Punch Drunks (1934) starring the Three Stooges – Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard
Punch Drunks is one of the very best Three Stooges short films – oddly enough, it’s also one of their most different films. At the beginning of the movie, the Stooges do not know each other; Curly (spelled “Curley” in the credits here) is a waiter at a restaurant, where Moe, a down-and-out boxing promoter, is eating. Larry sits nearby, with his violin at hand. Once Larry begins playing Pop Goes the Weasel on his violin, Curly goes into a violent rage, attacking everyone in the restaurant, including knocking out a boxing champ! Moe sees the possibilities inherent in this and hires both Larry and Curly, whom he begins promoting as K.O. Stradivarius.
Training ensues, complete with a very funny segment where they’re outdoors, and help a female motorist whose car is stuck. Curly begins winning fight after fight, culminating in the big title match — but Larry’s violin is accidentally broken! Curly, on his own in the boxing ring against the champion, is pure comedy gold, as is Larry’s substitute music. A very funny short film that’s in my Top 10 Three Stooges short film list — and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Punch Drunks is available as part of the Three Stooges DVD collection, The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 1: 1934-1936.
Trivia for Punch Drunks starring the Three Stooges – Moe, Larry, Curly
- In the original script, it was “Stars and Stripes Forever” that drove Curly Howard crazy. But it changed when it was decided that Larry Fine would play the tune on the violin. Larry himself chose “Pop-Goes-the-Weasel” because the other song didn’t sound right when played on the violin.
- This is the only Three Stooges short that the stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard) wrote entirely themselves.
Funny movie quotes from Punch Drunks (1934) starring the Three Stooges – Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard
Curly (Curly Howard): What’ll ya have?
Moe (Moe Howard): I’ll have four pieces of burnt toast and a rotten egg.
Curly (Curly Howard): Why do you want that?
Moe (Moe Howard): I gotta tapeworm and itâs good enough for him.
Curly (Curly Howard): Every time I hear that Weasel tune, something POPS inside of me!
Girl: Could you help me? I’m in a terrible dilemma.
Moe (Moe Howard): Yeah, I donât care much for these foreign cars myself.
Girl: No, I mean I’m stuck . . .
Moe (Moe Howard): On me? Aw, that’s what all the girls say.
Girl: No, silly. Stuck in the mud.
Moe (Moe Howard): Uh, yeah.
[Curly/KO Stradivarius tries to leave the boxing ring but gets caught in the ropes]
Curly (Curly Howard): Time out! Time out!
Moe (Moe Howard): I suppose you’ll want the afternoon off.
Cast of characters
- Moe Howard (No Dough Boys) … Moe (as Moe)
- Larry Fine (Scrambled Brains) … Larry (as Larry)
- Curly Howard (Disorder in the Court) … Curley, aka K.O. Stradivarius (as Curley)
- Dorothy Granger (Termites of 1938) … Girl
- Billy Bletcher (Even as IOU) … Fight Announcer (uncredited)
- Chet Brandenburg … Kilduff Cornerman (uncredited)
- Chuck Callahan (Dizzy Doctors) … Mr. McGurn (uncredited)
- Oscar ‘Dutch’ Hendrian (Restless Knights) … Plug-Ugly #1 in Restaurant (uncredited)
- Al Hill (A Gem of a Jam) … Killer Kilduff (uncredited)
- Arthur Housman (Scram!) … Fight Timekeeper (uncredited)
- William Irving (Back to the Woods) … Kilduff’s Manager (uncredited)
- Ray Jones (Phony Express) … K.O. Cornerman (uncredited)
- Harry Keaton (Uncivil Warriors) … K.O. Cornerman (uncredited)
- Jack Kenney (Movie Maniacs) … K.O. Cornerman (uncredited)
- Charles King … Man on Truck (uncredited)
- Jack ‘Tiny’ Lipson (Slippery Silks) … Fat Ringsider (uncredited)
- Larry McGrath (Three Little Pirates) … Referee (uncredited)
- Frank Moran … Plug-Ugly #3 in Restaurant (uncredited)
- Maxie Rosenbloom (Hollywood or Bust) … Plug-Ugly #2 in Restaurant (uncredited)
- Art Rowlands (Ants in the Pantry) … Spectator (uncredited)
- Harry Watson … Kid in Fight Crowd (uncredited)
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