Flagpole Jitters (1957) starring the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard), Mary Ainslee, Vernon Dent
The Three Stooges short film, ‘Flagpole Jitters‘ starring Moe, Larry and Shemp — a remake of ‘Hokus Pokus’
Flagpole Jitters is a remake of Hokus Pokus, utilizing lots of footage from the original. The basic plot is the same, but with a twist. Moe, Larry and Shemp are working to raise money for an operation for their friend Mary (played by Mary Ainslee) to cure her paralysis so she can walk again. But unlike in Hokus Pokus, she truly cannot walk, and Stooges regular Vernon Dent appears again as the insurance agent, who is being very slow to pay.
The Three Stooges are working in a theater where a hypnotist, the Great Svengarlic, is appearing. The Stooges get the idea of having Svengarlic hypnotize Mary to make her walk again, but Svengarlic has other ideas. It turns out that Svengarlic is the leader of a gang of thieves who are planning to rob the building across the street. If they can create a diversion. Svengarlic hypnotizes Moe, Larry and Shemp, and orders them to go dance on a flagpole many stories above the ground. Both creating a diversion for the crooks and advertising his performance later. However, Svengarlic is accidentally knocked out cold, and the Three Stooges come out of their trance, out on the flagpole. After some clowning around, they get safely into the building where they interrupt the robbery in progress, capture the robbers, and use the reward money to pay for Mary’s surgery.
A cute Three Stooges short, not great but not terrible. I rate it 3 clowns out of 5. Flagpole Jitters is available on DVD as part of The Three Stooges Collection volume 8.
Funny movie quotes from Flagpole Jitters
[Moe knocks Larry and Shemp’s heads together]
Shemp (Shemp Howard): I hear bells!
Moe (Moe Howard): Jingle bells?
Shemp (Shemp Howard): No, cow bells.
Moe (Moe Howard): Let’s go for jingle bells! [knocks their heads together again]
Shemp (Shemp Howard): Still cow bells.
Moe (Moe Howard): I’ll fix that! [Moe shakes his head violently]
Shemp (Shemp Howard): I hear ’em! I hear ’em! Jingle bells!
[Shemp thinks he has hypnotized Moe]
Shemp (Shemp Howard): You are now in New York!
Moe (Moe Howard): [moves to one side] I am now in New York.
Shemp (Shemp Howard): You are now in Sing Sing!
Moe (Moe Howard): [picks up chair, holding it in front of him as the bars of a prison cell] I am now in Sing Sing!
Shemp (Shemp Howard): You are now in Boston!
Moe (Moe Howard): I am now in Sing Sing!
Larry (Larry Fine): You can’t get this guy out of Sing Sing!
Shemp (Shemp Howard): Good! That’s where he belongs, anyway.
[Moe breaks the chair over Shemp’s head]
[Moe is hanging from a flagpole, and Shemp is holding on from Moe’s pants, exposing Moe’s long underwear]
Moe (Moe Howard): What’s going on? I feel a draft!
Cast of characters
- Shemp Howard … Shemp
- Larry Fine … Larry
- Moe Howard … Moe
- David Bond (Lust for Life) … The Great Svengarlic
- Vernon Dent (Slippery Silks) … Insurance Adjuster (archive footage)
- Mary Ainslee (I’ll Never Heil Again) … Mary (archive footage)
- Richard Alexander (Modern Times) … Cop
- Barbara Bartay (Pardon My Backfire) … Showgirl with Ice-Cream Cone
- Ned Glass (Charade) … Svengarlic’s Manager (archive footage)
- Don C. Harvey (Merry Mavericks) … Jack
- Bonnie Henjum (Blunder Boys) … Showgirl
- Johnny Kascier (Loco Boy Makes Good) … Man on Bike (archive footage)
- Frank Sully (Pardon My Backfire) … Jim
- Beverly Thomas (Loose Loot) … Showgirl