Three Little Pirates (1946), starring the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard) – originally released December 5, 1946
In Three Little Pirates, the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry and Curly) are castaways from a garbage scow who land on Dead Man’s Island, where the populace is stuck in the 17th century, ruled by the iron fist of the Governor (played by Stooge regular Vernon Dent). With the help of island native Rita Yolanda (played by Stooge regular Christine McIntyre), Curly impersonates a Maharajah and gets permission to return to their own land (the Island of Coney) and return with presents. In order to leave, though, the boys have to go through the pirate den of Black Louie, where Curly is forced into a knife-throwing contest with Larry as the target. By blind luck (literally, as Curly is using the too-thick-to-see-through glasses), the Three Stooges win, and the short film ends with Moe declaring himself the ruler of the island.
Highlights of the short film include the famous “Maha? Yaha!” routine with Curly as the nearsighted Maharajah, a routine that they did in several short films after, as well as in many of their television appearances, as well as the pinball machine in the pirates’ den (yes, you read that right) – whenever it goes “TILT”, a large, cartoonish hammer pops out and hits the person in front of the machine, which Larry uses during the fight, as well as to silence “king” Moe at the end of the short film. Three Little Pirates is available on the Three Stooges DVD collection The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 5: 1946-1948.
Trivia for Three Little Pirates
- The last The Three Stooges short in which Curly Howard was involved in the entire production. He was left out of the final scene of the next Stooges project, Half-Wits Holiday (1947) after he suffered a debilitating stroke.
- Canarsie, Bay Meadows, Flatbush, and the isles of Coney and Long are references to New York-based localities where brothers Moe, Curly, and Shemp Howard spent their childhood. It is all the more appropriate, as the Stooges are sailors shipwrecked off of a New York City Garbage scow.
- The Stooges had previously performed the “Maha raja” routine in the 1941 film Time Out for Rhythm. They would resurrect the routine one more time (with Curly Joe DeRita as the third stooge) for the 1963 theatrical feature The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze. Moe Howard also later performed a variation of the routine, with Mike Douglas and Soupy Sales, in a 1970s television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show.
Funny movie quotes from The Three Stooges in Three Little Pirates (1946)
Governor (Vernon Dent): [looking at Moe, Larry, and Curly in modern sailor dress] I never saw sea-faring men dressed like that. I don’t believe they’re sailors.
[they whistle lasciviously when a beautiful blonde enters]
Governor (Vernon Dent): They’re sailors, all right!
Governor (Vernon Dent): You shall die! I’ll throw you to the tigers!
Moe (Moe Howard): Give us a chance!
Larry (Larry Fine): Be a sport too!
Governor (Vernon Dent): You want a chance?
Larry (Larry Fine): Yeah!
Governor (Vernon Dent): Very well, you may choose the manner in which you will die.
Larry (Larry Fine): Uh, that;s easy! Old age! [they all laugh]
Curly (Curly Howard): Eenie, Meenie, Minee, Moe. See, you can’t go wrong with Moe! Heh, heh.
Moe (Moe Howard): Thanks [slap]. Get Busy!
Rita (Christine McIntyre) : She’d slit your throat for two doubloons.
Moe (Moe Howard): We’ve got a barber that’ll do it for two bits.
Curly (Curly Howard): But he ain’t as good lookin’!
Moe (Moe Howard): Razbanyi siati benefuchi timiniharogi. That, how do you call it, that froghead, he askee taskaskee, whatifichorsa inginzoben. Gotet something else kiddo?
Curly (Curly Howard): Razbanyai siati benefuchi timinharongi. Paradeecke mahiha. I’d want to see that.
Moe (Moe Howard): Sit down, you flatbush flathead!
Curly: Razbanyai siati benefuchi, I fall down.
Moe (Moe Howard): Maha, Razbanyi siati benefuchi timiniharongi a bay meadows. That iron head askee taskee whatificharsaia kemdal ayendalay. You got some slick chicks?
Curly (Curly Howard): Aha. Oh a wolf. Razbanyi siati benefuchi timiniharongi paraleechemahiha. I’d like to see some babes myself.
Curly (Curly Howard): Hittin’ a guy with glasses,huh?
Moe (Moe Howard): The maha- …
Curly (Curly Howard): Aha! Lazpanya se chekini fuchi …
Moe (Moe Howard): Siddown!
Curly (Curly Howard): Oh, shaddap! I don’t have to!
Moe (Moe Howard): The raja says that in his domain on the islands of Coney & Long there are some fair chickadees who prowl through the meadows day & night. If you give us till sunup, we shall bring some back by sundown.
Governor (Vernon Dent): Excellent, Excellent! On your way with winged feet.
Curly (Curly Howard): Aha, Yataminich, where are you?
Moe (Moe Howard): Be careful to not hit Larry.
Curly (Curly Howard): Where’s Larry?
Moe (Moe Howard): Take off the glasses. He’s over there against the wall.
Curly (Curly Howard): What wall?
Moe (Moe Howard): Nyaah! Put on the glasses.
Moe (Moe Howard): The maha- …
Curly (Curly Howard): Aha! Razbanyi siati benefuchi
Cast of characters
- Curly Howard … Curly (as Curly)
- Larry Fine … Larry (as Larry)
- Moe Howard … Moe (as Moe)
- Christine McIntyre (The Hot Scots) … Rita Yolanda
- Robert Kellard (Rhythm and Weep) … Black Louie (as Robert Stevens)
- Vernon Dent (Squareheads of the Round Table) … Governor
- Dorothy DeHaven (Cookoo Cavaliers) … Chiquita, Governor’s Secretary