Hot Stuff (1956 film)
|Directed by||Jules White|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Felix Adler|
Philip Van Zandt
|Edited by||Harold White|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Hot Stuff is the 172nd short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1956 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.
The Stooges are secret agents working undercover at the home of Professor Sneed (Emil Sitka) and his daughter (Christine McIntyre). Sneed is developing a rocket fuel in secret for the government. Captain Rork (Philip Van Zandt) of the "State of Anemia" watches the professor through his front window, with hopes of kidnapping him. Of course, Rork and his henchmen capture the Stooges instead, mistaking Larry for the professor. Trouble brews when the Stooges are required to whip up some of the fuel, and then write down the formula. It does not take long for the kidnappers to capture the real Professor Sneed, along with his daughter, and throw them all in jail until the formula is disclosed. As Rork serves the Stooges their last meal, they steal the jail keys from him and use their fake fuel to break themselves, Professor Sneed, and his daughter out of the jail and make a quick exit.
As Shemp Howard had already died, for his last four films (Rumpus in the Harem, Hot Stuff, Scheming Schemers and Commotion on the Ocean), Columbia utilized supporting actor Joe Palma to be Shemp's double. Even though the last four shorts were remakes of earlier Shemp efforts, Palma's services were needed to link what few new scenes were filmed to the older stock footage.
For Hot Stuff, Palma is seen twice. The first time occurs when the Stooges, disguised in beards, are trolling through office hallways. Moe instructs Shemp to pursue a suspicious looking girl, to which Palma grunts "Right!" He then walks off-camera, allowing Moe and Larry to finish the scene by themselves. This is the only time Palma allowed his face to be seen on-camera. As he was purposely wearing a beard, his face is successfully concealed. Later, Palma is seen from the back while the boys are locked in the laboratory. Palma attempts to imitate Shemp's famed cry of "Heep, heep, heep!". Again, Moe directs Shemp, this time to guard the door. Palma obliges, mutters a few additional "Heep, heep, heeps!," and conveniently hides behind the door. This was one of the few times during his tenure as Shemp's double that Palma was required to speak without the aid of dubbing.