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Film / The Outlaws IS Coming!

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The Outlaws IS Coming! is a 1966 comedy Western film directed by Norman Maurer and starring The Three Stooges in their sixth and final big-screen release following their 1959 resurgence in popularity. By this time, the trio consisted of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Joe DeRita (dubbed "Curly Joe"). The supporting cast includes Adam West, Nancy Kovack, Henry Gibson, and Emil Sitka, the latter in three roles.

Larry, Moe, and Curly Joe work as assistants to Kenneth Cabot; an editor at a Boston wildlife conservation magazine. They make such a mess of the pressroom that their publisher gets rid of them by sending them out west to stop the slaughter of buffalo. Upon their arrival they find themselves being sought after by every notorious gunslinger in history, including Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickcock, and Jesse James. Luckily, pistol-packing Annie Oakley, who has fallen in love with the handsome Cabot, agrees to protect them against the bad guys.


The Tropes IS Coming!:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Although most of Ken Cabot's fantastic shots were actually secretly performed by Annie Oakley, during the final Showdown at High Noon against the assembled outlaws one of Ken's wild shots knocks a fire bucket off a balcony that lands on Johnny Ringo's head and knocks him out.
  • Action Girl: Sharpshooter Annie Oakley is the single most dangerous person in this film.
  • Agony of the Feet: While attempting to draw his gun, which has been glued into his holster, Cole Younger shoots himself in the foot.
  • Arms Dealer: Rance Rodan is attempting War for Fun and Profit by hunting the buffalo to extinction to provoke the Indians into war, and then selling them weapons to fight the war.
  • Ash Face: Happens three times. First when the Stooges pack three times the required amount of flash powder to the pan while taking a photograph of a skunk. Then again to the outlaws when Bat Masterson's shotgun cane blows up in his face and knocks down all the outlaws. And finally when the Stooges again load far too much flash powder into their camera while attempting to photograph the arms deal with the Indians.
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  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Annie Oakley does this multiple times as she secretly makes it look like Ken Cabot is an expert marksman.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played for Laughs during the opening credits. The credits appear on the mirrors, windows, bottles and drinking glasses in the saloon set, as well as on a dancing girl's abdomen. Trigger Mortis shoots up all of the glass items, firing more than 30 shots from his six-shooter without reloading. Just as he is about to shoot the dancer, he stops, looks at his revolver and mutters "lucky for you I've got to reload".
  • Bullet Hole Spelling: The film ends with the words 'THE END' being shot across the screen in bullet holes.
  • Carnival of Killers: Rance Roden calls in the eponymous outlaws to take Kenneth Cabot after he becomes sheriff. Described by Annie Oakley as "nine of the meanest galoots to ever escape hangin'", the outlaws called in to wipe out the heroes are Rob Dalton, Wyatt Earp, Johnny Ringo, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Bat Masterson, Cole Younger, Wild Bill Hickock and Belle Starr.
  • Catfight: After they run out of ammo, the gunfight between Annie Oakley and Belle Starr turns into a knockdown, drag-out catfight in the middle of the street.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: The cavalry arrives after the heroes have defeated and captured the Big Bad Radon and The Dragon Trigger. Lampshaped when the Colonel boldly states that "the cavalry has never arrived late in the history of American motion pictures".
  • City Slicker: Magazine editor Kenneth Cabot (Adam West) is a greenhorn who comes from Boston to the Wild West to investigate the vanishing buffalo herds. Despite not knowing one end of a gun from the other (his first act on drawing the gun he bought for the journey is to peer down the barrel), he is Framed for Heroism by Annie Oakley and becomes Sheriff of Caspar.
  • Clothing Damage: During their Catfight, much of Annie Oakley's dress is ripped off by Belle Starr: leaving Annie fighting in her chemise.
  • Crashing Through the Harem: While attempting to sabotage the sabotage the outlaws' guns before the big showdown the next day, Larry and Curly Joe accidentally enter the room occupied by a group of showgirls instead. It takes them a surprisingly long time to notice.
  • Designated Girlfight: Annie Oakley tells Ken that it wouldn't be right for him to be seen taking on a woman, so she takes on Belle Star. After they run out of ammo, their gunfight turns into a Catfight.
  • Disguised in Drag: Larry and Curly Joe disguise themselves as women to escape from the showgirls' room in the hotel.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Johnny Ringo shoots the Western Union Man for interrupting him to deliver a telegram while he was wooing the ladies.
  • The Door Slams You: Curly Joe gets hit hit twice in face by the bat-wing doors of the saloon as he tries to enter: both times the door crumpling the cigar he is holding in his teeth. The third time he tries, he knowingly takes the cigar out of his mouth and tucks it away in his pocket, only to have the door slam him in the face.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Finger In The Barrel: Moe fills the barrel of Bat Masterson's shotgun cane with glue. When Bat pulls the trigger, it results in the barrel being bent outwards like a banana peel and him recieving an Ash Face.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: The Stooges are forced to drink a Gargle Blaster called Tarantula Fizz. Moe breaths out a stream of smoke, while Curly Joe exhales a stream of actual fire.
  • Framed for Heroism: Despite being greenhorn who couldn't hit the broadside of barn from the inside, Kenneth Cabot gets a reputation as The Gunslinger and becomes Sheriff of Caspar because Action Girl Annie Oakley keeps shooting from behind him and making it look like he has Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: During the final chase, Ken and the Stooges are in a chuck wagon being pursued by an armoured stagecoach with a Gatling gun. The Stooges are reduced to throwing pots and pans at their pursuers.
  • Gargle Blaster: The Sunstroke Kid forces the Stooges to partake of a local concoction called a 'Tarantula Fizz': containing day old whiskey, tequila, new gin, and a twist of 'cactus juice'. It turns the Stooges in Fire Breathing Diners.
  • Gatling Good: The armoured Thunder Wagon includes a Gatling gun amongst its armaments, and Trigger makes good use of it while chasing Cabot and the Stooges. The Stooges create their own Gatling gun and shoot back by feeding their gunbelts into a meat grinder and cranking the handle.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: While preaching to the outlaws about the joys of reforming, the Stooges smash a bottle over the head of one of them when he doesn't agree fast enough.
  • Historical Domain Character: The film features Annie Oakley, Rob Dalton, Wyatt Earp, Johnny Ringo, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Bat Masterson, Cole Younger, Wild Bill Hickock and Belle Starr. An historical accuracy is purely coincidental.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Historical lawmen Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and 'Wild Bill' Hikcock are portrayed as outlaws. Whatever their flaws may have been, they were never murdering desperadoes like Jesse James and Billy the Kid. Of course, Rule of Funny is in full effect.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Annie Oakley is able to easily pull off such unlikely shots as firing a bullet so that it blocks the barrel of Trigger's gun.
  • Injun Country: Rance Rodan's plan is to wipe out all the buffalo and force the Indian tribes to go on the warpath.
  • Medium Awareness: After The Cavalry Arrives Late, the Colonel boldly states that "the cavalry has never arrived late in the history of American motion pictures".
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Curly Joe has a hunting horn that can attract any animal to him if he plays the right tune. Of course, he can never remember which tune attracts which animal, and so has to resort to trial and error every time he uses it: resulting in such errors as summoning a flock of chickens and a pack of dogs into the magazine office while attempting to lure a skunk out of its cage.
  • Pie in the Face: During the chase at the end, the Stooges—who are in a chuck wagon—are reduced to hurling pies at their pursuers, which they do with devastating accuracy.
  • Pretext for War: Rance Roden is attempting to hunt the buffalo into extinction to goad the Indians into war, and allow him to make a profit selling arms to the Indians and eventually seize control of the US west of the Mississippi.
  • Road Sign Reversal: An accidental version happens when the Stooges sneak into the hotel to sabotage the guns of the outlaws who are staying in Room 9. A group of showgirls are staying across the hall in Room 6. When the showgirls close their door, the loose room number turns upside down: changing from '6' to '9'. As a result, Moe enters the correct room and sets about sabotaging the outlaws' guns, while Larry and Curly Joe sneak into the showgirls' room, and become increasingly baffled by the very feminine items they find in what they believe to be a room full of hardcases.
  • Shout-Out: The film's ungrammatical title is actually a reference to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds; the early publicity for which featured posters stating "The birds is coming!"
  • Showdown at High Noon: New sheriff City Slicker Ken Cabot is forced into a showdown against seven of the nine deadly outlaws (Wild Bill Hickok and Belle Starr arrive late). Fortunately for him, the Stooges have stacked the deck in his favour.
  • Sticky Situation: Moe gets his butt stuck to a chair, and then his feet stuck to the floor, as he sits in a puddle of spilt bookbinder's glue. This later gives them the brainwave of using the glue to stick the outlaws' guns into their holsters.
  • Sword Cane: Bat Masterson carries a shotgun cane.
  • Traffic Wardens: As part of the Anachronism Stew, the Wild West town of Caspar, Wyoming has parking limits. A meter maid in a buggy passes by, marking all of the wagon wheels and legs of the horses parked along the street. As soon as she is gone, all of the cowboys run out of the saloon and wipe the paint of their horses' legs.
  • The Trope Kid: Once of Big Bad Rance Rodan's chief enforcers is called 'The Sunstroke Kid'. The historical Billy the Kid also makes an appearance.
  • Undertaker: The town of Caspar has two very cheerful and efficient undertakers who appear within seconds of the sheriff being shot to load him into a coffin. And they perform the typical comedy bit of measuring the Stooges for their caskets as soon as they are appointed deputies.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Rance Rodan is exterminating the buffalo in order to set the Indians on the warpath, so he can make money selling arms to the Indians.
  • Weaponized Car: Rodan and Trigger sell the Indians a 'Thunder Wagon': an armored stagecoach with a cannon and Gatling gun which resembles the coach that would be used two years later in The War Wagon. Rodan and Trigger use it to try to kill and Stooges during the climax.
  • Western Union Man: Rance Rodan sends telegrams to his allied outlaws to come to Caspar to deal with Ken Cabot and the Stooges. Due to the violent nature of the outlaws, several Western Union men meet unfortunate fates as they attempt to deliver the telegrams.
  • William Telling: As part of her sharpshooting act, Annie Oakley shoots the ponytail off the back off the head of a sleeping patron in the barroom.
  • Would Hit a Girl: While trying to abduct Annie to use her a hostage, Rance Rodan punches her in the face and knocks her to the ground.
  • Young Gun: Billy the Kid is portrayed this way: literally throwing a tantrum and storming off calling for his mamma when he can't draw his gun from its holster.