More about Jules White, including his involvement in the Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd film SHOW BUSINESS.
(1900-09-17)September 17, 1900
|Died||April 30, 1985(1985-04-30) (aged 84)|
Van Nuys, California, USA
|Height||5' 9" (1.75 m)|
- Further reading
- David Bruskin. Behind the Three Stooges: The White Brothers ISBN 1-882766-00-8. (Interviews with Jules White and his brothers Jack White and Sam White)
- Ted Okuda with Edward Watz. The Columbia Comedy Shorts, ISBN 0-7864-0577-5. (Discussion and filmography of the Columbia comedies; Jules White is quoted throughout)
- Jules White - Find A Grave
- Jules White - Internet Movie Database
- Jules White - The Great Movie Shorts Biography
- Jules White - The Three Stooges
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In 1932, while working for Hal Roach, Jules White directed the Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd comedy SHOW BUSINESS. The plot in this film has it that the girls are in ( what else ) show business, and taking a train trip along with a vaudeville troup starring Anita Garvin. They proceed to fight with Anita Garvin over a coat and other things, their pet monkey becoing involved as well. Finally, the monkey pulls the emergency cord that stops the train, leading to first Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd being kicked off the train, and then Anita Garvin as well.
At left is Anita Garvin, who is involved in a tug of war over a coat with Thelma Todd.
Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd at left, and a blonde Paulette Goddard in the middle.
Still depicting their misadventures on the train.
A Pain in the Pullman
|A Pain in the Pullman|
|Directed by||Preston Black|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Preston Black|
James C. Morton
|Cinematography||Benjamin H. Kline|
|Editing by||William A. Lyon|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||19' 46"|
PlotThe Stooges are small time actors traveling by rail to an engagement—and fleeing the landlady for their unpaid rent. They are told to put their pet monkey, Joe, in the baggage car, but are afraid he will get hurt. They sneak Joe onto the Southern Pacific train with them, but Joe gets loose, managing to awaken and annoy all of the train's passengers, including Mr. Paul Pain (James C. Morton) and Mr. Johnson (Bud Jamison). Ultimately, a terrified Joe pulls the train's emergency cord, abruptly stopping the train in the process. The passengers then forcibly remove the Stooges from the train.
ShellfishMoe Howard had fond memories of filming A Pain in the Pullman. He also recalled his intense dislike for shellfish, and how brother Curly Howard cut the inside of his mouth eating the shells from a Dungeness crab:
|“||...In one sequence, all three of us wound up in the same upper berth. Later, we found ourselves a drawing room, not knowing it was assigned to the star of the show (James C. Morton). There was a lovely table set in the room with all kinds of delicacies.At one point Curly picked up the hard-shelled Dungeness crab. We, of course, were not supposed to know what it was. Larry thought it was a tarantula, Curly figured it to be a turtle, and I concluded that it must be something to eat or it wouldn't be on the table with crackers and sauce.|
As the scene progressed, Curly tried to open the crab shell and bent the tines of his fork. I took the fork from Curly, tossed a napkin on the floor, and asked him to pick it up. When Curly bent over, I hit him on the head with the crab, breaking the shell into a million pieces. Then Curly scooped out some of the meat, tasted it, and made a face. He threw the meat away and proceeded to eat the shell.
I have to tell you, if there's one thing to which I have an aversion, it's shellfish, and I couldn't bring myself—even for a film—to put that claw in my mouth. Preston Black, the director, asked me to just lick the claw, but I couldn't. He finally had the prop man duplicate the claw out of sugar and food coloring and had me nibble on it as though I was enjoying it. I was still very wary during the scene. I was afraid they had coated the real shell with sugar and that that awful claw was underneath. I chewed that claw during the scene, but if you'll notice, I did it very gingerly.
In the meantime, Curly was still chewing on the shell, which was cutting the inside of his mouth. Finally, our star comes back to his room and kicks us out, and we three climb into our upper berth to go to sleep.
- A Pain in the Pullman is the longest Stooge short filmed, running at 19' 46"; the shortest is Pardon My Clutch, running at 15' 16".
- This is the first short in which Moe, Larry, and Curly are actually referred to as "The Three Stooges" in the dialogue.
- The closing shot of the Stooges leaping over a bush, and landing on a trio of bucking steers was reused at the end of A Ducking They Did Go. Same gag was used in the end of The Ren and Stimpy Show episode "Rubber Nipple Salesmen" (show creator John Kricfalusi was apparently a big fan of the Three Stooges, using a good number of Stooge gags as part of his tenure with Ren and Stimpy; the character of Stimpy is himself based on Larry).
- The plot device of performers traveling via rail and enduring sleeping hardships was previously used by Laurel and Hardy in 1929's Berth Marks. Female comedy team ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd also borrowed the plot device for their 1932 short Show Business (directed by Jules White).
- The name "Johnson" was shouted a total number of 10 times.
- Howard, Moe (1977, rev. 1979). Moe Howard and The 3 Stooges: The Pictorial Biography of the Wildest Trio in the History of American Entertainment. Citadel Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0-8065-0723-3.
- Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 98. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
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Having seen both SHOW BUSINESS and A PAIN IN THE PULLMAN, I'd have to say that the Three Stooges version is better. After all, when those three lamebrained knuckleheads get smacked around, you know that's the way it's supposed to be - they're Stooges. When a similar series of misfortunes befalls a couple of girls, it isn't always all that funny, even when it's supposed to be.
Amoung the supporting cast in this film are Bud Jamison, who also worked with Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd, and Phyllis Crane, who was also part of the "Three Hollywood Girls" series. And Wilna Hervey, who had played "The Powerful Katrina" in silent movie adaptations of the comic strip "The Toonerville Trolley", and had made this film as a sort of a comeback in 1936.
Moe and a Monkey
Bud Jamison looks out, the Stooges look out too.
Watch A PAIN IN THE PULLMAN on youtube:
A PAIN IN THE PULLMAN: