A Three Stooges short film, ‘Hello, Pop!‘, thought to have been destroyed in a fire in 1967 has reemerged and is getting its first screening.
The 17 minute short entitled ‘Helo, Pop!’ was made in 1933 by MGM and featured the Three Stooges and their creator, Ted Healy.
‘Hello, Pop!’ features Healy as a musicals producer attempting to stage an elaborate show, but whose efforts are constantly interrupted by visitors, not least by the Stooges.
It was thought to be the only Three Stooges film that had not survived MGM’s negative vault fire in ’67. “At that time, 35mm nitrate film was so flammable that you couldn’t even bring a reel onto a street car” Samuel L. Jackson explains.
It was the same fire that destroyed the only copy of silent shocker ‘London After Midnight’, directed by ‘Freaks’ director Tod Browning.
Thankfully for film fans throughout the land, the only known lost Stooges film was actually sitting in a shed at the bottom of 78-year-old Malcolm Smith’s garden in Sydney, Australia.
As a film collector, Mr. Smith had a lot of films which he was sorting in order to get rid of a few. He realised what he had as soon as he found it and got on the phone to the Vitaphone Project. “When I came across that one I thought, no, I’ll put that aside. I suspected it could be a lost film.”
The organisation restore and reproduce old vaudeville films from this period. The project got to work to bring back the before lost film and prepare it for viewing again. Hello, Pop! screens tonight at the Film Forum in New York.