Census enumerators (census takers) have a difficult job at best. Can you imagine Larry, Curly or Moe interviewing local residents?
In a 1940 movie, No Census, No Feeling, The Three Stooges obtained jobs as census enumerators and were to be paid four cents per name recorded. I watched the movie today and now I understand some of census records I have looked at in the past. I think this is the threesome that visited my great-great-grandparent’s house!
You can watch The Three Stooges at their best, or worst, in No Census, No Feeling at http://dai.ly/xqlsm6.
As you watch the movie, you might want to know a bit of trivia:
The football sequences in No Census, No Feeling were filmed at the University of Southern California (USC) in the autumn of 1940. Some of the crowd scenes apparently were filmed during a real game.
At one point, Moe says, “Wait a minute, flathead! We just got a job. We’re working for the census.” Curly then replies, “You mean Will Hays?”
The reference to Will Hays will escape most of today’s viewers. William Hays was the creator of the Hays Code for censorship of American films. Every actor, producer, and director would have been very familiar with Will Hays and the Hays Code in 1940 and most everyone in Hollywood disliked Hays. Curly’s remark confuses the word “census” with censorship.
One comment in the middle of the film probably made perfect sense to audiences in 1940 but not today. According to Wikipedia.org at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Census,_No_Feeling, “In one scene, Curly believes that it is Independence Day in October, claiming that ‘you never can tell; look what they did to Thanksgiving!’ This is a reference to an event in 1939 when Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to an earlier Thursday in November to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. This act angered many Republicans and, after some time, the holiday ended up moving to the last Thursday of November.” That was still controversial when the movie was made a year later.
The 3 Stooges normally performed their own stunts. (One exception was a different film, the Three Little Pigskins. The stunts performed in the other movie were so dangerous that the stunt doubles suffered broken bones and cracked ribs.) As you see the 3 Stooges fall from an awning onto a cement sidewalk several feet below, you may appreciate that those probably were indeed the real 3 Stooges in that fall.
The film was created in black-and-white. However, a color version of this film was released in the 2004 DVD collection entitled “Stooged & Confoosed.” The color version is available online at http://dai.ly/xqlsm6.