Emil Sitka ~

The Fourth Stooge

        "The most important actor in most Stooges films, besides the Stooges themselves, was the sharp-nosed, wide-eyed Emil Sitka... His presence was such a mainstay of the operation that many thought of him as an undeclared 'fourth Stooge.'"

                                       -Moe Feinberg, Larry Fine's brother

                                         Larry The Stooge In the Middle



To communicate with friends and fans of Emil Sitka, share information about his life and career, preserve the cultural heritage of the Hollywood productions in which he participated, and promote his legacy as The Fourth Stooge.

EmilSitka.com is an on-line informational resource serving the mission of the Emil Sitka Fan Club.



Released Feb. 14,1946

 Working title:

Producer - Jules White
Director - Jules White


Barbara Jo Allen
(as Vera Vague)
Barton Yarborough
Fred Kelsey
Symona Boniface
Emil Sitka
Heinie Conklin
Edmund Cobb
Johnny Kascier
John Tyrrell
Victor Travers

Listed below are some Vera Vague-related materials available on Amazon
Vera Vague voiced characters in several Disney productions
Recommended reading...

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Emil Sitka's List of Movies


Oct. 26, 1945
Vera Vague
Jules White
Emil Sitka's first-ever Hollywood movie role

Films of Emil Sitka: HISS AND YELL (1946)
by Saxon E. Sitka

          After first acting in church plays as a teenager fifteen year earlier and spending ten years on stage in the little theaters of Los Angeles, Emil Sitka finally realized his dream of working as an actor in a Hollywood movie. His first film role was a bit part in HISS AND YELL, a Columbia Pictures short subject starring former radio star Vera Vague, aka Barbara Jo Allen. Although it didn't win the Oscar, HISS AND YELL was nominated for an Academy Award in 1946 for producer Jules White, producer and director of many Three Stooges shorts.
          The story has Vera believing she witnessed a man actually cut off a woman's head, when in reality he was a magician removing a fancy and realistic prop head from a dummy body after a rehearsal of his act.
          Emil plays a "drunk gardener" who happens to be sitting on the other side of a large hedge of bushes when Vera, trying to dispose of the magician's suitcase with the head inside, tosses it over from the other side and it falls into Emil's lap. Emil ponders over the suitcase, mutters some drunken nonsense to himself, and then opens the case to reveal a very realistic dummy's head that even winks. At first Emil, being tipsy, says, "Oh hello toots!" But after a moment he believes it to be the real thing, a decapitated head, so he shrieks and tosses the suitcase back over the fence. It is not a big role, but of course it was a big deal to Emil at the time.
          Let's take a look at Emil's diary entry for Friday, October 26, 1945:

          Today I became a movie actor! That there were butterflies in my stomach is an understatement -- I was overtaken with dryness of my mouth that had me almost speechless by the time "Sitka!" was called for his scene! In fact I held up production until a "grip" brought me a sip of water.
          I was so anxious to be correct in my small "take" that I did at least one detail wrong for three times attempted. Finally, I got the action done before my vast audience of actors and grips and camera-men & reflectors and booms and props and the bright sunlight in my eyes. The tension was eased as Vera Vague & Jules White said it was "O.K."

In a recorded interview 30 years later in which Emil was discussing Stooge directors, he said this about HISS AND YELL:

          When I first started in pictures, it was under Jules White. Of course I'd been on the stage in many, many plays, the legitimate stage, and there's a difference in directors. So when I came to work with him, he assigned me a role of a drunk. From my experience on the stage I know there's a lot of different kinds of drunks. You can be a morbid drunk or a talkative drunk, a happy drunk or a sullen drunk. He didn't tell me when he gave me the part over the phone, and so I came figuring I better be ready for them all. Twenty different kinds of drunks.
          When I came on the set (it was a Vera Vague picture, I was never on a set before and very nervous), I was waiting to catch him (he was very busy) to ask him which one of the drunks he wanted me to do, what kind. Finally, I went to say, "Mr. White, could I ..." He said, "Wait a minute, just wait, I'm busy."
          Finally, "Mr. Sitka! On the set!" Now I'm in the scene. I said, "Um, well, before we start (gulp), Mr. White, could I ... You know, there's twenty different kinds of drunks, there's... there's sullen drunks (gulp), there's morbid drunks, there's ..."
          He said, "What?! None of those! Just wait 'til I call you."
          Oh my God! None of those?
          The time came for me and he says, "Here's the kind of drunk you're going to do." And he acts it out!
          Jules White was one director who acted out everything, but in an exaggerated way. You couldn't possibly imitate him, but you had to grasp what he meant. It turned out that I did that drunk a combination of all of them. I was talking to myself, I was brooding, another place I was mischievous, and it turned out all right.

The End

Copyright, Saxon Emil Sitka. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any portion of this article in any form is prohibited.

EmilSitka.com Image Gallery:

A fan posted the video below of the first half of HISS AND YELL (1946). Unfortunately, Emil Sitka appears in the second half, which is currently unavailable on YouTube.

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