Mutts to You (1938)

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This Three Stooges short was one of four directed by comedian Charley Chase. The boys play dog-groomers who use a conveyor belt contrivance that would make Rube Goldberg proud -- it includes six mechanical hands to wash the pooch, and Curly rides a stationary bicycle to run the rinse. A couple has a fight over whether the husband can bring his dog on their trip to Palm Springs and she goes home. Because the front door is locked, she leaves her baby on the doorstep while letting herself in through the back way. The Stooges, on their way home, see the baby and assume it has been abandoned. They decide to take it to the police station but can't resist bringing the tot home for a visit first, even though their landlord (Vernon Dent) doesn't allow children. The parents assume the baby has been kidnapped, and the Stooges find themselves in hot water. They disguise Curly as the baby's mother, hoping to get to the police station with some semblance of calm. Of course this ploy doesn't work -- they've stuffed sponges into Curly's stockings to make his skinny legs more shapely and when sprinklers are turned on, his lumpen legs give his disguise away. Now dressed up as Chinese laundrymen with Curly and the baby hiding in a cart, they run from a cop (Bud Jamison, sporting an Irish accent). They're caught, but the husband recognizes the Stooges as the dog groomers and all is forgiven. Because the baby's so filthy they offer to wash it on the conveyor belt, but Curly makes it go haywire and the mechanical hands spank the baby.

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Keywords

abandonment, baby, kidnapping, misunderstanding