Have Rocket--Will Travel (1959)

70 or 76 mins | Comedy, Science fiction | August 1959

Director:

David Lowell Rich

Writer:

Raphael Hayes

Producer:

Harry Romm

Cinematographer:

Ray Cory

Production Designer:

John T. McCormack

Production Company:

Harry Romm Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The opening credits read: "Columbia Pictures Corporation present the Three Stooges in Have Rocket--Will Travel . Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe De Rita are credited individually on the film, and are never referred to as "The Stooges" within the story. The picture opens with an offscreen narrator informing the audience, in a mock-serious tone, about the development of space travel. Although several reviews noted that Have Rocket--Will Travel marked the first feature-length film starring the "Three Stooges," the trio had made two earlier starring features, Rockin' in the Rockies in 1945, and the 1951 film Gold Raiders (see above), and had appeared in numerous features in supporting roles during the years 1930-1951.
       According to a 1959 DV news item, the Stooges were on the verge of retiring when Columbia's television subsidiary, Screen Gems, released their theatrical shorts to television, creating a new audience for the Stooges. The upsurge in popularity led to a series of feature films starring the trio, culminating with the 1965 Columbia film The Outlaws Is Coming (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). Joe De Rita made his debut as one of the Stooges in Have Rocket--Will Travel , replacing Joe Besser. ... More Less

The opening credits read: "Columbia Pictures Corporation present the Three Stooges in Have Rocket--Will Travel . Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe De Rita are credited individually on the film, and are never referred to as "The Stooges" within the story. The picture opens with an offscreen narrator informing the audience, in a mock-serious tone, about the development of space travel. Although several reviews noted that Have Rocket--Will Travel marked the first feature-length film starring the "Three Stooges," the trio had made two earlier starring features, Rockin' in the Rockies in 1945, and the 1951 film Gold Raiders (see above), and had appeared in numerous features in supporting roles during the years 1930-1951.
       According to a 1959 DV news item, the Stooges were on the verge of retiring when Columbia's television subsidiary, Screen Gems, released their theatrical shorts to television, creating a new audience for the Stooges. The upsurge in popularity led to a series of feature films starring the trio, culminating with the 1965 Columbia film The Outlaws Is Coming (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). Joe De Rita made his debut as one of the Stooges in Have Rocket--Will Travel , replacing Joe Besser. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Aug 1959.
---
Daily Variety
31 Mar 1959.
---
Daily Variety
25 May 1959.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jul 59
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Jul 59
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1959
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 59
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Jul 59
p. 349.
Variety
29 Jul 59
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1959
Production Date:
18 May--1 June 1959
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1959
Copyright Number:
LP14571
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70 or 76
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19367
SYNOPSIS

In their cabin on the grounds of the National Space Foundation, maintenance men Moe, Larry and Curley Joe are rudely awakened from a deep sleep when a just-launched rocket plunges back to Earth and crashes into a nearby cliff. The threesome scramble to find the source of the commotion, and are soon joined by foundation head J.P. Morse, scientist Dr. Ingrid Naarveg and psychologist Dr. Ted Benson, members of the rocket development team. After examining the rocket, the scientists return to the lab, leaving Moe, Larry and Curley Joe to guard the craft. Hearing the cries of a monkey trapped inside the rocket, the three open the hatch and climb in. Their movements cause the craft to tip over, trapping them inside. As they ponder how to get out, the monkey points to a red button, which, when pushed, opens the hatch, freeing them. Later, at the lab, Ingrid brews the trio a pot of coffee on a Bunsen burner and tells them that they remind her of her dear, janitor father. Soon after, J.P. comes to inform Ingrid that the board of directors has decided to close down her laboratory because she has failed to develop a workable rocket fuel. When Ingrid starts crying, the trio's fatherly instincts take over and they decide to concoct their own formula for the fuel. After Larry, mistaking a cup of the formula for coffee, pours sugar into it and drinks it, he begins to breathe fire. Realizing that they have developed a viable formula, the trio hooks up a fire hose to the tank containing the formula and begin to pump ... +


In their cabin on the grounds of the National Space Foundation, maintenance men Moe, Larry and Curley Joe are rudely awakened from a deep sleep when a just-launched rocket plunges back to Earth and crashes into a nearby cliff. The threesome scramble to find the source of the commotion, and are soon joined by foundation head J.P. Morse, scientist Dr. Ingrid Naarveg and psychologist Dr. Ted Benson, members of the rocket development team. After examining the rocket, the scientists return to the lab, leaving Moe, Larry and Curley Joe to guard the craft. Hearing the cries of a monkey trapped inside the rocket, the three open the hatch and climb in. Their movements cause the craft to tip over, trapping them inside. As they ponder how to get out, the monkey points to a red button, which, when pushed, opens the hatch, freeing them. Later, at the lab, Ingrid brews the trio a pot of coffee on a Bunsen burner and tells them that they remind her of her dear, janitor father. Soon after, J.P. comes to inform Ingrid that the board of directors has decided to close down her laboratory because she has failed to develop a workable rocket fuel. When Ingrid starts crying, the trio's fatherly instincts take over and they decide to concoct their own formula for the fuel. After Larry, mistaking a cup of the formula for coffee, pours sugar into it and drinks it, he begins to breathe fire. Realizing that they have developed a viable formula, the trio hooks up a fire hose to the tank containing the formula and begin to pump fuel into the rocket. Meanwhile, Ted tries to comfort Ingrid with romance. In the excitement of their discovery, the Stooges drop the key to the rocket down the lab’s sink drain, and when Curley Joe tries to retrieve it, he breaks a pipe, flooding the basement. J.P., irritated by the sound of the pumps, comes to the lab to complain, and when he opens the door, he tumbles into the basement, joining the drowning trio. The pressure of the water finally bursts open the door, sending them all spilling into the street. Pursued by J. P., Moe, Larry and Curley Joe take refuge in the rocket. J.P. follows the hose, and finding a puddle of fuel, lights a match to examine it, igniting the rocket and sending it blasting into space. The rocket has been set on an automatic course to Venus, and when it lands, the trio climb out and are attacked by a giant, fire-breathing spider. After jumping off a cliff to safety, they find a talking unicorn whose horn is stuck in some rocks. Once they free the unicorn, the grateful animal agrees to lead them to the city “housing the highest form of life on the planet.” The unicorn leaves them at the outskirts of a city, where a flying, talking car greets them and takes them to a city composed of pure electrical energy. They are transported to a fortress-like room where a giant, box-like robot with multiple arms announces that he is the master of the world. After shrinking the trio, the robot imprisons them in a bird cage and declares that he is lonely and has decided to use them as models to create some robot companions. After building the replicas, the robot restores the trio to their normal size and awards them as playthings to the replicants. When Moe, Larry and Curley Joe flee, the replicant robots chase them in and out of doors along the corridor. Deciding to turn the trio into pure electrical energy, the replicants push a button, which instead of disintegrating them, sends them catapulting back to the rocket. Joined by the unicorn, they blast off and return to earth where they are hailed as heroes. At a ball given in the Stooges’ honor, Ted and Ingrid announce that they are married and promise to name their children Moe, Larry and Curley Joe. While Moe dances with a statuesque blonde, Curley Joe dances with a dowager. After the couples collide several times on the dance floor, they begin to argue, and when Larry accidentally falls onto the blonde, she slaps him, causing the dowager to attack the blonde. A brawl then erupts on the dance floor, sending the trio onto the balcony to seek refuge. Suddenly, the replicant robots appear in a cloud of smoke and enter the fracas inside while Moe, Larry and Curley Joe take off in the flying car for the sanctity of space. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.