An Ache in Every Stake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
An Ache in Every Stake
Directed by Del Lord
Produced by Del Lord
Hugh McCollum
Written by Lloyd French
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Vernon Dent
Bud Jamison
Gino Corrado
Bess Flowers
Blanche Payson
Symona Boniface
Cinematography Philip Tannura
Edited by Burton Kramer
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • August 22, 1941 (1941-08-22) (U.S.)
Running time
18' 05"
Country United States
Language English

An Ache in Every Stake is the 57th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team the Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.


The Stooges are icemen that have fallen asleep in their delivery wagon. Their horse wakes them up. Curly finds his face and head embedded in a large block of ice after having used it for a pillow. Moe and Larry break him out of it, and they begin their ice block deliveries. After several deliveries they are called to make a delivery at a house atop a long, high staircase. It's so high that every time they go up, the ice melts to a cube. They make several attempts including relaying it successfully to the top, only to have Curly drop it. It's during these attempts and arguments that they bump into Mr. Lawrence (Vernon Dent) and ruin his cakes.

When the Stooges antics cause the servants at their customer's (Mrs. Lawrence / Bess Flowers) house to quit, they are hired to replace them and prepare dinner for her husband's birthday party. Unknown to them, her husband is Mr. Lawrence, whose cakes they had wrecked earlier in the day. When the birthday cake they prepare is finished, it is accidentally pierced, and it deflates. The boys "re-inflate" the cake using town gas through the gas stove's connection.

Curly (right) reacts to having to run up several flights of steps in An Ache in Every Stake

During the party, the Stooges sing a "Happy Birthday" song to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down"; when Mr. Lawrence blows out the candles, the gas-filled cake explodes. Mr. Lawrence angrily realizes who the new 'help' are, and the Stooges are forced to leave in a hurry, sliding down the steps.

Production notes[edit]

The long staircase is not the same one used in Laurel and Hardy's lost film Hats Off (1927) nor the Academy Award-winning film The Music Box (1932). The stairs — 147 steps in length — are approximately two miles northeast, located at Fair Oak View Terrace and Edendale Place in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles.[1] Unlike the stairs in The Music Box, this stairway begins from a cul-de-sac.[2] Filming was completed March 26-29, 1941.[3]

Curly's turkey-stuffing scene was performed earlier by Shemp Howard in the 1934 film A Peach of a Pair and again by Shemp in the Stooges' 1952 film Listen, Judge.[2]

The plot device of carrying ice up a flight of stairs derives from the Billy Bevan silent film Ice Cold Cocos (1926), also directed by Del Lord.[2]According to the SilentEra website, Ice Cold Cocos used the same staircase as Hats Off and The Music Box.[4]

This is one of several Stooge shorts in which a sofa spring becomes attached to someone's backside. This gag was also used in Hoi Polloi, Three Little Sew and Sews, Hugs and Mugs and Have Rocket, Will Travel.[2] The film marked the final appearance of supporting actress Bess Flowers with the Stooges.[2]

A colorized version of this film was released in 2004 as part of the DVD collection "Stooged & Confoosed."[5]


External links[edit]