leave him alone,” and “Hurry up and get dressed, fellas, the girls’ll be here soon!”

If the Farrellys had their way, Penn would have been joined by Jim Carrey, pulling a De Niro by packing on 40 lbs. to play raging Curly, and Benicio Del Toro as Moe, the perpetually pissed-off Stooge ringleader with the sugar-bowl hairdo.

Filming was slated to commence in August 2009, but fate (and a request to dismiss his legal separation case from wife Robin Wright Penn) intervened, thus the nickname "porcupine" will not appear on the Milk man’s resume. Penn opted to put his career on hold for a year in order to concentrate on family matters. The Three Stooges appeared unlikely to progress beyond the talking stages.

Late last year, Fox put out a casting call for three actors, not allergic to custard, to play the boys. They should have consulted me on the want ad: “If you look like Moe, Larry or Curly -- honestly, if you look like one of the Stooges blow out the pilot light -- stand under five-feet tall, wear ill-fitting suits, work cheap, take a good slap to the kisser, and can get it done in one take, brother, have we got a job for you!”

There were rumors of Johnny Depp as Moe and Paul Giamatti as Larry, but the Farrellys finally settled on Chris Diamantopoulos as Moses Horowitz, Sean Hayes as Louis Feinberg, and Will Sasso as Jerome "Curly" Horowitz.

Location filming at Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, wrapped on Wednesday, but not before photographer Andrew Snook was able to snap these candids that surfaced on On Location Vacations.

Image Sean Hayes is Larry Fine!

Image Will Sasso (back to camera), Chris Diamantopoulos (applying eyedrops), and Sean Hayes.

Image Sophia Vergara (as a Stooge woman!) joins in on the fun.

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Comments

Colonna May 26, 2011 @ 8:36 p.m.

Sofia Vergara joins the ranks of Christine McIntyre, Simona Bonaface, Dorothy Appleby (nee Comingore), and some redheaded floozy named Lucy Ball as Stooge women.

Big question is how Sofia's gonna take a pie... hmmmmmm....

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Scott Marks May 26, 2011 @ 8:53 p.m.

The second Mrs. Kane was a Stooge woman?

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Colonna May 27, 2011 @ 11:30 a.m.

She first appeared as one of Mother Jenkins' daughters in "Oily To Bed, Oily To Rise" (1939) and didn't get screen credit. She also appeared uncredited in "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" as one of the girls who met Jimmy Stewart at the DC train station.

Comingore went under the name "Linda Winters" (not Dorothy Appleby as I thought) and got credit as Winters in the Stooges short "Rockin' In The Rockies" (1940).

Kane trashing Susan's bedroom dubbed with Stooges sound FX... adds that to my list.

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KrugerSound May 27, 2011 @ 5:31 p.m.

The only way it will work is as a hard R. Think about it...

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Scott Marks May 28, 2011 @ 5:33 p.m.

Joe Besser would have petitioned for a not-so-haaaard R.

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