Mutts to You (1938) starring the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard), Vernon Dent, Bud Jamison
Mutts to You begins with an upper class young family — complete with baby and chauffeur — preparing for a trip, which includes taking their dalmatian family dog to be washed at “K-9 Dog Laundry,” run by the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard). Where they run the dog through a Rube Goldberg-style device for washing the dog. Shortly after leaving, the young couple has a fight about their trip, with the wife not wanting to bring the dog along — so she and the baby take a cab home.
Once there, she leaves the baby in his basket on the front steps, while she goes to the back door — since she’s left her keys. In the meantime, the Stooges are driving home, in a funny scene where Curly is the engine, and they mistakenly think that the baby has been abandoned — and, being soft-hearted people, they take the child, planning on dropping him off at the police station. But the baby’s awful cute … maybe they can give him some milk first … as Moe says, “It’s my idea, but I don’t think much of it.”
Of course, that leaves the issue of sneaking the baby into their boarding house, since neither pets nor babies are allowed — past the eyes of their landlord, played by Stooge regular Vernon Dent. Curly has the baby hidden in a bag of groceries, Larry has a balloon for the baby to play with under his coat, and Moe has a bottle of baby formula hidden — all of which backfire on them, as Vernon tries to be helpful — even after hearing Curly “cry like a baby.” But once the Stooges are in their room, he hears the baby …
When the suspicious landlord comes in, the Stooges manage to hide the baby, Curly engages in some baby talk, and the still-suspicious landlord leaves … just in time for the daily newspapers to be delivered — to the back of Moe’s head — and the Stooges realize that the baby wasn’t abandoned, and they’re now suspects in a kidnapping! Moe gets the clever idea of borrowing a female neighbor’s clothing from a clothes line, and disguising Curly as the baby’s mother, so that they can return the baby.
On the way out, they meet their friendly police officer, played by Three Stooges regular Bud Jamison — who, of course, wants to look at the baby, and realize that the Stooges must be the kidnappers — and the chase is on! The Stooges run into a Chinese laundry to evade the police, and Moe and Larry come out disguised as Chinese — with Curly and the baby in a laundry hamper on wheels. Police officer Bud Jamison isn’t convinced, and is taking them in for questioning, when the laundry hamper rolls out of control …
Only to end up in front of the searching parents, whose bloodhound dalmatian has been following the baby’s scent. The family is reunited, the misunderstanding is resolved, and all’s well — except that the baby’s dirty. The Stooges decide to come to the rescue, and takes the family back to their dog wash, where they run the baby through the washing process — until Curly throws the wrong switch, and the short film ends with the baby getting an unintentional spanking from the machine.
In all, Mutts to You is an enjoyable Curly-era Three Stooges short — not one of their best shorts, but very enjoyable. Mutts to You is available on DVD as part of The Three Stooges Collection volume 2.
Funny movie quotes from Mutts to You
Larry: [talking about their car] Three miles an hour — we ought to be going faster than that.
Moe: You’re right — you know, the old engine ain’t what it used to be.
Larry: You’re telling me; listen to that exhaust.
Curly: [pushing the car, huffing and puffing]
Moe: Say, did you ever have your valves ground?
Curly: Certainly, with onions!
Curly: [referring to a baby on a doorstop] You mean it’s being adopted?
Moe: Abandoned, ya lug!
Curly: I like babies! I was one once, you know.
Moe: I don’t know. It was my idea, but I don’t think much of it.
Larry: He’s a cute little rascal, ain’t he?
Curly: Yeah, I’d like to keep him and raise him myself!
Moe: Nothing doing, it ain’t fair to the kid.