Production Information
Three Pests In A mess
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 83
Release Date: January 19, 1942
Running Time: 15:19

They tried to drown me… As a matter of fact they did! – Christine McIntyre as secretary

Short Take

The Stooges are trying to get a patent on their rather unusual fly-catching device, but they calculate that they need to catch 100,000 flies to pay for the patent. Some crooks overhear them, and misunderstand, thinking that the Stooges are the winners of the $100,000 sweepstakes.

When the crooks start chasing the Stooges, the boys hide in a sporting goods store. Curly accidentally shoots a store mannequin, and thinking it’s the real thing, the Stooges panic and try to get rid of the body. They try to dump it in the alley, but a cop comes along and chases them away for trying to “dump garbage.” They then decided to bury the body in a pet cemetery, but a night watchman hears them and calls the owner, who comes over with a couple of his friends from a costume party to terrify the Stooges.

Cast & Crew

Directed byDel Lord
Produced byHugh McCollum
Written byDel Lord
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Christine McIntyre
Brian O’Hara
Vernon Dent
Snub Pollard
Victor Travers
Heinie Conklin
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byHenry Batista

Three Pests In A Mess Trivia

  • It a partial remake of the 1933 Paramount Pictures short film Sailors Beware! (also directed by Del Lord) and 1941 Columbia short film Ready, Willing But Unable.
  • The concept of men trolling through a cemetery with a dead body dates back to Laurel and Hardy‘s 1928 silent film Habeas Corpus.
  • The syncopated, jazz-tinged version of “Three Blind Mice”, first heard in Gents Without Cents, makes its return with this film. This version would be used for the next two releases, as well as Three Loan Wolves, before being retired permanently. This version is played in the key of F major, while the key of G major was previously utilized.
  • This is the ninth of sixteen Stooge shorts with the word “three” in the title.
  • Curly’s “Call for Philip Black” mimics the popular ‘Call for Philip Morris’ cigarette advertisements of the period.
  • A prop man dug a hole and covered it with rubber to achieve the effect of Larry sliding under the door at the cemetery. They quickly pulled him under and filmed the shot as a speed shot.
  • The math is wrong: they calculate a penny a fly, and since they need $100, 10,000 flies would be needed, and not 100,000 as stated.

Production Notes

  • Three Pests in a Mess was filmed on June 22-26, 1944.