9 February 2008 | Bunuel1976
ANTS IN THE PANTRY (Jack White, 1936) **1/2
This pretty good Three Stooges short has them as pest exterminators under threat of losing their job if they do not "drum up" business; to this end, they infest a house in a posh quarter with mice and all kinds of bugs so that they can then offer their services to rid the upper-class owners of the 'problem'! While the central idea could hardly fail to be entertaining (given also that the landlady's throwing a party and doesn't want her snobbish guests to become aware of the unhealthy environment inside her house), having watched a number of these Stooges shorts, it's becoming increasingly evident that not only the boys' routines are repeated from one film to the next but even the backdrops against which they're set! That said, it's a likable enough vehicle with, thankfully, a restrained Curley
and an especially cute scene in which a bagful of kittens is hidden inside a piano, which starts playing 'by itself' when a celebrated performer sits down to give a recital! By the way, director White used the pseudonym Preston Black for this one (and a few more Stooges titles from the first Columbia set).