They Stooge to Conga
|They Stooge to Conga|
|Directed by||Del Lord|
|Produced by||Del Lord
|Written by||Monte Collins
|Edited by||Paul Borofsky|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||15' 32"|
They Stooge to Conga is the 67th (and most violent) 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 repairmen fixing the doorbell in a large house which is the secret headquarters of some Nazi spies, headed by the ruthless Hans (Vernon Dent). They manage to ruin most of the house while working on the wiring and then subdue the spies and sink an enemy submarine by remote control. The Stooges were initially there to fix the doorbell. They didn't know which switch controlled the doorbell so they pulled all the wiring from the walls. Moe locates the doorbell in the kitchen. He wraps it around his arm and is pulled through the wall by Larry and Curly on the other side who have the other end of the line. After the violent sequence outside on the telephone pole, the Stooges discover the secret hidden in the house.
- The title They Stooge to Conga is a parody of the eighteenth-century play She Stoops to Conquer.
- The doorbell repair segment would be reworked with Shemp in 1952's Listen, Judge.
- The footage of the submarine jumping out of the water was recycled from Three Little Sew and Sews.
- A similar gag was used in the 2012 film The Three Stooges where Larry is wearing a sandwich board.
They Stooge to Conga has been consistently ranked as the most violent Stooge film of the Curly era. In its brief 15½ minutes, Moe manages to get a climbing spike thrust into his ear, scalp, and eye. Plus, he is lucky enough to be pulled through lath and plaster, with a wooden pillar landing on his neck (this was not intentional, as the pillar was real wood). Curly gets his share of abuse, via electrocution, falling off a telephone pole, severe nose twisting and getting singed via an acetylene torch.
Interestingly, though Columbia short subject head/director Jules White was known for the usage of excessive violence in his films, They Stooge To Conga was directed by Del Lord. "We had trouble pulling Moe all the way through the wall," White later recalled. "Since Moe was a full grown man, we weakened the wall and the wood inside and then replastered the wall."
Notable violent gags
- When the trio first enter the house, Moe and Larry try to enter the house simultaneously. They are wedged in the doorway, and get thrusted out when Curly comes up from behind with the point of an anvil as a gouge.
- When Curly is pulling a wire out of a wall he pulls out a ringing phone. He answers it and says "This line is busy" and throws it away hitting Moe in the head. Moe throws it back in retaliation, hitting Curly in the head, satisfying Moe and startling Curly.
- When Moe is pulled through the wall by Larry and Curly, an actual 2x4 made of solid wood crashed onto Moe's neck.
- When Moe twists Curly's nose with a tool, he uses a grinding wheel to file it back into shape.
- As Moe and Larry assist Curly up a telephone pole, Curly accidentally impales Moe in his scalp, eye and ear with a climbing spike on the bottom of his shoe.
- When Curly is halfway up the telephone pole, Moe burns him with a flame torch to get him all the way up.
- After Curly drops a wrench, it lands on Moe's head, bouncing into Larry's hand. Moe uses the wrench on Larry's nose while hitting him in the throat.
- When Curly gets zapped via several telephone pole wires, he loses his grip and falls to the sidewalk, landing on Moe and Larry below.
- While Curly is "charged like a battery," Moe places a light bulb in Curly's ear, which lights up. To short him out, Larry places a screwdriver in Curly's opposite ear, bursting the light bulb.
- As Curly is sliding on electrical wires, he gets a shock, which pushes him through an open window.
- As the Nazi spies' cook (Dudley Dickerson) is talking on the phone, the phone explodes in his face due to Curly's manipulating the electrical wires. The startled cook then backs away from the phone, right into an open waffle iron. The iron closes on the cook's buttocks, leading the cook to think he is being attacked by someone.
- When Moe takes a hammer, he hits Larry from behind, then thrusts it into Curly's mouth. Curly, in turn, bonks Moe with his own hammer 20 times in rapid succession.
- Watch belt sander and spike gags here on YouTube.
- They Stooge to Conga at the Internet Movie Database
- They Stooge to Conga at AllMovie