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"I'm sawing a saw in half with a saw, see?" - Curly (OILY TO BED, OILY TO RISE, 1939)

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Average Rating:     [8.50/10]   27 votes


The Stooges are trying to get a patent on their rather unusual fly-catching device, but they calculate that they need to catch 100,000 flies to pay for the patent. Some crooks overhear them, and misunderstand, thinking that the Stooges are the winners of the $100,000 sweepstakes.

When the crooks start chasing the Stooges, the boys hide in a sporting goods store. Curly accidentally shoots a store mannequin, and thinking it's the real thing, the Stooges panic and try to get rid of the body. They try to dump it in the alley, but a cop comes along and chases them away for trying to "dump garbage." They then decided to bury the body in a pet cemetery, but a night watch man hears them and calls the owner, who comes over with a couple of his friends from a costume party to terrify the Stooges.

THREE PESTS IN A MESS is a partial remake of the 1933 Paramount short SAILORS BEWARE! starring Walter Catlett, Eugene Pallette, and Dorothy Granger.

IMDb Rating


Moe, Larry and Curly
Release Date
January 19, 1945
Production Type
Short Subject
15.33 min.
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Cast Members   Production Crew

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Production Notes   (2)
Prod. No.:   4022
Shooting Days:   4 days   From: 1944-06-22   To: 1944-06-26

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 1.75)
Face Slaps: 7 Eye Pokes: 0 Head Bonks: 0 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (1)
  • "Ha, ha, ha, Mammy!!!" "Pappy! [slap!]
    (Larry & Moe)

Stooge Goofs   (6)
  • Bolt Action Rifle Firing Twice
    When Curly slams the rifle against the wall, it fires once (taking off the hat of a man standing near a window). Moe talks to Curly, and Curly hits the rifle against the wall again and shoots a mannequin. Bolt Action Rifles can only fire one shot at a time, since you need to use the bolt to eject the empty cartridge and load in the new bullet.

  • Disappearing Ink
    After the "Mammy/Pappy" dialogue, Moe (hands and face covered in ink) hits Larry and grabs his lapels. Larry's lapels are now covered in ink. In the next scene, Larry's suit is completely clean.

  • Dubbed-In Line
    When Curly says to the cop "Just trash", his mouth doesn't move.

  • Math Inaccuracy
    The math is wrong - 10,000 flies would give them $100, not $100,000.

  • Tucked Shirt
    In the scene where Curly rips off each layer of shirts, one shirt gets partially untucked. In the next shot, the whole shirt is suddenly tucked in.

  • Visible Wire
    You can see the wire that keeps pulling the dead body out of the hole.

Stooge Routines   (7)

Stooge Trivia   (1)
  • The last short to feature Curly's classic "Woo Woo Woo," which was dubbed in at the ending scene where they run from the open grave.
    Source: THREE PESTS IN A MESS (1945)
    Added by MR77100 on 2009-05-10 01:50:54
    Status: Confirmed

Audio Files   (0)

No audio files are available for this episode.

Video File   (Y)

Transcript   (N)

There isn't a transcript available for this episode.

Videography   (1)

Fan Reviews   (11)
Posted 2001-09-29 14:51:00 by Shemp_Diesel
Edited 2014-11-22 12:54:20 by Shemp_Diesel

Curly's "2 Hearts" scene with Christine & his crazy Tarzan yell as he bangs that silly looking chest plate he's wearing is reason enough for 3 pokes. The rest of the short is spotty at best. Moe delivers probably his best "Whats-da-matta-wit-you " during the graveyard scene when Curly bearhugs him after being frightened by the mannequin hand.

7 pokes

Reviewer's Rating: (7)
Posted 2008-04-07 13:09:43 by Moe Hailstone
Edited 2008-04-07 16:09:58 by Dunrobin
I feel like typing out some reviews, and I'll start with this short.

I recorded this on VHS a good 15+ years ago, and at the time I didn't think that it was censored. After watching this again from an uncut version via the Internet, I noticed a few things.

- The black face gag between Moe and Larry. I can see why it was cut, but it sure was funny to watch.

- Two different scenes were extended (not sure why) on my VHS version. One was where the caretaker of the cemetery hides in the bag and kicks Curly. Instead of kicking him once, they show it three times! Two with the kick and Curly making a noise and then the third time with Curly talking to the person in the bag. The second difference was with the phone ringing and Philip Black waiting to hit Curly. Instead of one ring, the swing and a miss, and then the famous yell that Curly gives, we hear the phone ring twice, and see two misses before the page is spoken.

The short started out great, but really dragged on during the Cemetery scene.It wasn't bad, just lost some of the humor towards the end. Felt more like a scary movie instead of a funny Stooge short. Christine McIntyre was beautiful as always, and Vernon Dent was great too. 3 eye pokes from me.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2008-01-23 02:42:06 by Legalize Shemp
This is an oddball of a stooge short but its still really funny and fast paced. The opening scenes with Curly doing his turkey sound were great. The graveyard scenes were just as funny. 1945 seemed to be a good year for stooge films, all but 1 being pretty funny, which is interesting because Curly's health was starting to deteriorate.

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2007-12-29 00:34:48 by locoboymakesgood
I just watched Three Pests in a Mess for the first time in probably 10 - 15 years. It was always one of those shorts where I remember bits and pieces but not the whole thing. The initial bit with Christine and the cemetary scenes always stuck out in my end when I thought of the Stooges in general. Having re-watched it, it's just as enjoyable now as it was then. When I was a kid this was always one of my favorites. Plot is really different; not your ypical Stooge outing but it's ones like this that stick out in your mind. Everyone's on their A-game and Curly's "CAAALLLL FOR PHILIP BLLLAACCKKK" is hilarious
A solid 4-pokes.

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2002-05-09 23:21:00 by [Deleted Member]
Edited 2006-03-25 09:18:08 by shemps#1
Yeah, this one's also a favorite of mine; the graveyard scene is one of those early-childhood memories that came right back to me when I watched the short for the first time in years. It's really obvious that the graveyard is an indoor set, but that makes it funnier in some strange way. Nice bit by Christine here, too, when she comes on to Curly ("Aww, let me see your hearts...") and then starts knocking him around when she finds out that she can't ever see them because he's got that steel bulletproof vest on, underneath about a dozen shirts! This scene's sort of a forerunner of the great "Cousin Basil" routine with Christine and Shemp in "Brideless Groom." I'll make a guess here that most of the younger fans (say, under 30) have no idea who Al Jolson was. Let's just say that what he lacked in talent as a singer, he made up for in sheer volume, and hamminess... The Stooges parodied him a number of times (also in "Uncivil Warriors" and some other shorts).
Posted 2002-07-08 14:08:00 by Del Lord
One of the more frustrating shorts. Starts out well, with the goofy invention/swindlers angle, but then kind of runs out of gas, with the leaden-paced scenes in the pet cemetery seemingly out of step with the first half of the picture. (I must admit here that I'm not a huge fan of "scare" comedy) Still, there are some good bits, especially Curly's scene with Christine McIntyre. I just think it coulda been a lot better.

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2002-05-09 23:10:00 by BJR
Definitely a great short, one of the better from 1945.Not quite a classic... but excellent, and indeed, unique. The first half was good, and there was an excellent Moe/Larry interaction that was mentioned earlier... easily the funniest moment of the short. The second half in the pet cemetery trying to dispose of the dead "body" was the better portion for me.To those who haven't seen this, you should really order the FALSE ALARMS tape on VHS, because not only does it include FALSE ALARMS and this short, but also FLAT-FOOT STOOGES, another missing 60 short.Grade: B+Rating: 7.75/10
Posted 2002-05-09 20:04:00 by [Deleted Member]
CAAAALL FOOORR PHILIIIPP BLAAACK!I finally got to see this short a few months ago and I'm just now getting around to saying so!Anyhow, also hilarious is all the hyjinx with the "body". The boys thought Curly shot a real man! Then came the comments about the "man's" stiffness. Later, They get to the cemetery, which they discover is a pet cemeterty. We hear Curly's hilariously appropriate line, "Do you think HE was somebody's pet?" Still later, the "body" kept "jumping" out of the grave and hitting Curly!Great short all around- and one of my all-time favorites with Curly.Larry: You know, fish is good brain food.Moe: You know, you should fish for a whale! (SLAP)
Posted 2001-08-23 20:30:00 by Mike Holme
The best short in Del Lord's period of decline, but I suspect the reason why they were not so good is because he wrote them himself. He was a good director, but he probably wasn't that great of a writer. I thought this short was the exception, this is a great short. The pet cemetery scenes are hilarious and fun to watch. 3 1/2 pokesEdited by - Mike Holme on 9/27/2001 6:40:32 PM
Posted 2001-08-23 04:03:00 by [Deleted Member]
I haven't seen this short in a heck of a long time, but I know it was one of my favorites of all time! They didn't want to just use those halloween costumes once, did they? No, they must've kept them in good enough conditionfrom "Spook Louder" from two years earlier and really loved using them the first time around.This really is a great short. The boys' hyjinx in the hallway reminds me of their hyjinx in the hallway in "Dutiful but Dumb" when they were trying to photograph the newly married couple. I tend to think it was the very same hallway, but I could be wrong.Larry and Moe's "Mammy!"-"Pappy!" interaction was hilarious! ISLIPP- on the ink from that scene. ©2001Edited by - ISLIPP on 8/23/01 4:05:57 AM
Posted 2001-01-05 19:54:00 by Uncle Mortimer
Here's one I really wish AMC would play!(A favorite from my childhood.) If your unsure how good Christine McIntyre is, watch the "Show me your hearts!" scene. She's awesome! At the end of that scene, there's a good MOE/LARRY moment. Christine throws a jar of ink at Curly, but it hits Moe in the face. Moe backs into the hallway(looking like Al Jolson). Larry sees him, gets down on one knee and exclaims:"MAMMY!" Moe says "PAPPY" and hits him in the face! I love the 'stiff' in the body bag scene at the Ever Rest Pet Cemetery. (with the hand slapping Curly on top of the head every time he pulls the bag over his shoulder.) The DEVIL, SKELETON & VILLAIN (just like in "Spook Louder")are good too. As far as the abrupt black screen at the end, I don't know why that was done..but I like it; somehow, it seems right for this short.

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