Production Information
Title: Hokus PokusStudio: ColumbiaShort Number: 115
Release Date: May 5, 1949
Running Time: 16:08

“The great hypnotist Svengarlic – He’ll steal your breath away.”


Short Take

In Hokus Pokus, The Three Stooges are three paperhangers who also look after invalid Mary (Mary Ainslee), who always uses a wheelchair. The seemingly helpless blonde, however, is trying to swindle her insurance company out of $25,000, as she is not handicapped in the least. While the Stooges are at work hanging posters, they are taken by one poster that advertises a great hypnotist, Svengarlic (“He’ll steal your breath away!” the poster announces). The Stooges want the hypnotist to work his magic on Mary so that she can walk again, but Svengarlic is more interested in winning an audience by hypnotizing the Stooges. Under his spell, they walk out onto a flagpole high on a building and dance. But a distracted bicyclist knocks Svengarlic over and the Stooges are abruptly awakened. They immediately panic when they see where they are, then the flagpole breaks, sending them flying through an open window. The boys land directly in the insurance office where Mary is about to be handed her check. Startled, she jumps out of her wheelchair, exposing her scheme.

Hokus Pokus Cast & Crew

Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written byFelix Adler
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Shemp Howard
Mary Ainslee
David Bond
Vernon Dent
Ned Glass
Jimmy Lloyd
CinematographyVincent J. Farrar
Edited byEdwin H. Bryant

Hokus Pokus Trivia

  • The working title was Three Blind Mice.
  • This is the only Stooge role for David Bond (Svengarlic), although he will reprise his role in the refurbished version, Flagpole Jitters (1956).

Production Notes

Hokus Pokus was reworked in 1956 as Flagpole Jitters, using ample stock footage. In particular, the two films have different endings: Mary is a fraud here, whereas in the later picture she is actually paraplegic. In the remake, Svengarlic is the fraud.