Idle Roomers begins with the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry and Curly) working as bellhops at a fancy hotel where Mrs. Leander (played by Three Stooges regular Christine McIntyre), a person involved in show business. Which we’ll see more of when her husband (played by Three Stooges regular Vernon Dent) shows up later. But in the meantime, describing the Three Stooges as “working” is hyperbole, since they’re sleeping on the job. The hotel clerk eventually collapses the bench that they’re sleeping on. And after some slapstick help from Moe they manage to untangle themselves and fight over who will carry the pretty lady’s baggage to the 8th floor. The Three Stooges flip a coin to see who gets the honor, with Curly and Larry flipping a coin, looking at it and Moe takes their coins without even looking at his, announcing “Heads”! It’s quite funny to hear Larry telling Christine that he’ll have “his boy” (Moe) bring up her other bags. And Moe taking his revenge on him with the help of the elevator doors.
Moe and Larry fight over carrying the bags into the room, only to find Curly already there, curled up in a chair; Moe takes his revenge on him, twisting Curly’s leg like an airplane propeller. Curly leaves, only to knock on the door again, irritating Moe into chasing him out. There’s another knock on the door, and Moe decides to teach Curly a lesson, dumping a large vase full of water on the other side of the door – soaking the husband, causing the Stooges to flee the scene.
Later, Moe loads up Curly like a pack mule, in a very funny visual joke. As Curly carries the load through the doorway, the bulk of the baggage falls, burying Moe in an avalanche of suitcases. Up on the 8th floor, Curly begins carrying a large trunk down the corridor, while unknown to him Larry is pulling up the carpet, causing Curly to walk on an improvised conveyor belt down the “longest corridor in the world”. Eventually, Curly gets to the hotel room and puts down the large trunk, only for Vernon Dent to think that he’s getting fresh. And Vernon uses his “show business” skills as a knife thrower to drive his point home, causing Curly to flee with large theatrical daggers stuck in his posterior.
The second half of the short film begins as Vernon Dent unveils the content of the large trunk to Christine. It’s the new attraction for their carnival Lupe the Wolf Man! Although he looks ferocious, he’s totally harmless. Unless he hears music, which causes him to fly into a rage. Soon enough, Curly unintentionally releases Lupe while cleaning the hotel room, and turns on the radio to listen to the music. Lupe throws the radio out of the room, hitting Moe, causing the first of several times throughout the short where one of the Stooges mistakes Lupe’s violence for someone else (typically Moe). Lupe starts wandering through the hotel, with the Three Stooges tasked at catching “the burglar”, leading to some funny slapstick, including Curly and Lupe doing the “broken mirror” routine (Groucho and Harpo Marx did the same basic routine in Duck Soup) with Lupe pretending to be Curly’s reflection, a funny routine that ends with Lupe chasing Curly out of the room.
Eventually, the Three Stooges try to escape from Lupe in the elevator, but Lupe grabs the arrow that indicates the floor that the elevator is on, and pulls the elevator back to the 8th floor where Lupe sneaks on board the elevator with the Stooges. Lupe begins playing with the elevator, bouncing them all from the top of the building to the bottom and back again like a yo-yo, finally breaking all four of them through the roof of the building and into space.
Idle Roomers is a funny Three Stooges short film and is available on DVD as part of The Three Stooges Collection volume 4.
Funny movie quotes from Idle Roomers (1943)
Mr. Leander (Vernon Dent): Oh, a fresh guy, huh! [starts throwing knives at Curly, Curly flees with knives in his posterior]
Mr. Leander (Vernon Dent): [talking about Lupe the wolf-man] He’s absolutely harmless – unless he hears music! Then he goes insane!
Moe (Moe Howard): Pardon me, do you like the radio?
Curly (Curly Howard): I love it!
Moe (Moe Howard): You got it! [bashes Curly over the head with large radio]
Curly (Curly Howard): [to escaping Lupe, thinking it’s Moe] You better get out of here! It’s a lucky thing you went through that window, or I’d tear off your arm and beat you to death with it!
Moe (Moe Howard): You’d what?
Curly (Curly Howard): I’d grind ya into hamburger! I’d … well, it’s lucky you went out that window. Hey! How could you be here when you just went out the window?
Lupe the Wolf Man: [after Hazel flees, pushes down on the bed where Hazel’s roommate is still sleeping]
Hazel’s roommate: [Annoyed] Hazel, will you lie still!
Lupe the Wolf Man: [Shakes bed again]
Hazel’s roommate: Hazel, wake up. Are you having a nightmare?
[Reaches back to shake Hazel and touches Wolf Man’s beard instead]
Hazel’s roommate: Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh!
[Her hair stands up on end and she screams loudly]
Hazel’s roommate: Ohhhhhh!
[Throws alarm clock and smashes the mirror on top of the dresser]
Moe (Moe Howard): [the Stooges exit the elevator] The boss says there’s a burglar in the hotel and we gotta find him.
[They hear screaming and Larry flees into the elevator. The Stooges try to follow, crashing into its door, then falling backward into the women’s room. Moe and Curly see something moving under the bed covers]
Moe (Moe Howard): There he is! Get him!
[They smack the bed with the woman in it with their mops. Woman screams]
Moe (Moe Howard): Sorry lady. We thought you were a burglar.
Hazel’s roommate: Wolf! Wolf! Ahhhhhh!
Curly (Curly Howard): Who, me? I resemble that remark.
Moe (Moe Howard): I told you your face scares people. Why don’t you throw it away?
[looks behind him and sees Lupe the Wolf Man]
Moe (Moe Howard): Yaaaa … aaaa … aaaa!
Curly (Curly Howard): [mockingly] Yaaaaaa … Hey lady. I ain’t that ugly. Or am I?
[Curly goes to the mirror and sees Lupe in broken mirror frame]
Curly (Curly Howard): Naaaaaaaa! Oh no! I think you got something there, I just scared myself!
Curly (Curly Howard): [looks again, feels his chin and Lupe does the same thing] I need a shave but I don’t feel any whiskers.
[smiles, Lupe does the same thing]
Curly (Curly Howard): Hey lady, I’m losing my teeth. I think I got pyorrhea.
[feels his head. Lupe does the same thing]
Curly (Curly Howard): Steel wool. That can’t be me. That looking glass is doity.
[puts his hand to the broken mirror frame and Lupe touches hands with him and both hands move in a circle. Then Curly blows into the frame and Lupe roars and leans out of the broken frame. Curly runs off]
Moe (Moe Howard): Did you lock the other door?
Curly (Curly Howard): Yeah, twice; once this way and once that way.