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"What are you shakin' about?""I don't know - I'm in a hurry all over!" - Moe and Curly (3 DUMB CLUCKS, 1937)

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Average Rating:     [6.95/10]   30 votes


The Stooges are pawnbrokers with a sassy son who wants to know why he has three fathers. This leads into a flashback. It seems that the moll of protection racketeer Butch McGee left her sister's baby with Larry. The Stooges tend toward unorthodox child care methods, such as a loaded gun for a pacifier and a large milk bottle with a glove on it. Enter McGee and his gang, who want the Stooges to pay up their protection fee... or else.

Disjointed plot that leaves a bad taste when one realizes the Stooges have raised a kidnapped child, and somewhere out there is a mother who doesn't know where her child is.

Harold "Bill" Brauer's first costarring appearance with the Stooges. Bill Brauer and Emil Sitka are the only supporting actors to work with all six Stooges.

Costar Harold "Bill" Brauer ('Butch McGee') was a guest of the 1989 Three Stooges Convention in Philadelphia. See The Three Stooges Journal # 51 (Fall 1989) for the story.

Costar Beverly Warren ('Molly') was a special guest of the 2003 Three Stooges Fan Club Meeting, reported in The Three Stooges Journal # 106 (Summer 2003). A year prior, Beverly graciously welcomed fans to her home in California, for an interview that was published in The Three Stooges Journal # 101 (Spring 2002).

IMDb Rating


Moe, Larry and Curly
Release Date
July 04, 1946
Production Type
Short Subject
16.75 min.
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Production Notes   (4)
Working Title(s):   IN HOCK
Title Origin:   Possibly a reference to Columbia's movie series "The Lone Wolf" (1935 - 1947)
Prod. No.:   4053
Shooting Days:   4 days   From: 1946-02-27   To: 1946-03-02

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 8.50)
Face Slaps: 32 Eye Pokes: 2 Head Bonks: 0 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (1)
  • "Quiet little angel. Quiet, quiet little darling, quiet... or I'll break your neck!"

Stooge Goofs   (8)
  • Falling Oven
    When Curly taps the funnel into the jug of milk, the oven next to him holding a pot accidentally tips over.

  • Missing Triple Slap
    After the little boy says â€Å"Oh, so you just moved in on me, eh?”, the camera cuts to the next shot and the Stooges are suddenly holding their faces in pain as if they were slapped by the boy, but they didn't show it.

  • Misspelling
    "CHEAP" is spelled as "CHEEP" on the BOWLING BALLS sign.

  • Speaking at the Wrong Time
    Right when Larry says to Butch McGee â€Å"Here's your 25 berries!”, Moe starts saying something at the same time, but he stops.

  • The Clothes We've Been Wearing For The Past 10 Years
    Told in flashback, the Stooges are wearing the same outfits in both the present day and in the flashback scenes, which based on how old their "son" is, would be about 10 years!

  • Too Early
    When Moe and Curly make faces to calm down the baby, Curly tries to make the face where he and Moe get frightened by each other's look earlier than it is supposed to happen.

  • Too Early
    When Moe is supposed to ask Curly to open his mouth and then to depress his lower jaw, Curly depresses his lower jaw too early before Moe even asks him.

  • What Was Curly Doing?
    Early on in the fight scene, we see Curly immediately beating up one of the three crooks and locking him in a trunk, then the rest of the fight scene focuses on Larry and Moe being beat up by the other two crooks, so why don't we see Curly helping Larry and Moe afterwards? Obviously, the writers were trying not to give Curly too much to do due to his illness, but they should've at least explained what he was doing for the remainder of the fight scene.

Stooge Routines   (11)

Stooge Trivia   (0)

No trivia have been logged for this episode.

Audio Files   (1)
  • Stratosphere
    Wave Sound (47.80 Kb)
    "That's a genuine stratosphere!" "Stratosphere?" "Yeah." "Play some air."

Video File   (Y)

Transcript   (N)

There isn't a transcript available for this episode.

Videography   (1)

Fan Reviews   (18)
Posted 2010-05-12 03:02:27 by Shemp_Diesel
Edited 2015-01-24 13:32:10 by Shemp_Diesel

Call me weird, but I always loved this short. Yeah, there's the obvious talk about Curly & what he could or could not do--but in the meantime, there's a grade A performance turned in by everyone's favorite porcupine, Larry. So many classic lines he delivers, like "the bag left me holding the babe" or his answer to Moe about how the kid got in their pawn shop--business as usual. I also enjoyed his story about the 3 bears. Larry got a rare opportunity to shine in the spotlight & knocked it out of the park (imo). So rather than weep about poor Curly, I choose to revel in the greatness that is Larry--taste terrible, I better kill it with a cigarette.

8 pokes

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2008-04-27 13:14:56 by FourthThird
Edited 2008-04-27 13:15:31 by FourthThird

Watching this for the second time, I noticed a slight "plot hole" (for lack of a better description). The bulk of the short is supposed to be told in flashback by the Stooges, yet the scene between Butch and Molly is something they couldn't have known about! (The "onion" bit arguably fits this as well.)

As for the "goof" of the baby being called a "her" -- only Curly says that, and at that point he has had no way of knowing what the baby is anyway.

Posted 2007-04-14 02:39:39 by BeatleShemp
I like this short a lot, probably because Larry gets the bulk of the laughs in my opinion. Plus, I enjoyed his scenes with the baby.
Posted 2006-09-19 12:56:58 by benjilbum
Edited 2006-09-19 12:59:59 by benjilbum
I know most of you guys hate this one, but I love it. To me almost every gag works and Larry does a "fine" job as the central Stooge. Moe also does something ha-larry-ous. He performs a very high kick and knocks Joe Palma's tooth loose, which he then pulls out and looks intently at!!! Great stuff. It is sad seeing Curly so slow and unfocused, but he still manages to pull off a few funny lines. And the part where he's laughing like an idiot after giving the gun to the baby is also very funny. Dispite everything it's very fast paced and has a good story line too. Just my opinion. I give it 3 and 1/2 pokes.

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2003-09-04 23:34:00 by [Deleted Member]
Curly's health went up and down near the end of his career.. it wasn't exactly a steady downhill path, sometimes he pulled himself together and was a lot like his old self. He's [i]not[/i] bad at all in this short, and "Monkey Businessmen," "Three Little Pirates" and especially "Micro-Phonies" are all solid three-pokers. I even like "The Three Troubledoers," although there seems to be a lot of disagreement on that one. Christine and Dick Curtis help it out a lot, but Curly's still more than just "okay," even though you can tell that he's straining hard to stay in character.

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2001-05-12 02:34:00 by Stooge
Edited 2003-06-18 02:49:00 by Stooge
Very slow-paced and the Curly-Larry role reversal didn't work out. Curly's basically a zombie in this short with completely stiff acting and facial expressions (look at his face when Moe is going "You were an eensy teensy weensy..." to the kid at the beginning and when Moe's telling Curly to get a bottle with a nipple on it for the baby; you'd think they replaced Curly's body with a mannequin for those shots) and basically having nothing to do, and while it was good to see Larry getting attention and having a few funny lines, he couldn't save the weak script as a whole. The fight scene at the end is the only time this short really takes off, and even then, it felt weird because Curly barely got any screen-time in it. They even showed him beating up one of the three crooks and locking him in a trunk early on in the fight scene, so what was he doing all the time afterwards as Moe and Larry are being beat up; why didn't he help them?

Reviewer's Rating: (5)
Posted 2003-06-18 02:10:00 by justplainbill
Painful to watch Curly in this. However Moe's attempts to quiet the screaming child.. "..Quiet little angel, quiet, quiet little darling, quiet (baby screams louder ) or I'll break your neck!!!" still crack me up.
Also, in the fight scene, Moe manages a very high kick that knocks one of the crooks teeth loose ( which he then proceeds to pull it out with a hilarious sound effect added ). Moe begins humming a tune trying to sneak away, and the crook grabs him and begins shaking him violently by the neck(!). Absolutely side splitting for me.

Reviewer's Rating: (4)
Posted 2003-05-27 16:50:00 by Pat Stooge
Two Words: Very Dismal.Curly health has gotten so bad, that you can tell he is ill just by hearing him,he sounds weak and lookes pale and the plot was just plain stupid.(Pardon me.)
Posted 2002-09-17 18:13:00 by jaronson
This really isn't that bad, IMO. There were some funny moments, but I do agree that the gag with the baby sucking on a loaded gun is disturbing. The great fight scene at the end is probably one of the best Stooge fight scenes I've seen. The only bad aspects of this short are the setup with the Stooges taking care of a baby and the fact that this short is extremely sad. I would not want to be like the boy, even if the Stooges were taking care of me.

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2002-09-02 14:11:00 by Dunrobin
While "Three Loan Wolves" has some good performances (largely by Larry), I also dislike this short to some extent. Curly's performance is definitely weak. There may be some justification in Clyde's remark that this was one of the best shorts of 1946, but that's not necessarily saying a lot compared to the Stooges' earlier work.

Reviewer's Rating: (5)
Posted 2002-05-14 07:22:00 by [Deleted Member]
The bag left him holdin' the babe. But LOOK- it's CUTE!This short does not suck. Curly couldn't reach his usual potential, so Larry redeemed it- BEAUTIFULLY! His performance here is classic. Moe was also great in this short.That boy WAS a brat, I agree. He was also ungreatful. The boys could've taken Moe's suggestion to turn him over to the police as a baby, but instead, they brough him up, at least to middle-school age, and provided for all his needs. Then he ends up yelling at them, leaving them to find his real parents and giving them the cut out triple-slap. Larry then received the punishment the boy should've got. Oh well. Such is life.Harold "Lemme show ya the REAL McCoy" Brauer was excellent as Butch- and any modern day gang leader the Stooges faced and Joe Palma was a good recurring henchman in this kind of short. I'm sure Brauer would've made a good henchman for Kenneth MacDonald. I love the baby stroller treatment the boys give Brauer. I wonder where he ended up (and how he stopped safely) after Moe gave him a good push in that stroller. I'm sure the pawn shop was on a busy street."What a hideous, monstrous face! Oh!"

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2002-01-08 10:08:00 by [Deleted Member]
Edited 2002-02-17 06:41:00 by [Deleted Member]
Some good, nutty antics, but Curly and that irritating kid drop it down a bit. Moe ("two-ounce brain") and Larry ("I'll kill it with a cigarette") give it sparkle though.Darn, I can't think of a signature!

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2002-02-14 21:02:00 by Emir of Shmow
Three Loan Wolves is a fairly decent short. Not one of the better ones though. In this one, I felt Larry was the funniest Stooge...especially with his "genuine stratosphere" when he plays the Old Oaken Bucket. I rate it at 2 1/2 eyepokes."The bag left me holdin' the babe."-Scott

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2001-04-25 17:42:00 by Nicole
Not one of my favorites, though I always like the shorts where Larry has a good sized role ('cause Larry's my favorite Stooge). Other than that, it's okay. The plot is kinda' sad, though not very. As for Curly being ill, I couldn't really notice anything wrong with him the first time I saw this, but the the second time, I noticed it more. I guess you have to try to ignore that fact and enjoy the jokes the Stooges dish out for us. Of course, if they had let Curly have a year or so off, maybe we wouldn't see very much Shemp shorts (No offense, Shemp fans, Shemp has his own funny style, though I do favor Curly shorts), maybe we would never have even seen Joe Besser (no offense to you Besser fans either). Anyway, enough of that stuff, VIVA STOOGES!!!
Posted 2001-04-06 01:06:00 by sickdrjoe
MRB makes a great point - not coincidentally, one I tend to harp on as well: OUTDOOR SHOOTING MAKES A STOOGE SHORT BETTER. Not only do you get funnier and more spectacular sight gags, but there's something about watching the boys on a real, live city street (even if they're just outdoor sets) that makes em just that little bit more 'real', at least to THIS member of the audience. Every scene featuring the boys performing in natural sunlight just has an added dimension to it that's just, well, fascinating! When they went indoors for good, they still turned out some quality slapstick, but they hadda work that much harder, I feel, since now the entire burden of the short fell on their shoulders. Cos when the outdoor shoots went, so did the larger supporting casts, and more importantly, the situations and gags open to the Stooges and their writers became more and more limited. LOAN WOLVES, by the way, is terrible....if you can't figure out why, refer to the comments section for HALF WITS HOLIDAY & IF A BODY MEET A BODY. (See, Mort, I didn't even hafta say it this time!)
Posted 2001-04-02 02:02:00 by Mike Holme
Re-Review: Not as bad as I originally thought it was, still not a very good short, but there are a few high marks that up the grade a little. Curly's role seemed to turn into Larry's, but at least Moe demonstrated his fighting ability on Curly and so did the baddie. But I felt the plot was sort of pointless, because half of it was proving who was the tougher group, and the other half was taking care of a baby. Overall, just an okay short.
Posted 2001-01-05 13:47:00 by Uncle Mortimer
Since I'm a guitarist, I like the scene where Larry is playing the guitar. Other than that, I really don't think much of this one. Or in the words of Ward Robey: I don't like theees one, eeet gives me nightmares. Come to think of it, this short makes me feel sad.
Posted 2000-12-27 01:51:00 by [Deleted Member]
I agree that this may very well have been the worst Curly short subject that was made. But, not just because of Curly's health. I found the whole premise of this film to be rather sad and depressing. An abandoned little boy, angry at his guardians, searching for his long lost mother, and no warm resolution at the end. Also, I think the scene where the baby puts a loaded gun in his mouth has to be the most disturbing Three Stooges gag ever done! (Although it was redone in a Shemp short subject that was rather good aside from that one sick joke). I have to wonder why that scene is left in and the boy slapping the stooges' faces is often cut out? Why does the slap from the boy get singled out today as something to censor? Are they afraid of promoting parent abuse? To me, the short subject as a whole was a lot more disturbing than that one scene. Ah well, just my opinions.

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