Production Information
Dizzy Detectives 
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 68
Release Date: February 5, 1943
Running Time: 18:32

“I don’t wanna be dead! There’s no future in it!” – (Curly)


Dizzy Detectives Short Take

There are few Stooge films more widely appreciated than this one. Dizzy Detectives makes great use of more than a dozen iconic Three Stooges routines. The short begins with an attempt at installing a door with mishaps galore, The Three Stooges are recruited by the police chief (Bud Jamison) as police officers. The head of the citizen’s league, Mr. Dill (John Tyrrell), warns the police commissioner that he must capture the Ape Man that is terrorizing the city, or he will have his job.

The Boys get a tip that the Ape Man is burglarizing a particular store and head out to catch him. They patrol the store, with Curly pausing for a while in a rocking chair alongside a cat whose tail happens to swing simultaneously with the rocker. The tail gets caught eventually, causing the cat to screech, and Curly to scurry away.

While there, they encounter the Ape Man named Bonzo (Ray “Crash” Corrigan), who proves to be an actual gorilla after he bends the barrels of the guns The Stooges intended to use against him. The trio then discovers several thugs that are behind the gorilla’s rampage, including Mr. Dill, who is conspiring to remove the chief so he can be the successor.

The gorilla was taken from a circus and not used to this job. The Stooges proceed to beat up the thugs with all manner of fights. After encountering a fake guillotine set, which shocks Larry and Moe, Curly disposes of the gorilla by head butting him. But beforehand, the gorilla drinks a bottle of nitroglycerin the thugs were carrying, causing Bonzo to explode when Curly charges him.

Dizzy Detectives Cast & Crew

Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written byFelix Adler
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Bud Jamison
Lynton Brent
John Tyrrell
Dick Jensen
Ray “Crash” Corrigan
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byJerome Thoms

Dizzy Detectives Trivia

  • The opening carpentry scene is borrowed from 1935’s Pardon My Scotch, including footage of Moe crashing to the floor and breaking three ribs.
  • Dizzy Detectives has one of the best “Hello, hello, hello” scenes when The Boys answer the phones at the top of the short in the police precinct. The triadic greeting was also used in Some More of Samoa, Scotched in Scotland, For Crimin’ Out Loud, and Jerks of All Trades.
  • Another of many trademark routines used in Dizzy Detectives was “ten-year tools.” Moe: Get the tools!
    Larry/Curly: What tools?Moe: The tools we’ve been using for the last ten years! Also used in: Pardon My Scotch, 3 Dumb Clucks, How Hight is Up, and Meet The Baron.
  • After Curly spins on the ground, when Larry is helping Curly up, you can see Larry is laughing.
  • There is personal irony when Curly shoots the hat resting on his foot; he had shot himself in the foot as a teenager, which made his left leg permanently thinner and caused him to limp in pain for his entire life.
  • The short has Curly with a deeper voice, possibly from a cold or congestion.
  • This is the second of Three Stooge shorts with the word “dizzy” in the title.
  • Dizzy Detectives was remade — line-by-line — with Joe Besser and Jim Hawthorne as Fraidy Cat in 1951; Fraidy Cat was itself remade three years later as Hook A Crook, using stock footage.

Production Notes

Dizzy Detectives was filmed over four days on June 29-July 2, 1942.