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Punch Drunks, starring the Three Stooges

Punch Drunks poster, with Moe Howard, Dorothy Granger, Curly HowardPunch Drunks (1934) starring the Three StoogesMoe 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 is seated 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.

Moe as the trainer and Curly as Kid Stradivarius, in the ring in Punch DrunksTraining 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 “€œStars and Stripes Forever” that drove Curly Howard crazy, but it was 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

Punch Drunks colorized title cardCurly (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 it’s 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 don’t 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.

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