Malice in the Palace (1949) starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Vernon Dent
Synopsis of Malice in the Palace
Malice in the Palace is set in a desert land where the Three Stooges run a restaurant. There, the boys set out to recover the stolen Rootin Tootin diamond after they learn from the thieves that the Emir of Shmo has absconded with the contraband jewel. They journey to the stronghold of Shmo where they disguise as Santa Clauses and scare the ruler into giving them the diamond.
The hilarious routine with Larry preparing lunch in the kitchen of their while the customers mistakenly think that the dog and cat that are in the kitchen with Larry are … ingredients. It’s straight-out hilarious, one of the funniest Stooge bits ever filmed.
Moe: [to Hassen Ben Soba and Ginna Rumma] What’ll you have?
Hassan Ben Soba: We want…
Moe: [cutting him off] We don’t have any more.
Larry: All we got left are rabbit and hot dogs.
Hassan Ben Soba: Rabbit.
Ginna Rumma: Hot dogs.
Larry: Hot dog, they’ll take rabbit.
First the Three Stooges ruin their meal – truly hilarious. Then the two plotting thieves have been beaten to the punch! And they reveal themselves to be only menial laborers! But the Three Stooges plan to recover the stolen jewel for the reward. So, it’s off to the hideaway of the scoundrel that took it, the Emir of Schmo. “Cleverly” disguised as … Santa Claus?
Guard outside palace: Hark! Who goes there?
Moe, Larry and Shemp (together): Santa Claus!
Guard outside palace: Ah, there ain’t no Santa Claus.
Shemp: [as all three of them get out and open their bag] Oh, yes, there is, and we’ve got a present for you.
Guard outside palace: You have?
Moe: Yeah, right here! [hits the guard over the head and he falls into the bag unconscious]
There’s some horseplay with the palace guards, then harem girls. Then they frighten the Emir of Schmo into giving up the jewel, and order him to stand on his head into a lily pad! After a short fruit fight with the guards, they make their escape, ending the short film.
Cast of characters
- Shemp Howard … Shemp
- Larry Fine … Larry
- Moe Howard … Moe
- Vernon Dent (Squareheads of the Round Table) … Hassan Ben Sober
- George J. Lewis (Sappy Bullfighters) … Ginna Rumma
- Frank Lackteen (The Sea Wolf) … Haffa Dolla
- Everett Brown (Gone with the Wind) … Nubian Guard
- Johnny Kascier (Brideless Groom) … Emir of Schmow
- Jack Norton (Rhythm and Weep) … Emir of Schmoe
- Joe Palma (Uncivil War Birds) … Guard Outside Palace
- Bert Young (So Long Mr. Chumps) … Guard Outside Palace (archive footage)
- Larry Fine’s autobiography contains a photograph of Curly Howard as a chef in a deleted scene from this film.
- The shot of The Three Stooges riding up to the palace each dressed as Santa Claus was stock footage from Wee Wee Monsieur (1938).
- This is one of four of The Three Stooges shorts that ended up falling into the public domain, the other three being Brideless Groom, Sing a Song of Six Pants, and Disorder in the Court.