Production Information
Cactus Makes Perfect
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 61
Release Date: February 26, 1942
Running Time: 17:18

“I’m gonna change my socks. What an experience!”

Short Take

The Three Stooges’ 61st film short, Cactus Makes Perfect opens with The Stooges’ mother (played by male actor Monte Collins) attempting to wake up her three boys without success. “Get out of bed you lazy loafers!” she screams to no avail. Finally, she yanks a rope that leads from the kitchen to the bed where the trio is sleeping soundly. This causes the bed to spin vertically until they are expelled.

Curly receives a letter from the Inventors’ Association, who states that his Gold Collar Button Retriever is “incomprehensible and utterly impractical.” Naturally, Curly misinterprets this as a success, and the trio leave their mother’s home to make their fortune. In transit, they are swindled into buying a map leading to a lost mine in the Old West. After actually finding a lost mine, The Stooges run afoul of two down-on-their-luck prospectors (Vernon Dent, Ernie Adams) after Curly fires an arrow from his Gold Collar Button Retriever. The two then try to rob The Boys out of their dough. Moe and Larry flee to an abandoned hotel where Curly hid the gold in a safe. (“It’s safe in the safe”.) The miners show up, and they all take refuge in the safe room. The miners drill through the door, which Curly attributes to termites, and throw a stick of dynamite in. After a little back and forth, the stick fizzles out. Believing it to be a dud, The Boys burst out laughing and Curly chucks the dynamite, causing it to actually explode.

Cast & Crew

Directed byDel Lord
Produced byDel Lord
Hugh McCollum
Written byMonte Collins
Elwood Ullman
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Vernon Dent
Eddie Laughton
Monte Collins
Ernie Adams
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byJerome Thom

Cactus Makes Perfect Trivia

  • Curly’s remark, “I shoot an arrow into the air, where it lands I do not care: I get my arrows wholesale!”parodies Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s poem “The Arrow and the Song,” which begins, “I shot an arrow into the air/It fell to earth, I knew not where…”
  • Stooge first:  Verbal Humor – “Where men are men are men are men are men are men -and they’re glad of it.”
  • Even though the short matriarch is an overbearing mother, ironically in real life Curly, the youngest of the Horwitz sons (Irving, Jack, Shemp, and Moe), was very close with his mother. She called him Babe.

Production Notes

  • Filmed on August 7-11, 1941.
  • The short was filmed inside a Columbia soundstage. The house was built inside the soundstage.
  • They utilized rear projection screens which display the Columbia Ranches skid row facades and a truck about to run them down.
  • The title Cactus Makes Perfect parodies the proverb “practice makes perfect.”