Vagabond Loafers (1949) starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Emil Sitka, Kenneth MacDonald, Christine McIntyre, Dudley Dickerson
Vagabond Loafers begins with the Norfleets (Emil Sitka and Symona Boniface) admiring their new, very expensive painting — only to find out that leaky plumbing may spoil their upcoming party. They call “Nite and Day Plumbers” — Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard — who are about to have their first plumbing job. At the party, various dinner guests are admiring the painting; among them are Three Stooges regulars Kenneth MacDonald and Christine McIntyre.
As the Stooges do their typical plumbing disaster, Christine and Kenneth are planning on stealing the painting, worth over $50,000. In the meantime, Shemp has thrown Emil Sitka out of the shower and turned the leaky shower into a maze of pipes, Moe is creating a disaster in the basement, Larry is digging up the back yard, and Moe and Shemp decide to pull all the wires out of the pipes in the basement, leading to chaos throughout the house (Emil Sitka reacting to them pulling a lamp out of the wall by the wires, water flowing through the appliances in the kitchen and driving chef Dudley Dickerson to distraction. As the chaos grows, the two thieves are taking the opportunity to steal the painting — but are unable to leave.
The thieves blame the “obvious” suspects, the only people in the house that nobody knows — the plumbers! While most of the people chase Moe into the basement, Kenneth MacDonald has followed Shemp into the shower — where the painting has been hidden in one of the plumber’s pipes. Unknown to him, Shemp has just covered the large hole that he created with a rug, so when Kenneth MacDonald approaches Shemp to threaten him, he falls into the basement. A moment later, when Christine McIntyre threatens him with a gun, Shemp drops the pipe — through the hole and onto Kenneth MacDonald’s head!
Soon, the action shifts to the basement, where the crooks are holding nearly everyone at gunpoint — everyone but Dudley Dickerson and Larry. Larry has surprised the chef, who in turn throws a bag of flour into the air which lands on Larry, covering him with the flour. When Larry goes downstairs, he frightens the crooks momentarily, allowing the Stooges to turn the tables on the crooks and recover the painting.
Although Vagabond Loafers is a remake of A Plumbing We Will Go, it’s an enjoyable short in it’s own right.
Funny movie quotes from Vagabond Loafers
Shemp Howard: Water always runs downhill.
Moe Howard: You’re a very intelligent imbecile.
Shemp Howard: Thank you!
Moe Howard: All these pipes are full of termites!
Shemp Howard: Hey, Moe, no wonder the water don’t work — the pipes are full of wires!
The Cook (Dudley Dickerson): This house has sure gone crazy!
The Cook (Dudley Dickerson): [to the guests while in his rain gear] Sorry folks. Dinner’s postponed on account of rain.
The Cook (Dudley Dickerson): [to Mr. and Mrs. Allen in the hallway] You folks going anywhere?
Mrs. Allen (Christine McIntyre): Just looking for a glass of water.
The Cook (Dudley Dickerson): Turn on anything! You’ll get it.
Mr. Allen (Kenneth MacDonald): If I took that painting, may I be struck by a bolt from the blue. [is struck by a pipe dropped through a hole in the ceiling by Shemp]
Moe Howard: [to Larry, who is covered in white powder] What do you charge to haunt a house?
Larry Fine: How many rooms?
Shemp Howard: We don’t want no reward.
Larry Fine: It’ll put us in a higher tax bracket!
Trivia for Vagabond Loafers
- The title is a play on the phrase, “vagabond lovers”
- Contains footage from “A Plumbing We Will Go“
- Vagabond Loafers is a remake of 1940’sA Plumbing We Will Go, and would itself be remade in 1956 as Scheming Schemers. In addition, Shemp was teamed with comedian El Brendel for the non-Stooge film Pick a Peck of Plumbers, which in itself was a remake of Sidney and Murray’s Plumbing for Gold
- Vagabond Loafers marked the final appearances of two prolific Stooge supporting actors: Symona Boniface and Dudley Dickerson. However, their faces would be seen in several more Stooge films when footage featuring the actors was recycled for future productions.