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A Bird in the Head
A Bird in the Head title.jpg

Release Date

February 28, 1946

Directed by

Edward Bernds

Written by

Edward Bernds

Produced by

Hugh McCollum

Preceded by

Beer Barrel Polecats

Followed by

Uncivil War Birds

A Bird in the Head is the 89th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team the Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.

Cast[]

Plot[]

The Stooges are mediocre paperhangers. Their client Mr. Beedle advises the boys to do a good job, but the end result looks like it was quickly cluttered with paper towels. Beedle is fuming, and threatens the boys, who make a quick escape across the hallway into the laboratory of the insane Professor Panzer and his assistant Nikko. Panzer is searching for a human brain puny enough to place in the head of his gorilla Igor. Curly becomes the prime candidate, and Panzer locks the boys in his lab in order to secure Curly's "contribution". Then Igor gets loose, but takes an instant liking to Curly, which the feeble-minded Stooge reciprocates. Eventually, the boys destroy Panzer's lab, and quickly depart—taking Igor with them.

Notes[]

  • 41-year-old Curly Howard had suffered a series of minor strokes prior to filming A Bird in the Head. As a result, his performance was marred by slurred speech, and slower timing. This film was the first directing effort for former Columbia sound man Edward Bernds. Bernds was thrilled that he was being given a shot at directing, but was horrified when he realized that Curly was in such bad shape (something Columbia short subject head/director Jules White failed to alert Bernds of). Years later, Bernds discussed his trying experience during the filming of A Bird in the Head: "It was an awful tough deal for a novice rookie director to have a Curly who wasn't himself. I had seen Curly at his greatest and his work in this film was far from great. The wallpaper scene was agony to direct because of the physical movements required to roll up the wallpaper and to react when it curled up in him. It just didn't work. As a fledgling director, my plans were based on doing everything in one nice neat shot. But when I saw the scenes were not playing, I had to improvise and use other angles to make it play. It was the wallpaper scene that we shot first, and during the first two hours of filming, I became aware that we had a problem with Curly." Realizing that Curly was no longer able to perform in the same capacity as before, Bernds devised ways to cover his illness. Curly could still be the star, but the action was shifted away from the ailing Stooge. In A Bird in the Head, the action focuses more on crazy Professor Panzer and Igor. This allowed Curly to maintain a healthy amount of screen time without being required to contribute a great deal. Bernds often commented that he and Jules White never really got along. As a result, Bernds feared that his directing days would be over as soon as they began if he released A Bird in the Head with a weak Curly as his first entry. Producer Hugh McCollum reshuffled the release order, and the superior Micro-Phonies was released first, securing Bernds directing position.

Video[]

The_Three_Stooges_S13E02_A_Bird_İn_The_Head

The Three Stooges S13E02 A Bird İn The Head


The Three Stooges
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