Dizzy Pilots – the Three Stooges – Moe, Larry and Curly – originally released September 24, 1943
Dizzy Pilots is a very funny short film starring the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry and Curly) as the Wrong Brothers, who are trying to perfect a new airplane, “The Buzzard,” in order to avoid the draft in the fictional country of Moronica. The Stooges have 30 days to prove the superiority of their new plane, or be drafted, and so they get straight to work — with the predictable slapstick results.
Moe makes the mistake of asking Curly to tighten a vice when he says “now,” and Curly faithfully does – with Moe’s hand stuck in the vice. After some slapstick, in which they both take some knocks, the Stooges try to coat the plane with rubber, to weatherproof it. In short order, Moe’s short temper is roused, and he tries to take the paddle that they’re stirring the hot, liquid rubber with and hit Curly with it — however, he swings it too far back, and snags it on Larry’s hair, ending with Moe falling into the liquid rubber.
This leads to the what is probably the best bit of slapstick in the movie, as Larry and Curly try to rescue Moe from his rubber prison. They try (at Moe’s suggestion) to inflate the rubber with their handy tank of helium, pulling the rubber away from Moe’s body so that they can cut it off in strips. However, once they “inflate” Moe, the lighter-than-air helium lifts him off the ground, floating helplessly toward the roof of their airplane hangar.
Larry and Curly combine their brainpower to find a way to get Moe down, and they begin by trying to lasso him and pull him down — which might have worked, if they hadn’t lassoed a piece of wood instead of Moe, clunking themselves on their heads. Eventually, they realize that they can just jump up and pull Moe down, which actually succeeds — until Larry and Curly get so busy congratulating themselves that they let go of Moe, who again floats up, this time floating out an open skylight and into the clear blue yonder.
Thankfully, there’s a rifle nearby, and Curly gets the idea of shooting Moe down before he floats away. Larry quickly points out the flaw in that plan, and instead hands him a rifle, so he can’t miss! And Curly doesn’t miss, hitting the bullseye and leaving Moe plummeting towards the Earth — only to land in a well, causing Larry and Curly to get soaked by the resulting splash!
Afterward, the Three Stooges are ready to demonstrate their airplane to the authorities — if they can manage to get it out of the hangar. The plane won’t fit through the hangar door, and so Moe decides that they need to use saws to cut the hangar, allowing the plane through – which Curly misunderstands, leading to Curly’s first attempting to saw off the plane’s wing, and then Moe’s arm, leading to Moe’s slapstick beating of Curly with the saw — and ruining another saw blade.
After some slapstick shenanigans trying to actually start the plane engine (“Contact?” “Contact!”) they finally start the engine, and take to the air. However, none of them know how to actually pilot an airplane … and after Curly accidentally breaks the cable that controls the rudder, Moe tries to fix it and tells Curly to throw out the clutch — and out it goes, along with other essential parts of the airplane! Soon, “The Buzzard” is in a nose dive, and all Three Stooges fall out of the sky — into that same well that Moe fell into earlier, this time soaking the observers from the aircraft company.
Since they’ve failed their demonstration, the Stooges are swiftly inducted into the Army, with the final 5 minutes of the short film being taken from their earlier (1940) short film, Boobs in Arms, where they frustrate their drill instructor as he tries to teach them the basics of marching and how to handle their rifles — and failing miserably.
Despite the reused footage, Dizzy Pilots is a very funny Three Stooges short film, and recommended viewing.
Dizzy Pilots is available on the Three Stooges Collection, volume 3.
Funny movie quotes from Dizzy Pilots
Curly Wrong (Curly Howard): We’re great inventors… Robert Fulton, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Don Ameche, and us!
Curly Wrong (Curly Howard): [to Moe who is about to hit him with an oar Larry used to mix the rubber cement] Don’t you dare hit me in the head! You know I’m not normal!
Moe Wrong (Moe Howard): I’ll normal you!
[prepares to hit Curly, but the oar sticks to Larry’s hair due to the rubber cement]
Larry Wrong (Larry Fine) : [to Curly] What’re ya down’ with that rifle? Don’t you know any better than to use the rifle? You might miss him! [Grabs a shotgun]
Here, use a shotgun!
Larry Wrong (Larry Fine): We dunno anything about flying’!
Moe Wrong (Moe Howard): Neither did the Wright brothers, but they flew! Anything the Wright brothers can do, the Wrong brothers can do! Right?
Larry Wrong (Larry Fine): Right!
Curly Wrong (Curly Howard): Wrong.
[Moe and Larry gang up on him]
Curly Wrong (Curly Howard): Brothers!
Moe Wrong (Moe Howard): [seeing Curly sawing one of the plane’s wings] No, nitwit! You saw the garage!
Curly Wrong (Curly Howard): I see the garage, but I don’t saw the garage. You are speaking incorrectly. You are moidering the king’s English! Et cetera! See, saw, see…
Moe Wrong (Moe Howard): [grabs Curly by the neck and shakes him] Shut up! You saw one side and Larry will saw the other.
Curly Wrong (Curly Howard): Oh I see, I saw!
[saws Moe’s arm]
Moe Wrong (Moe Howard): [grabs the saw from Curly] Not like that, like this!
[smacks Curly in the face with the saw then saws his head as Curly yells in pain]
Curly Wrong (Curly Howard): Look!
[he and Moe notice that Curly’s head destroyed the saw’s edges]
Sky Aircraft Co. rep at test flight: I don’t know why the Sky Aicraft Company decided to hire three screwballs like the Wrong brothers.
Sky Aircraft Co. rep at test flight: They’re either miracle men or they’re insane.
Cast of characters
- Curly Howard … Curly Wrong
- Larry Fine … Larry Wrong
- Moe Howard … Moe Wrong
- Bobby Barber (The Abbott and Costello Show) … Private
- Charles Dorety (Loco Boy Makes Good) … Private
- Richard Fiske (Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise) … Sergeant (archive footage)
- Judy Malcolm (No Dough Boys) … Girl in Hangar
- Harry Semels (Movie Maniacs) … Sky Aircraft Co. Representative
- Al Thompson (Violent is the Word for Curly) … Sky Aircraft Co. Representative
- Sethma Williams (Too Many Girls) … Girl in hangar
Updated May 24, 2022