Production Information
Grips, Grunts and Groans
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 20
Release Date: January 15, 1937
Running Time: 18:44

“Wait a minute! If I’m gonna get beat up I wanna get paid fer it.”

Grips, Grunts and Groans Short Take

The Stooges are hobos thrown off a freight train and chased out of the railroad yard. Hiding in the “Hangover Athletic Club,” Curly is hired as a sparring partner. Ivan Bustoff, wrestling’s World Champion, takes a shine to the Stooges and his manager Tony hires them to keep on eye on Bustoff and make sure he doesn’t drink. Ivan gets plastered regardless, followed by the boys accidentally knocking him cold with dumbells. Moe sends out Curly disguised as Bustoff, hoping that will keep Tony’s gang from knocking them off.

This is the third time curly has suffered from hypersensitivity to external stimuli like “Pop Goes the Weasel” (Punch Drunks) and mice (Horses Collars). This personality disorder drove the comedy in Punch Drunks, but Grips, Grunts and Groans is one third over before we see Curly smell Wild Hyacinth for the first time. He smells it for the second time only at the end of the film, when he saves the day, much as Popeye finds a can of spinach when he needs it the most. Stooge films may repeat gags and scenarios, but they always repackage them.

Cast & Crew

Directed byPreston Black
Produced byJules White
Written byHerman Boxer
Clyde Bruckman
Searle Kramer
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Harrison Greene
Casey Colombo
William Irving
Herb Stagman
Blackie Whiteford
Elaine Waters
Lew Davis
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byCharles Nelson

Grips, Grunts and Groans Trivia

  • When the Stooges are being chased by railroad detectives, they run around a corner and knock over a baby carriage. Stunt doubles were used for the Stooges in that scene, and a thin double for Curly gives it away.
  • After Ironhead drops Curly on the ring when Moe puts perfume on Curly’s face, the actor playing Ironhead looks as if he’s about to laugh.
  • An external stimulus that causes Curly to go berserk was also used as a plot element in Punch DrunksHorsesCollars, and Tassels in the Air.
  • There is a Stooge slapstick first when Moe hits Curly in the forehead with a dumbbell and sets off a ‘chain reaction’: the dumbbell bounces off Curly and hits Moe, whose head hits Larry’s. such ‘chain reaction’ head bonks occur frequently in other films.
  • The clang sound effect, another Stooge first, is the sound of a hammer hitting a radiator.
  • Harrison Greene who plays Ivan Bustoff also played A. Mouser in Ants in the Pantry and with Moe and Curly in the 1934 MGM short, Jailbirds of Paradise.
  • Grips, Grunts and Groans marks ex-boxer Cy Schindell’s first o many Stooges roles. He appeared in 36 other Three Stooges shorts.

Production Notes

  • The filming of Grips, Grunts and Groans took place from October 30 to November 5, 1936.