BY CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS
Los Angeles Times
Here’s forehead-smacking news for any Los Angeles visitor (or local) who can’t get enough of Moe, Curly and Larry: “The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations” (Santa Monica Press, $39.95), by Jim Pauley.
It’s an actual grown-up book, chock full of careful research and hundreds of black-and-white photos documenting almost every cinematic move the Stooges made from 1934 to 1958 — suitable for your coffee table, as long as you’re willing to put your low-brow taste right out there for the world to see.
Most of those Stooges shorts, of course, were shot in and around Hollywood, and the maps in back of this volume show exactly where. (There’s also a great photo on page 277 of Larry with a literally smoking blonde starlet, a then-unknown named Lucille Ball.)
At least two of the Stooges’ shooting locations in the book make for easy and pleasant visiting:
* Larchmont Village, near the Columbia Pictures Main Lot on North Beachwood Drive. The Stooges used at least nine locations along North Larchmont Boulevard between Beverly Boulevard and West 1st Street.
On that same block these days, you’ll find more than a dozen pedestrian-friendly restaurants and boutiques, exactly the sort of the places where a Stooge could do unspeakable damage.
* Franklin Canyon Reservoir, just north of Beverly Hills in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. If you visit the publicly accessibly reservoir (2600 N. Franklin Canyon Drive, Los Angeles), you may flash back to Moe’s flawed efforts at fishing from a stump there in the 1936 short “Whoops, I’m an Indian!”
Then again, you may find yourself whistling that catchy “Andy Griffith Show” theme song. This is the same area in which Griffith and the young Ron Howard shot that show’s opening fishing-hole sequence.
As for the site that Pauley calls “the holy grail of Stooges locations” (pages 42-53), it isn’t so tourist-friendly. The long outdoor staircase near 2258 N. Fair Oak View Terrace in Silver Lake climbs through a rambling residential neighborhood, full of cul-de-sacs.
But that may not deter a determined Stoogian, because that’s where the boys shot the ice-block delivery fiasco in “An Ache in Every Stake” (1941).