Long lost Three Stooges short found in Australian garden shed
Negative found by Australian collector of long-thought destroyed 'Hello, Pop!'
The long-lost Three Stooges short, "Hello, Pop!" believed gone for good after a 1967 fire has received its first screening in Australia - where a negative of the 17-minute short was found in a disused gardening shed.
The short is the only Three Stooges film thought not to have survived. MGM's negative was destroyed in a vault fire in 1967 that also consumed the only known copy of Todd Browning's silent vampire shocker "London After Midnight," starring Lon Chaney Senior.
Seventy-eight-year-old film collector Malcolm Smith came across a 35 mm nitrate negative of the film in his shed in a Sydney suburb while sorting through his collection. Smith contacted the Vitaphone Project, an archive and preservation organization in the United States, in December of last year, who then took on the job of restoring it.
The Three Stooges were originally created by Healy as part of his vaudeville act, with Moe Howard hired as his first "stooge" - a fake audience member invited up on stage in 1922. Shemp Howard, Moe's brother, was added in 1923, and Larry Fine became the third stooge in 1925.
Taking Broadway by storm, the comedic team made the feature-length comedy "Soup to Nuts" in 1930.
Shemp left the act in 1932, and was replaced by his brother Curly. In spite of contract disputes between Healy and the Stooges, they signed up together for a series of five MGM shorts. "Hello, Pop!" is one of the films in this series.
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