Cactus Makes Perfect (1942) starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Vernon Dent
Synopsis of Cactus Makes Perfect
Cactus Makes Perfect is an above-average Western short film starring the Three Stooges – Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard. After a hilarious “morning routine”, the Stooges’ mother throws them out of the house to make their way in the world. The Three Stooges decide to use Curly’s invention, a gold collar-button finder, to become prospectors, after being swindled into buying a worthless gold mine. They actually succeed, only to have to hide from claim jumpers (including Vernon Dent), leading to a hilarious scene with the boys hiding in a ghost town hotel, with Moe, Larry, Curly and a lit stick of dynamite!
Review of Cactus Makes Perfect
Cactus Makes Perfect begins with Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly) sound asleep, while their mother is working in the kitchen. She calls for the Stooges, as well as a very funny example of prop comedy. She pulls a cord, rotating their bed around, increasing with speed until they fly off and land on the floor. Still sleeping.
They soon realize that “Ma” is calling them. They soon do some slapstick in the bathroom and finally get downstairs, where the mother hands them a registered letter that came for Curly. It’s from an inventor’s association, rejecting his “gold collar button finder“. Which Curly then demonstrates; it launches an arrow into the air, and finds the nearest gold. Which in this case is on top of the head of Ma!
Off to find their fortune
Soon, they Three Stooges are off to make their way in the world, where they quickly run across someone willing to sell them the deed to a “lost gold mine. In some very good comedy as Moe and Larry try to find where Curly has his money hidden. After a quick cab ride out West (seriously), they begin looking for gold — unsuccessfully.
After firing one of Curly’s arrows into the air, it lands in the back pocket of an overweight prospector played by Three Stooges regular Vernon Dent. The prospector and his partner are both upset with the small amount of gold that they’ve found after their time in the desert. And the arrow in the posterior doesn’t improve his disposition! He fires his gun at the Stooges, causing them to run away!
Since Curly is down to his last gold-finding arrow, he ties a rope to it and himself. Causing him to fly through the air and crash through a small hole in a hill …. Where the “lost gold mine” has now been found! After some slapstick where Moe and Larry try to get Curly out of the hole with a crowbar. They finally decide to push him all the way through instead. They do, and follow Curly down, and start digging for gold.
With Moe getting the worst of the physical slapstick before Curly accidentally pulls a lever and gets a huge jackpot of gold coins. Who knew gold mining was so easy? But the Three Stooges’ problems aren’t over since the two prospectors have seen that they’ve found the lost mine … And intend to simply steal the gold from them!
After accidentally hitting the prospectors with the large bag of coins, Curly, Larry and Moe hightail it. They find a place to hide in an old, abandoned hotel. And after a moment of messing with Moe and Larry, Curly reveals that he’s hidden the gold in the hotel’s safe.
Since the thieving prospectors have tracked them down, they decide to hide in the safe with the gold. However, Vernon Dent has a plan … Drilling a hole in the safe, and pushing a lit stick of dynamite through to blow the Stooges up! After a moment of misunderstanding, Curly pushes the “roman candle” back through the hole.
“Do you smell smoke?”
“I ain’t smokin’!”
And the prospectors push the dynamite back through … only to (seemingly) be a dud, until Curly throws it on the floor, knocking them all down and ending the short film with a bang.
Cactus Makes Perfect is a very funny Three Stooges short, fast-paced and funny, and it’s highly recommended. Cactus Makes Perfect is available on The Three Stooges Collection volume 3.
Funny movie quotes from Cactus Makes Perfect – the Three Stooges
Larry (Larry Fine): I’m gonna brush my teeth!
Curly (Curly Howard): I’m gonna change my socks! What an experience!
Ma Stooge: [sobbing] Goodbye boys, here’s five dollars.
Curly (Curly Howard) : Thanks!
Ma Stooge: [angrily] You would take it! [Ma smacks Curly]
[after Curly fires another arrow, and then finds that the Heavyset Prospector has it, after the arrow hit him in the butt, detecting the “poke of gold” he had put in his back pocket]
Curly (Curly Howard): Hey, that belongs to me!
Heavyset prospector (Vernon Dent): [Matter-of-fact] That’s all I wanted to know!
[He fires his gun, spinning Curly’s hat the other way. The three run off]
Curly (Curly Howard): I shoot an arrow into the air, where it lands I do not care: I get my arrows wholesale!
Curly (Curly Howard): Should I fire another arrow?
Moe (Moe Howard): Listen, William Tell, for two pins I’d knock your brains out.
Curly (Curly Howard): I ain’t got any pins!
Moe (Moe Howard): You ain’t got any brains either! [slaps Curly on the forehead]
[as Vernon Dent is drilling a hole into the safe]
Moe (Moe Howard): What’s that sound?
Curly (Curly Howard): Termites! [Curly gets poked by the drill] Yah-wah-wow Ow!
Moe (Moe Howard): What’s the matter with you?
Curly (Curly Howard): I think a termite bit me!
Cast of characters
- Curly Howard … Curly
- Larry Fine … Larry
- Moe Howard … Moe
- Ernie Adams (Merry Mavericks) … Stumpy – Smaller Prospector
- Monte Collins (Three Missing Links) … Ma Stooge
- Vernon Dent (Sing a Song of Six Pants) … Heavyset Prospector
- Eddie Laughton (So Long Mr. Chumps) … Gold Mine ‘Salesman’