Rockin’ in the Rockies (1945)

rockin in the rockies poster 1945 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Three Stooges fun

Pretty typical Three Stooges movie but Stooges seem a bit off

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Rockin’ in the Rockies

Studio:   Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):   Comedy/Musical

Release Date(s):   April 17, 1945

MPAA Rating:   Not Rated

rockin in the rockies three stooges moe howard larry fine curly

Everyone point right!

Shorty (Moe Howard) has big plans for the ranch of his cousin Rusty Williams (Jay Kirby).  When Shorty meets up with Larry (Larry Fine) and Curly (Curly Howard) in the town, he finds that their recent windfall could be what he needs for the ranch.  Teamed with singers June McGuire (Mary Beth Hughes), Betty Vale (Gladys Blake), and the Hoosier Hotshots, Shorty and his crew find a big Broadway producer could be the key to success while Rusty has his own ideas for the ranch.

Directed by Vernon Keays, Rockin’ in the Rockies is a musical, romance comedy.  The Three Stooges star in the film and it is the last real feature starring Curly Howard.

rockin in the rockies mary beth hughes gladys blake tim ryan

I’ve got an idea for an inn where we play only holiday themes…any interest?

These are the Stooges I always think about when the Three Stooges are recalled.  Moe, Larry, and Curly are my Three Stooges (like for many), but in many ways, the Three Stooges work better as short sketches.  Something about Rockin’ in the Rockies seems off.

The story is pretty typical of musical comedies from the period.  The plot seems to take second fiddle to the cast and what story there is has been split up by long gags and musical numbers.  It is kind of hard to determine what the cast is trying to do:  Save the ranch?  Save the singers?  Make money?  It isn’t clear, and it never becomes clear.

The movie is also “off” in the terms of the Three Stooges.  Moe isn’t directly tied to Curly and Larry and the group works best as a trio.  It feels weird to have him as odd man out since he is generally the leader of the group.  Curly also is off since he was having some serious health problems when the film was made, and he isn’t his usual self.  This combines with a supporting cast (especially Jay Kirby) who really aren’t very strong actors.

rockin in the rockies three stooges hoosier hotshots

Well…rockin’ might be a stretch

Visually, this appears as the typical studio film.  The movie looks like it used all of Columbia Pictures’ Western sets and they aren’t very interesting at that.  What is unique is that the “Western” movie isn’t really a Western and is supposed to be set as the Wild, Wild West was dying…not quite present day in the story but also not the traditional Western time period.

Rockin’ in the Rockies is mostly a vehicle for the Three Stooges with some singing and musical numbers.  The movie isn’t the Stooges at their best, but it is good to see the classic combination of actors in a feature length film…but sometimes they also work better in shorts.  Rockin’ in the Rockies is probably best for fans of the period or the Three Stooges.

Related Links:

Time Out for Rhythm (1941)

Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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