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Grips, Grunts and Groans

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Grips, Grunts and Groans (1937) starring the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard)

In Grips, Grunts and Groans, the Three Stooges (Moe HowardLarry Fine and Curly Howard) are hobos, traveling by rail – until the railway guards find them, that is.  Narrowly escaping, they dash into the Hangover athletic club as a place to hide, where they are quickly hired as sparring partners.  And they tickle the funny bone of Bustoff, a professional wrestler, who hires them and takes them out to lunch.  While there, gamblers offer to pay the Three Stooges $100.00 (a very large sum in 1937) to keep him from drinking, so that he’ll be in good shape for the championship bout that night.  The Stooges fail at this, however, and try to sober Bustoff up at the ring.

At the ring … with a ringer

It almost succeeds, too, until Curly accidentally drops a series of dumbbells on Bustoff – and then the cabinet.  The gamblers make it very clear that the Stooges’ health is on the line is Bustoff doesn’t win his match, and so Moe decides to disguise Curly to appear in Bustoff’s stead.  The wrestling match is very funny, with Curly misunderstanding what it means to ‘pin’ the opponent’s shoulders, and tries to use a real pin (borrowed from a ringside woman’s hat), and later on poking his opponent with the pin — and accidentally poking himself as well.

However, Curly is getting creamed, until Moe sees a lady with a bottle of perfume – the same perfume (Hyacinth) that drove Curly crazy earlier in the restaurant.  After Moe sprinkles him with the perfume, Curly goes wild and (with very funny slapstick with the poor wrestler) pins his opponent, and starts throwing everybody out of the ring – his opponent, the referee, Moe, Larry, and ringside police officers.  A very funny film, (a reworking of an earlier short film, Punch Drunks) and recommended viewing.  Grips, Grunts and Groans is available on The Three Stooges Collection Volume 2 (1937-1939).

Curly for President T-shirt




Funny movie quotes from Grips, Grunts and Groans starring the Three Stooges

Curly (Curly Howard): [Moe and Larry are punching, kicking and choking Curly to get him to agree to spar with Kid Pinkie for $5] Wait a minute! Wait a minute! If I’m gonna get beat up, I wanna get paid for it!

Waiter: Will you gentlemen have dessert?
MoeLarry and Curly: Yeah, another turkey!

Moe (Moe Howard): Listen, Bustoff you can’t drink that. That’s alcohol.
Ivan Bustoff: That’s not alcohol. That’s just a little tequila, vodka and cognac.
Curly (Curly Howard): Oh, that’s different go ahead.

Tony: Bustov has the biggest fight of his life today, and you’re here gettin’ him stewed!
Curly (Curly Howard): Yeah, but he’s payin’ for it!

Curly needs to take Bustoff’s place

Moe (Moe Howard): What happened?
Larry (Larry Fine): Nothing.  Only this puddinghead dumped some dumbells on his head.
Moe (Moe Howard): Dumbells?
Curly (Curly Howard): When the dumbells fell off, the locker fell on him.
Moe (Moe Howard): You mean you hit him with the locker, too?
Curly (Curly Howard): I didn’t do it, the locker did!

Curly (Curly Howard): I don’t know how to wrestle!  He’ll kill me!
Moe (Moe Howard): So what!  Tony’s gonna kill us anyway!  It’s better for one to die than three, and we’ve chosen you.
Curly (Curly Howard): A victim of circumstance!

Moe (Moe Howard): What’s a matter, kid, ya nervous?
Curly (Curly Howard): Nooo, I’m scared.

Moe (Moe Howard): Pin him down! Pin him down!
Curly (Curly Howard): But I ain’t got no pins.
Moe (Moe Howard): Oh, he ain’t got a pin …
Larry (Larry Fine): Get him one!
Moe (Moe Howard): You, too?

Trivia for Grips, Grunts and Groans

  • Curly has a violent reaction to the smell of the perfume, Wild Hyacinth. The only cure is for someone to tickle his feet. This is similar to the device used in Punch DrunksHorses’ Collars and Tassels in the Air.
  • This is the first short where the Stooges attempt to escape a room but wind up simply running in circles. This would be a recurring joke in the Stooge shorts.
  • Sól Horowitz, the father of Moe, Curly, and Shemp, makes a cameo appearance.

Cast of characters

Other characters

  • Bob Callahan … Cornerman
  • Chuck Callahan … Waiter #3
  • Tony Chavex … Kid Pinkie
  • Lew Davis (Playing the Ponies) … Henchman
  • Billy Engle … Man in Restaurant
  • Budd Fine … Man in Railyard
  • Jack Hill (Three Little Pirates) … Man in Restaurant
  • Sol Horwitz (Disorder in the Court) … Spectator
  • William Irving … Waiter #1
  • Johnny Kascier … Spectator
  • Sam Lufkin … Man in Railyard
  • Betty Mack (The Sitter-Downers) … Woman with Carriage
  • Eva McKenzie (Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise) … Woman with Carriage
  • Robert McKenzie … Timekeeper
  • Cy Schindell (Three Little Pirates) … Waiter #2
  • Herb Stagman … Referee
  • Everett Sullivan … Policeman on Telephone
  • Blackie Whiteford (Slaphappy Sleuths) … Tony’s Henchman
  • Harry Wilson (Some Like It Hot) … Workout Partner

Updated May 25, 2022

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