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The Outlaws Is Coming

The Outlaws is Comcing drive-in movie spoof with the Three StoogesTHE DINGUS PROJECT
Jesse James in Film #03

Far from the worst movie including Jesse James, this Three Stooges film turns was created for drive-in theatres in the mid-1960s. It co-stars Batman's Adam West who is editor of an environemtnal newspaper in the late 1800s. The film has funny ideas and, unlike many, recognizes that the legendary Wild West is a focition, not a fact.

The Outlaws Is Coming (1965)
90 min, b&w
Columbia Pictures
Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Joe Howard 

The Outlaws is Coming / Dingus Project on SeacoastNH.comIt’s 1881 and all the bad guys from the Wild West have ganged up in Wyoming. To keep the West "wild" they plan to exterminate the buffalo. That, they figure, will drive the Indians into a frenzy, and revive the fading chaos. Back in Boston, the Three Stooges are working for the publisher of an environmental newspaper. The editor is played by Adam West (aka TV’s Batman). West goes West with the Stooges to discover why the buffalo are disappearing. Arriving in Wyoming, he is appointed sheriff and befriended by rifle marksperson Annie Oakley.

The connection here to Jesse James is razor thin. Despite its ridiculous set-up, this comedy makes more sense and has a better plot and more action than B-westerns like "The Great Jesse James Raid". This is among a series of feature-length films shot largely for drive-in theaters after the "rediscovery" of the Stooges in the 1960s. Due to their age, Moe, Larry and Curly Joe leave the real stunts to the large cast of extras.

Wayne Mack plays a forgettable, mustached cigar-chomping, egocentric Jesse James. Mack, a television sportscaster, made only a few other films including "The Savage Bees" and "The Crypt of Dark Secrets". Besides Jesse James and Cole Younger, the Stooges also meet up with Bat Masterson, Belle Starr, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Wild Bill Hickok, Rob Dalton, Chief Crazy Horse and Johnny Ringo.


In the final shootout, Adam West faces the entire Who’s Who of bad guys and, of course, defeats them. The Stooges convince the outlaws to reform by promising to write children’s books about them when they get back to Boston. "Your names will live forever. You may even get into TV," Moe promises. With the exception of "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein" this is as stupid as Jesse James’ films get, but at least the stupidity is scripted and funny. In an odd way, this film is better for kids than most Jesse James films because it is a full-blown cartoon. It acknowledges that there are is a legendary James who is distinct from the historical figure and lampoons the very idea that these famous people are the result of fictitious accounts.

The idea to bring all the bad guys together into a single town in a Stooges film, predates a similar idea in the semi-science fiction film Purgatory, that collects a similar group

Text copyright © J. Dennis Robinson. All rights reserved.

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