The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959)
Women were standing tall in the late 1950’s, at least two of them that is. There was Allison Hayes’ vindictive 50′ woman, and now there’s the put-upon dumbbell Dorothy Provine, who at 30′ decides that no man other than Lou Costello would want her. Even though he’s the local trash man, he has a gift for science, fiction that is, and thanks to his wacky invention, she grows to enormous proportions, gaining the confidence to stand up to her pompous uncle (Gale Gordon) and any woman who threatens to come between her and that he-man (Bud). Of course, the military becomes involved at reports of the sighting of some monster from outer space (not helped by the frisbee she creates out of a water tower lid) and soon, both Dorothy and Lou are being targeted by missiles. Thanks to Lou’s wacky machine, he ends up going back in time, eventually being conked on the noggin with pre-historic rocks before the machine gets it right and has him back in the present day almost out of danger.
This is juvenile comedy with Lou in his last film, working at Columbia where the Three Stooges were still present making silly features of a similar nature. Unlike Stan Laurel, Lou hadn’t aged to looking way beyond his years or out of place doing slapstick, but it’s still sad to see him without his straight man, Bud Abbott. Provine is appropriate eye candy, and when she stands on top of a building laughing at the townspeople who either hated her for being too cutesy or simply for being the obnoxious Gale Gordon’s niece, or were simply in lust with her, she adds a lot of presence, and more than just in her height. She’s not the vindictive wife of “Attack of the 50′ Woman” so she’s much more appropriate for children to see, even though it’s obvious that this was a lampoon of that cult classic.
Gordon, not yet the imperious Mr. Mooney or Mr. Carter of the Lucille Ball sitcoms, was famous already for playing the no-nonsense principal Mr. Conklin on “Our Miss Brooks”, and here, he goes from education to political wanna-be with great ease. He’s a buffoon, and one of those types you can’t wait to see being taken down a peg. Ironically, Charles Lane, who employed that dizzy redhead on “The Lucy Show” before Gordon did, is also present, playing the head of the town’s welfare bureau. The special effects are pretty laughable, but there are many amusements throughout, whether it be Lou’s travel through various periods of time or the final hysterical shot which left room open for a sequel which never came. Not a sad finale to Lou’s career, it’s still not up there with his earlier classics, but is basically harmless fluff that puts a smile on the viewer, if not a few eye rolls here and there as well.