Three Little Pirates (1946)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 55 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This was Curly Howard's next to last film as a member of the Three Stooges. He would collapse from a stroke while filming Half-Wits Holiday, and his illness would end his career. Even though he wasn't well during his last few shorts, Curly's comic timing was usually flawless, and he's especially hilarious here disguised as a Rajah. The time is supposedly 1642, but when the Stooges are washed up onto Dead Man's Island from a wrecked garbage scow, they are dressed as sailors circa 1946 (when the film was made). Curly immediately displeases the governor (Vernon Dent) by flirting with his fiancée, Rita (Christine McIntyre), and he sentences all three of them to death. Rita doesn't want to marry the governor, so she gives the boys tools (including an electric drill) so they can escape from their cell. Unfortunately, they choose the wrong wall and wind up right back in their cell. So Rita disguises them as "wayfarers from a strange land" -- apparently somewhere around India. They talk in gibberish and offer the governor a raspberry lollipop, which he mistakes as a ruby (he's delighted because he's never been given the raspberry before). Only after they're gone does he discover that they are the sailors he wants dead. He enlists the help of Black Louie the pirate, and the boys wind up in a tense situation at a saloon. But they battle it out, and with Rita's help they emerge victorious. Moe, however, has decided he wants to stay; he proclaims himself emperor and a mallet immediately comes down and smashes him on the head.

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