Production Information
A Missed Fortune 
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 137
Release Date: January 3, 1952
Running Time: 16:06

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” “You crush his skull, I’ll break ‘im in two.”
(Shemp & Moe)


Short Take

Shemp wins $50,000 for accidentally guessing the correct make of a car for a radio contest. The boys check in at the Hotel Costa Plente, and quickly spend their winnings. Their suite is furnished with many expensive items, which they systematically destroy. The hotel manager (Vernon Dent) discovers the destruction when he delivers a telegram to The Stooges’ suite; the telegram reveals that taxes withheld from Shemp’s winnings reduce the $50,000 windfall to a minuscule $4.85.

Just then, three attractive gold diggers (Nanette BordeauxVivian MasonSuzanne Ridgeway), who are also guests at the hotel, connive their way into the boys’ room. After twice being accidentally drenched with ice water thrown by the boys, the girls hit the stooges over the head with champagne bottles.

The Three Stooges and Money Themes

Because The Three Stooges act was born in the Great Depression of the 1930s, money was often of considerable importance in both their set routines and comic narratives. In a number of films, The Stooges make fun of the rich by circumventing snooty butlers, insulting pompous party guests, turning their social gatherings into brawls, or just destroying their homes.

On the other side of the coin, The Stooges often played unemployed bums, ranging in industry from comfortably lazy to ineptly prepared. The trio made a number of attempts at getting rich, often being swindled before their quarter-hour story was used up. Every once in a while, The Boys actually make it rich, albeit temporarily, a scenario conceived of first by Searle Kramer in 1938’s Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb, which is refurbished in A Missed Fortune with Shemp, Vernon Dent, and Stanley Blystone.

Cast & Crew

Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written bySearle Kramer
Jack White
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Vernon Dent
Stanley Blystone
Nanette Bordeaux
Vivian Mason
Suzanne Ridgeway
CinematographyFayte M. Browne
Edited byHenry DeMond

A Missed Fortune Trivia

  • There are 21 face slaps, 5 eye pokes and two head bonks.
  • Moe tells Larry to take a bath to which Larry replies what? (Answer: ‘It ain’t spring yet’).
  • This is the last Three Stooges film to be released during Curly Howard’s lifetime. He died on January 18, 1952.

Production Notes

  • Filmed over two days in 1951 (January 22-23), A Missed Fortune is a remake of 1938’s Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb, using minimal stock footage.
  • When Shemp falls onto the top of the bed, the footage is actually Curly borrowed from Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb (Curly can be heard yelling during the fall).
  • Additionally, Larry taking a bath as well as the close-up of Moe yelling “Get this Henry the VIII off my neck!” is also stock. A slight inconsistency can be noted, as the pattern on the wood changes from shot to shot.
  • The glue Moe accidentally pours onto his hotcakes, “Stik Fast Glue”, is the same product Curly writes a slogan for in Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb.