Listen, Judge (1952) – Three Stooges short film starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard
Listen, Judge (1952) starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard is a remake of the earlier Three Stooges short film with Curly Howard, An Ache in Every Stake (1941). The basic plot remains the same, but this time the short film begins with the Three Stooges in court on charges of vagrancy and chicken stealing. The judge, played by Stooge regular Vernon Dent, who drops the charges (a little prematurely) and the Stooges make good their escape. Working as electrical repairmen, they get a job repairing at doorbell at a mansion, and after their standard routine of pulling wires (and each other) through the walls, they alienate the domestic staff (including their French chef, played by Stooge regular Emil Sitka), who promptly quit.
Lady of the house
The lady of the house, wife of the judge from the beginning of the film, then compounds her error by hiring the Three Stooges to finish the important dinner. Shemp then stuffs the turkey in a literal manner, similar to Curly’s performance in An Ache in Every Stake with one cute twist. When Shemp stuffs a can of tomatoes into the bird, Moe intercedes, pulls the can out, removes the label and returns the can inside the bird, commenting “Paper in stuffing! Ick!” The stooges again inflate the cake with oven gas, that instead of floating away, explodes when cut, covering everyone in cake, and prompting the Stooges to flee the party.
Some nice points include a subtle jab at the political process by pointing out the Judge’s exchanging favors with another politician, played by John Hamilton, best known for his role as Perry White in The Adventures of Superman. Once the cake blows up, so does the Judge’s chance of election.
A very good Three Stooges short, with an excellent performance by Shemp, I rate it 4 clowns. It is available on The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 7: 1952-1954.
Funny movie quotes from Listen, Judge – The Three Stooges
Judge (Vernon Dent): We can’t support a charge of vagrancy. They have a visible means of support.
Larry (Larry Fine): [to Moe] Does he mean our suspenders?
Judge (Vernon Dent): What’s the matter with him [Shemp clucking like a chicken]
Moe (Moe Howard): He thinks he’s a chicken.
Judge (Vernon Dent): Why don’t you do something about it?
Larry (Larry Fine): We need the eggs!
Larry (Larry Fine): Hey, I found a wire!
Moe (Moe Howard): Good work, Larry! Keep it up and I’ll give you some C-A-N-D-Y.
Larry (Larry Fine): Aw, I don’t smoke.
Chef (Emil Sitka): You idiot you! You, you …
Moe (Moe Howard): Imbecile?
Chef (Emil Sitka): Oui!
Moe (Moe Howard): Go on you French poodle, your father’s got fleas
Trivia for Listen, Judge
- Listen, Judge is the first Three Stooges short released after Curly Howard‘s death.
- When Moe reprimands his two pals for pulling him through a wall, Larry claims to be a “victim of circumstance”, the only time in a short a Stooge other than Curly uttered the phrase.
- The story content of Listen, Judge is a hybrid of plot devices borrowed from several Stooge films featuring Curly Howard:
- The chicken stealing sequence in the courtroom is from A Plumbing We Will Go.
- The doorbell repair sequence is from They Stooge to Conga.
- The food preparation sequences and exploding cake (comprising the second half of the film) are from An Ache in Every Stake.
Cast of characters
- Shemp Howard … Shemp
- Larry Fine … Larry
- Moe Howard … Moe
- Kitty McHugh (Gents in a Jam) … Mrs. Henderson
- Vernon Dent (Squareheads of the Round Table) … Judge Henderson
- Emil Sitka (Pardon My Clutch) … The Chef
- Chick Collins … Officer Casey
- Mary Emory … Lydia Morton
- Dick Gordon … Party Guest
- John Hamilton … George Morton
- George J. Lewis (Sappy Bullfighters) … Political Supporter
- Harold Miller … Party Guest
- Gil Perkins (Batman the Movie) … Officer Ryan
- Betty Jane Pettit … Attractive Blonde Party Guest