Three Loan Wolves
|Three Loan Wolves|
|Directed by||Jules White|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Felix Adler|
|Cinematography||George F. Kelley|
|Edited by||Edwin H. Bryant|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||16' 40"|
Told in flashback, the Stooges tell their son (Jackie Jackson) how he came to have three fathers. The Stooges, owners of a pawn shop, owe money to the Gashouse Protection Society, a bunch of loan sharks. To complicate matters, a lady (Beverly Warren) leaves a baby in the shop as part of a plan to sell a phony diamond and the Stooges wind up caring for the kid. The trio manage to defeat the crooks and when they finish telling the story, the kid goes off to find his real mother.
The title is a parody of Columbia's movie series "The Lone Wolf."
The theme reverts to the syncopated, jazzy version of "Three Blind Mice" previously used on Gents Without Cents, Three Pests in a Mess, Booby Dupes and Idiots Deluxe instead of the revamped, 'sliding strings' version used during this period.
Three Loan Wolves was filmed near the end of Curly Howard's career. The 42-year-old comedian had suffered a series of minor strokes several months prior to filming, and his performances had been unpredictable. By the time of Three Loan Wolves, he had lost a considerable amount of weight, and lines had creased his face. Larry Fine and Moe Howard look stocky by comparison.
While director Edward Bernds devised ways to cover Curly's illness, Jules White simply gave most of Curly's lines to Larry. With Three Loan Wolves, White made Larry the main character (his first time in the spotlight since the Stooges' inaugural short for Columbia Pictures in 1934, Woman Haters), with nearly the entire film revolving around him. Curly also tried desperately to maintain his falsetto voice, but was clearly unable to. Several scenes are heartbreaking to watch, as the once-superstooge had been relegated to an occasional line of dialogue.
Beverly Warren appeared at a 2003 Three Stooges convention in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, and reported that Curly's illness was not discussed on the set. She added that filming was completed at such a rapid pace, she rarely saw Curly or Moe (as she only shared screen time with Larry).
- Lenburg, Jeff; Howard Maurer, Joan; Lenburg, Greg; (1982). The Three Stooges Scrapbook, p. 77, Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0946-5
- User Oanabay; present at 2003 convention