Production Information
Booty And The Beast 
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 145
Release Date: March 5, 1953
Running Time: 15:55

“Money gives me itchy palms” – (Shemp)

Shor Take

The Three Stooges inadvertently aid a safe-cracker (Kenneth MacDonald), who flees to Las Vegas with the stolen “booty.” Realizing their error, the trio hop the train to Vegas to catch up with the thief, though not before accidentally freeing a lion from the baggage car. Eventually, the boys capture the nameless crook and retrieve the stolen money from him.


For Booty And The Beast Jules and Jack White chose to refurbish not another 1930’s Curly film, as they had for the previous Up in Daisy’s Penthouse and 1952’s A Missed Fortune, but the more recent and very popular Shemp film Hold That Lion! Unlike Up in Daisy’s Penthouse, this film uses extensive footage from the original, which was possible because Hold That Lion! starred Shemp as the third Stooge and not Curly. This marks an important turning point in The Stooge corpus.

Refurbished Shemp Shorts

The Columbia short-subject unit had a tight budget and was pressed for experienced personnel after the departure of Hugh McCollum and Edward Bernds. Jules and Jack White had rework old scripts for A Missed Fortune and Up in Daisy’s Penthouse and reused actual footage from two different Curly films in Pest Man Wins, the final release of 1951. Starting with Booty And The Beast, using footage earlier Shemp films now becomes the normal method for filling the year’s contractural number Stooge Productions, with new scenes written specifically to introduce or follow the re-edited footage. This the first of four more such remakes in 1953, and by year’s end, the White brothers will have become too adept at making refurbished versions of Shemp shorts that the new versions will be improving on the originals.

Visual Humor

New slapstick sequences move the plot along twice: once when Shemp gives Moe a hand-wave and is shoved into the crook’s bag; and once when Shemp says, “Money gives me itchy palms,” drops the bag (to scratch his palm) on Moe’s foot, and thus sees that it is filled with safecracking tools. The new interior sequence turns The Stooges into safecrackers and generates well-timed, plot-related too abuse with a chisel, hammer, power drill, and four sticks of dynamite. Sometimes plot simplicity provides the purest Stooges slapstick: here Shemp absentmindedly drops the chisel and picks up a dynamite stick by mistake; Moe stops him from hammering it, gets his own hand hammered, tells Shemp to hold his hat, whacks him over the head with the stick, jams it into his mouth, holds his jaw and bonks him on the head four times. This sort of extended slapstick is common in these refurbished films. Another example Larry: “I think we’re out-a gas.” Moe: Joy-ridin’ again eh?” (Nose tweak) Shemp: “Why don’t you try the choke?” Moe: “Thanks! I will!” He chokes Shemp, bangs his head into Larry’s and walks across their laps.

Cast & Crew

Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written byFelix Adler
Jack White
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Kenneth MacDonald
Vernon Dent
Heinie Conklin
Dudley Dickerson
Curly Howard
Blackie Whiteford
Edited byEdwin H. Bryant

Booty And The Beast Trivia

  • Kenneth MacDonald’s character in Hold That Lion was originally named Icabod Slipp: in Booty and the Beast, he is a nameless thug. Any references to Slipp are replaced with “He”, “Him” or “that crook.”
  • Larry says “Wake up and go to sleep!” in three shorts – A Pain In The Pullman, Booty and the Beast, and Hold That Lion!
  • The release title parodies that of the eighteenth-century French fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”; in 1932 Warner Bros. released a Beauty and the Boss.

Production Notes

  • Booty and the Beast was filmed in May 1952.
  • The second half of the film consists of footage recycled from Hold That Lion!, which includes the cameo appearance by Curly Howard, who died on January 18, 1952. The title of the film is a parody of the fairy tale Beauty And The Beast.