Buster … Shemp, Moe and Larry – Cops and Soup to Nuts

Broadway stars Ted Healy, with Larry Fine, Moe Howard, and Shemp Howard

Shemp Howard, along with brother Moe Howard and family friend Larry Fine (originally known as Ted Healy’s Southern Gentlemen), began their show business career in the 1920s as protégés of the Broadway entertainer.  In 1930, Healy and the trio appeared together in their first film, Soup to Nuts, a feature production scripted by cartoonist Rube Goldberg.  When Shemp left the act shortly thereafter to pursue a solo career, brother Jerome (Curly) Howard came aboard, and the group soon became known as the Three Stooges.

A prior scene from Soup to Nuts looking east up Market Street from Los Angeles Street towards newly minted City Hall on Main Street.  The US Hotel is at the left end of the street, the Amestoy on the right.  Market Street no longer exists.

Aside from being the Three Stooges’ film debut, Soup to Nuts contains many scenes of the trio, playing firemen, riding a fire truck around the Skid Row area due east of the newly constructed Los Angeles City Hall, completed in 1928.  The film contains many remarkable images of buildings, and even entire streets, which have since been redeveloped into oblivion.

Because Keaton filmed frequently in Skid Row, it’s not surprising that Buster and the Three Stooges nearly crossed paths.  In one scene the Stooges ride north up Los Angeles Street towards the intersection where Buster knocked out a traffic cop in Cops (1922).  (See another Keaton – Soup to Nuts connection in this later post.  See two posts about Keaton and the Stooges both filming at the Columbia Ranch at this Part One post, this Part Two post, and this Part Three post).

Larry, Shemp, Moe, and Ted Healy round the corner from Los Angeles Street onto Aliso Street (thin arrow), and then from Aliso onto S. San Pedro Street (large arrow).  While turning, the east tower of the former Baker Building (circle) appears in the background.  The star marks where Keaton filmed Cops.

Instead of passing through this intersection, the Stooges turn right (east) down Aliso Street (thin arrows on photos above and below), and right again onto San Pedro Street (thick arrows above and below). As they make the turn onto San Pedro, the east tower of the Baker Building appears in the background, matching the view Buster saw of the building when knocking down a policeman in Cops.

When Buster knocks out a traffic cop (stars) with his boxing glove turn indicator in Cops, he directly faced the same east tower of the Baker Building (circle) appearing in Soup to Nuts.  The arrows mark the path of the Stooge’s fire truck.

The side of City Hall appearing in Soup to Nuts can be seen as it looks today on Google Street View.

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5 Responses to Buster … Shemp, Moe and Larry – Cops and Soup to Nuts

  1. Pingback: Buster and the Three Stooges at the Columbia Ranch – Part 1 | Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

  2. Pingback: Buster and the Three Stooges at the Columbia Ranch – Part 2 | Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

  3. Sparky says:

    I’m really looking forward seeing 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment digitally HD restored and remastered the only two Three Stooges Fox features both ‘Soup to Nuts’ (1930) and ‘Snow White and The Three Stooges’ (1961) starring Ted Healy, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard and Curly-Joe DeRita can’t hardly wait seeing them brought back to life soon.

  4. Pingback: Buster Keaton – Three Stooges – LAPL Author Lecture | Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

  5. Pingback: Buster and the Three Stooges at the Columbia Ranch – Part 3 | Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

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