In Idle Roomers, Lupe the wolf man menaces the Three Stooges in a hotel!
Idle Roomers (1943) starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Christine McIntyre, Vernon Dent
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. Then, they 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. But 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.
Taking the bags to the room
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.
Introducing Lupe the Wolf Man
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.
Cast of characters
- Curly Howard … Curly
- Larry Fine … Larry
- Moe Howard … Moe
- Duke York (Higher Than a Kite) … Lupe the Wolf Man
- Christine McIntyre (Who Done It?) … Mrs. Leander
- Vernon Dent (Squareheads of the Round Table) … Mr. Leander
- Joanne Frank … Hazel
- Esther Howard (Sullivan’s Travels) … Hazel’s Roommate
- Eddie Laughton (So Long Mr. Chumps) … Desk Clerk
- Victor Travis (How High is Up?) … Man in Lobby