Movie Review: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)

Synopsis: After her father, the king, dies, Princess Snow White's evil stepmother first imprisons her then attempts to have her murdered. Fleeing into the forest, she takes refuge with a group of traveling performers.

Who's in it? The movie stars Carol Heiss, Patricia Medina, Edson Stroll, Guy Rolfe, Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe DeRita.

Review: I stayed up a little later than everyone else last night and, while waiting to be tired enough to go to bed, decided to watch a movie. It had been a while since I watched a Three Stooges film and this looked somewhat interesting, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.

Overall, I like the Three Stooges, but they were a comedy team that, in my opinion, overstayed their welcome and, by the time DeRita joined the trio as Curly Joe, were well past their prime. This movie did nothing to change my mind about that.

In fact, I honestly feel like this movie might have been better without them since their slapstick performances seemed much more like filler material than anything that had any vital role in the overall plot. And to be honest, while they were likely the only reason this movie was even made, I kind of felt like they were dragging down what had the potential to be a decent re-telling of Snow White's story.

I also feel like this movie would have been better had the writers not tried to include so many unnecessary plot devices. This is especially true of the magical wish-granting sword that just seemed thrown into the story almost at random and, while it does play a small role at the end, was something the movie could have easily done without.

The film also goes to great lengths to force the ice-skating princess subplot down the viewer's throat. Yes, Heiss was an Olympic medalist, and her performances were fun to watch. In fact, they might have been the best part of the overall movie. However, they also stuck out like a sore thumb since the on-ice performances were just thrown in and had no impact on the actual plot.

Final Opinion: I understand what the filmmakers were trying to do but a past-their-prime comedy team combined with an Olympic skater who only gets a couple random on-ice scenes just isn't enough to make this movie as good as it could have been. Frankly, I feel like this would have been a better movie had they left the Three Stooges out of it and put the focus on Heiss' skating skills by turning the entire film into an ice show.

My Grade: C-


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