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"Give me Ripley! Yeah, believe it or not!" - Moe (EVEN AS IOU, 1942)

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Average Rating:     [7.98/10]   32 votes

THREE LITTLE PIRATES

Curly, Moe, and Larry, NYC garbage barge sailors, wash ashore on an island stuck in the 17th century, and ruled by a tyrranical Governor. With the help of the lovely Rita Yolanda, and using the ruse of a nearsighted Maharajah and his entourage, they go in search of a pirate named Black Louie who will ferry them to the mainland. Unfortunately, the Governor and Louie are well-acquainted, and the pirate forces the Stooges to engage in a deadly knife-throwing contest to purchase their freedom from the island.



The Maharaja routine was previously performed by the Stooges in TIME OUT FOR RHYTHM (1941), and became a mainstay of their television guest appearances on THE TEXACO STAR THEATRE, THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW and THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW.

In case anyone wants the correct spelling of the Maharajah's language, here are the words as presented in Clyde Bruckman's script, as dictated by Moe Howard... "Razbanyas yatee benee futch ah tinney herongha..."

A transcription of an unfilmed sequence, an alternate ending found in Jules White's files, is presented in The Three Stooges Journal # 128 (Winter 2008).

Behind-the-scenes, silent, color footage was discovered in early 2007, and premiered in The Stoogeum theater at the April 2007 Fan Club Meeting. Moe and Curly, in their "maharajah" costumes, are seen with a visiting Helen Howard (Moe's wife) and Shemp Howard on the Columbia lot. See The Three Stooges Journal # 122 (Summer 2007) and # 124 (Winter 2007) for more information.

IMDb Rating

THREE LITTLE PIRATES on IMDb

Featuring
Moe, Larry and Curly
Release Date
December 05, 1946
Studio
Columbia
Production Type
Short Subject
Duration
18 min.
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Cast Members   Production Crew

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Production Notes   (2)
Prod. No.:   4067
Shooting Days:   4 days   From: 1946-04-15   To: 1946-04-18

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 3.00)
Face Slaps: 12 Eye Pokes: 0 Head Bonks: 0 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (7)
  • "Maha?" "Aha!"
    (Moe and Curly)

  • "Eenie, Meenie, Minee, Moe. See, you can't go wrong with Moe! Heh, heh." "Thanks (slap). Get Busy!"
    (Curly and Moe)

  • "Ye Olde Tilt."
    (Sign on pinball machine)

  • "I have many pigeon-blood rubies, but never have I been given the raspberry."
    (Vernon Dent)

  • "Razbanyas yatee benee futch ah tinney herongha..."
    (Moe)

  • "Sit down you Flatbush flathead!"
    (Moe)

  • "Guaranteed forever." "You should live so long!" [bonk!]
    (Moe & Larry)


Stooge Goofs   (10)
  • Changing Hands
    When Rita brings the Stooges in the governor's office, the governor is holding a fork in his left hand, but when they show a close-up of him, the fork is in his right hand, then it's back in his left hand in the next shot.

  • Dubbed-In Laugh
    After Moe says to the guard â€Å"You try that once more”, we can hear Moe chuckle out loud, but his mouth doesn't move.

  • Loose Glasses
    During the fight scene, when Curly is doing his turkey gobble noise to the camera, his glasses accidentally fall off twice.

  • Mouthing Curly's Line
    When Curly says â€Å"Because a hot stake is better than cold chop”, you can see Larry mouthing along some parts of that same line.

  • Mysterious Third Knife
    There's a shot of Larry showing three knives in the wall before Black Louie even throws the third knife.

  • Overdubbed Yelling
    When Curly falls upside-down out of his chair, we hear him woo-wooing, yet he's nyaah-aaaahing at the same time. The â€Å"nyaah-aaaah” was dubbed in.

  • Stopping Too Early
    When Curly is about to put the lollipop in his mouth, the governor is supposed to stop him by shouting â€Å"A ruby!”, but Curly stops too early before the governor even says anything.

  • The Magically-Changing Drawing
    When the knife target area is first shown, there is just a drawing of a target circle. Then about a minute later when the camera cuts back over to the target area, the circle drawing is suddenly now a stick figure man with hair.

  • Unintentional Kneeing
    As Black Louie (Robert Stevens) is dazedly staggering around after Rita smashes a glass over his head, Stevens accidentally knees Curly and Curly makes a brief pained expression.

  • West Wall?
    When the Stooges all together are supposed to say â€Å"Ohh, the west wall!”, it sounds like one of them (probably Curly) says â€Å"east” instead of â€Å"west”.


Stooge Routines   (7)

Stooge Trivia   (0)

No trivia have been logged for this episode.


Audio Files   (0)

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Video File   (Y)


Transcript   (N)

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Videography   (1)

Fan Reviews   (17)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-11-13 08:49:00 by Shemp_Diesel
Edited 2015-01-25 16:04:35 by Shemp_Diesel

The beatings endured by our stooges--particularly Larry and Curly--during the west wall scenes are outstanding stuff. If only the rest of the short could've maintained that high level of comedy.

7 pokes


Reviewer's Rating: (7)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2011-02-05 22:28:47 by shemps#1
This is the most overrated short in Three Stooges history (even moreso than Ache). I just found that watching it is painful instead of funny. Curly is out on his feet here, the lights are on but nobody is home. It looks as if Moe is propping him up through the whole thing.

The Maha skit in this short is not at all funny. It goes on for way too long and is even more painful to watch than the rest of this short. This short and Half-Wits Holiday should not have been made.

Bomb

Reviewer's Rating: (0)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2009-11-17 19:11:44 by Seamus
Edited 2009-11-17 19:23:47 by Dunrobin
I just finished tearing through the Stooge shorts of 1946, continuing my ongoing project of watching all the shorts in order (thanks Sony). It drove home to me what a lousy year 1946 was for the boys, as short after short queued itself up in my DVD player and laid a resounding egg. Exacerbating the problem of Curly's weakened state was the consistent weak writing of the shorts that came out that year. Thankfully they ended on the high that is Three Little Pirates. The laughs this one delivered brought sweet relief after the clunkers that preceded it.

The Curly in this one obviously still isn't the Curly of previous years, but the Maha character seemed to be designed around this slower version of his Stooge, and it worked so brilliantly that I'm not sure the Maha scenes would have been as funny if the sharper Curly of old had been playing him. It also warmed my heart to see Curly improvising his way through crossing his legs and sitting down at the table in the governor's throne room - a little glimmer of the kind of thing Curly was a master of in better days, but which eluded him in preceding shorts.

A great short, and the one breath of fresh air in an otherwise crappy year in Stooge history.
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2003-10-09 12:21:00 by ArryLay
I've always thought this short was their weakest of the 1940s and far from the classic many think it is. I found it quite sad actually. Curly's voice was strained, he had little energy and he looked terrible. He was obviously very sick. Even when I was a kid I thought the Majah stuff was kind of lame. I never understood the appeal of that bit and I guess I never will.

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2003-08-07 03:23:00 by Pat Stooge
This is a great short, and should have been Curly's(a.k.a Jerry's last)Even though he's very sick here his punchline "NyaNyahavnavista" is perfect for him.The pinball gag is great too and weird.Funny this was shot just 2 weeks before Curly's stroke and Curly now had wrinkles here!He's only 42 and he's got wrinkle that should have really set off something in Jules mind but sadly it didn't.The best of the Curly sick-era shorts (No pun intended.)

Reviewer's Rating: (9)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2003-07-19 03:38:00 by Stooge
It was probably an intentional joke, like the "ancient radio" joke in SQUAREHEADS OF THE ROUND TABLE.

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2000-07-25 04:57:00 by Stooge
Edited 2003-06-24 01:16:00 by Stooge
An excellent Stooge film considering Curly's health. It includes the famous "Maha" skit, which Curly performed flawlessly. I bet a lot of people at the time thought he was progressively getting better, but we all know what ended up happening to him in the very next film...

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2002-08-29 16:35:00 by abi
This is a great stooge short. Anybody says something different they have to think again. Their new routine rules and the fighting at the bar against Black Louie and his men totally rocks. It's so funny I give it four stars without thinking twice.
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2002-01-05 21:20:00 by waynesworld
I just now noticed there was a flick called TIME OUT FOR RHYTHYM which featured the "maharaja" routine. If Curly looks like Shemp here, it may be because the scene was used first in 1941 & lifted here. Perhaps Curly's ill health was the reason for this.Joan Howard Maurer in "The 3 Stooges Scrapbook" gives it 3 pokes, I give it 3 and a half.
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2002-01-02 11:11:00 by Genius In the Lamp
Curly's penultimate short, and his last great one. Ed Bernds was fortunate to have caught Curly during an "up" period (Bernds' only other short in that category was "Micro-Phonies"). Curly actually does some fine physical comedy, even if his voice sounds strained (he even sounds very catty when he tells Moe, "Aw shut up, I don't have to). And just when we were in for a disappointing ending (Moe proclaiming himself governor of the island), Ye Olde Tilt provides a pleasant exclamation point. All this, and the "Maha" routine, too.

Reviewer's Rating: (9)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-11-14 11:51:00 by [Deleted Member]
This is a great short! I don't know how well Curly felt during filming, but he seemed to feel great compared to how he was in "Half-Wits Holiday".Who DOESN'T enjoy the Maha scene? In the tavern, Larry was the man! From when Black Louie grabbed him by the hair to the last time he got the pin ball machine to knock out one of the bad guys, he was a riot. The other 2 weren't bad themselves! Moe's "living portrait" gag was genius. A little thing that makes me laugh is that last swing Moe took at Black Louie from the picture frame- the swing he missed on. It just looks kind of funny to me. Speaking of Moe- he was great at the very end, mindlessly babbling Curly's part of the Maha sketch as Larry and Curly drag him away.ISLIPP so you don't have to. ©2001Edited by - ISLIPP on 11/15/2001 6:38:27 AM
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-09-28 22:06:00 by jaronson
In my opinion, the only good shorts in Curly's sick period are this and MICRO-PHONIES. The beginning started out a little slow, but in the scene with the tools, it gets better. The Maha routine was great and I think the whole bar scene was funny, especially the fight scene. I didn't notice it, but I bet the reason why Curly looked like Shemp on the video box is because Curly and Shemp were brothers and brothers usually look alike in at least one way.

Reviewer's Rating: (9)
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-06-29 03:19:00 by 1985
Yeah,It was a good short the 2nd best of Curly's sick period. I like when Curly blabs out gibberish and brains the bad guys.This short drowned out Curly's failing health and was his last great short because he you know...Curly looks like his eldest brother Shemp with the glasses and I'm glad Moe didn't abuse his sick baby brother.A good job Curly!
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-05-12 11:40:00 by metaldams
A classic, and it was shot only 2-2.5 weeks before Curly's major stroke. I agree that Curly looks like Shemp on the video/DVD cover. I am a HUGE Maha routine fan, and think this is a well written and well performed short by all parties involved.
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-03-26 12:34:00 by Uncle Mortimer
I think DR. BELCH and sickdrjoe say it best about this short. I agree with the points about the short comings of THREE LITTLE PIRATES as well as it's strengths. The ONE impression that's left with me the most(besides the great MAHA skit), is the mere SITE of Curly in those extra thick glasses.. LOVE IT!
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-03-07 09:09:00 by sickdrjoe
Man, am I tired of seeing that WARD ROBEY disclaimer every time I go to add a comment. It's like waiting an extra hour at an airport after Flight 800 (I told you that guy was a terrorist!) Anyway, I really, really wanted to love this one - I hadn't seen it in years until last nite - but something about it leaves me cold. The Maha sketch was cute, but I'd much rather have Moe punish Curly & Larry with power tools. This is also a very dark short, and I mean the lighting, not the humor. Oddly enough, though I'm a big fan of Jules White, I think by this point Bernds was the most clever and creative director for the job - as the boys were getting older, he seemed to give them more wiggle-room for spontaneity and spur-of-the-moment inspiration. All the elements for a classic are right there, but...I'm not sure what's missing, I just know something is (it's not Curly, either; he's pretty damned spry here). Maybe it's me.
Re: THREE LITTLE PIRATES
Posted 2001-01-16 02:28:00 by Mike Holme
A great short for this period, everyone does well, there were many very funny scenes, like when they do the maha skit. Rating: 94%(A)Edited by - Mike Holme on 8/23/01 8:36:48 PM

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