Three Smart Saps (1942) starring the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard)
Synopsis of Three Smart Saps
Moe, Larry, and Curly are engaged to the three daughters of a prison warden who’s lost his job. The Stooges break into the prison to get proof of the illegal shenanigans going on inside.
Three Smart Saps is a very funny Three Stooges short. In the first half, the Stooges need to break into prison. They want to rescue their future father-in-law, who’s been imprisoned by his corrupt replacement. But first, they need to get arrested – which is harder than they thought! It’s very reminiscent of the O. Henry story, The Cop and the Anthem, where they can’t get arrested no matter what.
Eventually, they sneak into prison, where they see that the new warden is using it as a perfect alibi for the criminals. They can leave whenever they want, and can’t be suspects for the crimes they commit. Since they’ve been “in prison” the whole time! Soon, the Stooges find the ex-warden. He doesn’t want them to break him out. Instead, he wants them to take photographs of the various shenanigans going in in the prison.
They do so, running into regulars Bud Jamison and Vernon Dent inside the jail. Curly even “borrows” Vernon’s suit. But the tailor wasn’t finished, so it falls apart on the dance floor, as Larry tries to surreptitiously act as tailor. Dance floor? Yes, the prison’s working as a luxury hotel for the “prisoners”. This leads to a very funny dance scene!
Eventually, the Stooges get the photographic evidence, escape, vindicate the ex-warden, and marry his three lovely daughters!
Funny movie quotes from Three Smart Saps
Curly: We’re not ordinary people… we’re morons!
Moe: If you didn’t have TB, I’d be able to get this around you.
Curly: What do you mean, TB?
Moe: Two bellies.
Curly’s Dancing Partner: Do you rumba?
Curly: Only when I take bicarbonate. Yuk. Yuk. Let’s dance anyway.
Moe’s Dancing Partner: [Not noticing the loss of her skirt] Do you feel a draft?
Moe: Draft? No, I was exempted.
Moe’s Dancing Partner: Somebody lost their skirt!
[realized it’s her skirt and flees into bathroom, slamming door in Moe’s face]
- Curly Howard … Curly
- Larry Fine … Larry
- Moe Howard … Moe
- Julie Gibson (Sock-A-Bye Baby) … Stella Stevens, Curly’s fiancée.
- Julie Duncan (They Stooge to Conga) … Mella Stevens
- Ruth Skinner (Back from the Front) … Bella Stevens
- John Tyrrell (A Plumbing We Will Go) … Warden Stevens
- Vernon Dent (A Bird in the Head) … Disappointed customer of tailor
- Bud Jamison (Movie Maniacs) … Party Guest
- Barbara Slater (Monsieur Verdoux) … Curly’s Dancing Partner
- Marjorie Kane (W. C. Fields’ The Dentist) … Woman on Dance Floor
- Barbara Pepper (Green Acres) … Woman on Dance Floor
Trivia for Three Smart Saps
- John Tyrell, who plays the warden, also appeared in Uncivil War Birds, Micro-Phonies, If a Body Meets a Body, Rockin’ in the Rockies, No Dough Boys, Gents Without Cents, Busy Buddies, Crash Goes the Hash, A Gem of a Jam, Dizzy Detectives, They Stooge to Conga, What’s the Matador?, In the Sweet Pie and Pie, All the World’s a Stooge, So Long Mr. Chumps, Boobs in Arms, No Census No Feeling, Nutty But Nice, A Plumbing We Will Go, Rockin’ Thru the Rockies, You Nazty Spy!, We Want Our Mummy, Three Little Sew and Sews, Three Little Beers
- Julie Gibson (Curly’s fiancee) also appeared as the mother in Sock-A-Bye Baby.
- To actually see The Cop and the Anthem, it’s been filmed both on The Red Skelton Show, and as part of O. Henry’s Full House.
Updated May 23, 2022