My Top 10 favorite Three Stooges Shorts

My faves plus how much I disliked the new movie.
August 17, 2012
Okay this is my first Top 10 list. So I hope you like it, but first let me talk about how I disliked the new Three Stooges movie. So when I heard there was going to be a Three Stooges movie i thought great a biopic about the lives of the actors that played the Stooges right? Wrong. The trailer came out and I was already disappointed. I saw this movie at a theater that shows the movies that had already been shown at the mainstream theaters and shown at a discount price. The reason I saw it because it was Father's Day and that is what my dad wanted to see.

Seeing these characters in a movie made in the present time baffles me. Why was it done? I know the makers of the movie were really big fans of the original shorts. However the shorts are prefect as they are why mess with something that already works so way. Some of the jokes in this movie were just vulgar potty humor. That is inappropriate for The Three Stooges and inappropriate for a PG audience. Those of you who saw the movie know the scene that I'm talking about. Seeing these characters in the shorts of their does work. They developed a style that works for back then in a short 17-18 min. short. These characters don't work in a full length feature set in our time. The actors playing the characters did well, but their mannerisms and vernacular don't work in a movie set in a present time. It doesn't make sense for people to talk like 1930's in the year 2012. Even if the movie was set in the 30's or 40's, I still don't think it would've worked. I simply think you can't duplicate what the actual Stooges has done way back when. Nor, should anyone try. Another odd thing there was no pie fight in the movie. How do you have a Three Stooges movie without a pie fight? Another thing I didn't like was seeing the Stooges as kids. Why? Who thought, oh I wonder what these characters were like as kids. Seeing Stooge children is just weird.

What did I like about the movie? I liked that the make-up people did a good job making them look like the actual Stooges, particularly Moe. The scenes where Moe joins the cast of Jersey Shore was good. They needed more scenes like that.

10. Dizzy Pilots (1943)

The Stooges are the Wrong Brothers; makers of planes. The Wrong Brothers have to make a new and improved plane for the Army or they will be drafted. My favorite scene is when Moe falls in molten rubber and he gets blown him up like a balloon. Moe then floats into the sky. Curly grabs a riffle. To which Larry replies, "What're ya doin' with that rifle? Don't you know any better than to use a rifle? You might miss him!" Larry grabs a shotgun. "Here use this." There is also a funny bit where Curly tries to correct Moe's English when Moe tells him to use a saw on the garage.
Moe: No, nitwit! You saw the garage!
Curly: I see the garage, but I don't saw the garage. You are speaking incorrectly. You are moidering the king's English!
Fun Fact: This short's ending is actually scenes taking from and earlier short "Boobs in Arms."

9. In the Sweet Pie and Pie (1941)

Three women in order to collect their inheritance must get married. They're actual fiance's aren't able to return from sea for a few months. So they get married to convicts that are to be hang the next day. The criminals so happen to be Moe, Larry, and Curly. They happened to get pardoned right at the hanging, because the real murderers confessed. So now the three women are stuck with them with no grounds for divorce. Their lawyer suggest that the laddies convince their husbands to become gentlemen and learn how to dance and act formal in society; thinking they will leave. The Stooges agree do this and still don't leave their wives. Then it is suggested that there should be a party. The wives will be so embarrassed by the Stooges and should be enough grounds for divorce. They have the party, and as the title of the short would suggest it ends with a pie fight. The best part of the pie fight is in the middle when Larry is in a suit of armor with no reason or explanation where it came from. Then at the end Larry is back in normal clothes when he joins the group.
Fun Fact: Several scenes were reused from other shorts. For example the dancing lesson scene was taken from "Hoi Polloi."

8. A Plumbing We Will Go (1940)

The Stooges pose as plumbers to hide from the police. They mix up the electrical pipes with the water pipes. Water pours out of the lights, stove and a brand new television set. Television was brand new at the time with not much in the way of TV shows. Curly gets tangled up in mix of pipes while trying to plug up the water in the bathroom. Later He drills holes in the floor that makes one big hole; which causes him to fall into the basement. Also Larry tears up the yard trying to turn the water off from the outside.
Fun Fact: This Stooges short was Curly Howard's personal favorite.

7. Higher than a Kite (1943)

Moe, Curly, and Larry are mechanics for the Royal Air Force during World War II. Their superior Officer Kelly orders them to fix the General's car by the end of the day. Well they screw up of course and wind up running from Kelly. To hide from him they go in what they think is a sewer pipe, but is actually the casing a very large bomb. They get trapped inside the bomb and loaded onto a plane. They plane drops the bomb over Nazi Germany. They don't die in the blast and are just fine. They disguise themselves in German uniforms to hide from the Nazis. In the end Curly gets a picture of Hitler on is butt; so every time he turns around the Nazis are saying "heil" to his ass.
Fun Fact: In the short Moe looks at a picture of Adolph Hitler and says "schickelgruber". Schickelgruber-Hitler was Adolf Hitler's father's last name.

6. Malice in the Palace (1949)

This happens to be my only short listed with Shemp. That shows how much I favor Curly over Shemp. The Stooges work in a restaurant somewhere in fictional Arabian country. In the kitchen Larry cooks for two dessert thieves dresses as dangerous upper class Arabians. A cat runs out of the kitchen and Larry chases after it with a cleaver. Larry takes the cat back to the kitchen with cleaver in hand. He starts some chopping, and every time he chops the cat meows. In the dinning room it sounds like Larry is killing and cooking the cat. This joke is repeated with a dog and more comedy ensues. After all that nonsense. The thieves threaten the Stooges to steal the Rootin Tootin diamond from The Emir Of Shmow. They find out the thieves are just common doorman they kick them out and they go after the diamond for themselves. In the palace where the diamond lays the Stooges flee the guard by playing leapfrog.
Fun Fact: Larry Fine's autobiography contains a photograph of Curly Howard as a chef in a deleted scene from this film. He had clearly lost weight, and his face was disguised with a huge handlebar mustache.
5. Punch Drunks (1934)

This one is known for being the "Pop Goes the Weasel" episode. Not to be confused with the episode "Pop goes the Easel," which is a completely different episode. In this episode whenever Curly hears the song "Pop Goes the Weasel." Curly loses control and can knock out any one around him. This gives Moe the idea to make Curly a boxer and use Larry to play his violin to get all wound up to beat his opponents. When the championship fight comes up Curly falls on Larry's violin causing it to break. Larry must hurry to find another way to bring the "Pop Goes the Weasel" music to Curly so he don't get K. O. in the ring. I love the idea of this controlled behavior from a silly song used for violence. This was the first time in a Three Stooges short that Larry plays a violin even if it a silly kids song over and over.
Fun Fact: In the original script, "Stars and Stripes Forever" was the original song. However Larry changed it to "Pop Goes the Weasel" because the other song didn't sound right played on the violin.

4. Gents Without Cents (1944)

This is the one with the famous "Niagara Falls" skit. Also They preform another good skit, "At the Front." Another great act in this episode is the acrobatic rope jumping from the three lead laddies Flo, Mary, and Shirley. I love the build up of the "Niagara Falls" skit. They always try to finish the ending but they keep getting interrupted by the neighbors up stairs or Curly falling down. Then when they do actually perform it on stage it is excellent. This is followed by the finale When Curly accidentally says Niagara Falls and the Stooges and newlyweds of the episode chase him in a car while he is on foot.
Fun Fact: In the short Larry accidentally says "Inch by inch." at the wrong time when Moe and Larry advance on Curly together.

(tie) 3. Hoi Polloi (1935) / Half-Wits Holiday (1947)

Both of these shorts are similar. So that is why there is a tie. In "Hoi Polloi" There is this bet that a professor can turn three ordinary men into gentlemen within three months time. The three months go by and the professor tries to teach them etiquette and proper manners. That would probably work with anyone else but the Three Stooges. At the end to test the Stooges in etiquette the professor hosts an elite party. The Stooges fail of course, and the professor lose his bet. The remake known as "Half-Wits Holiday" was the last short with Curly, because in the middle of filming Curly got a stroke. In fact the last two minutes or so Curly was not in even in the short. Curly later appeared in a cameo in the short "Hold that Lion." Curly is the snoring passenger although he looks very different, because he is much thinner and his hair had grown out.

Honestly I like "Hoi Polloi" better than "Half-Wits Holiday." However I mention "Half-Wits Holiday" because like I said this is a remake and it does deserve honorable mention as Curly Howard's last short. The reason I like Hoi Polloi better is I think the jokes are funnier. Such jokes as Curly getting a spring stuck to him and having him bonce off the floor during the dancing scene. Also there is the funny way Curly spells cat. "Cat. K-I-T-T-Y. Pussy." I also think it's funnier ending in "Hoi Polloi." In Hoi Polloi" all the elite guests are slapping each other like the Stooges. In "Half-Wits Holiday" it ends with the common pie fight.
Fun Facts: In "Hoi Polloi" There is a still photo that implies a possible deleted scene. The photo shows Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine arriving for their big "debut in society" out front of Prof. Richmond's house in their rubbish truck. This scene would've taken place in between Richmond prepping the Stooges in the morning of the event and the establishing interior shot of Richmond's house.
In "Half-Wits Holiday" The pie on the ceiling joke was borrowed from the Andy Clyde film "In the Doghouse."

2. Violent Is the Word for Curly (1938)

This is the one with their famous alphabet song. "B-A-Bay, B-E-Bee, B-I-Bicky-Bi." Oh here, I'll show you.

I like this episode mainly because of that song. I also like when Curly gets frozen and they try to thaw him out over a fire and Moe says, "Twenty minutes a pound, we'll be here a month." Also there is a professor that says, "Tonight we go to Hamburg on the Clipper." Curly thought he said "He wants a hamburger with a zipper."
Fun Fact:The title of this short is a takeoff of a 1936 movie called "Valiant Is the Word for Carrie."

1. Disorder in the Court (1936)

This is where the Stooges are witnesses in a murder trial. Curly is called to the stand and starts talking in 1930's vernacular. The Lawyer asks Curly to speak proper English so the Jury can understand him. Curly suggests than he and his pals act out what happen instead. There is where the fun begins. This one is my absolute favorite because it keeps me laughing throughout the whole short; despite however many times I'd seen it. There is so many good bits like: Curly trying to take the oath because he can't keep his hat off; Moe shooting a hairpiece because Larry mistakes it for a tarantula. Also the scene where Larry screams like Tarzan for whatever reason is do damn funny. Plus there are lots more gags included. This one shows up on most DVD volumes because, it is one of four public domain shorts of "The Three Stooges." Meaning anyone can show it because there is no copyright to this title.
Fun Fact: The parents of Moe Howard and Curly Howard, make uncredited appearances in this film as front-row members of the court audience.

Well that's all I have Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk.
More Articles From retrodave
An unhandled error has occurred. Reload Dismiss