Dutiful But Dumb

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dutiful But Dumb
Directed byDel Lord
Written byElwood Ullman
Produced byHugh McCollum
Del Lord
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Vernon Dent
Bud Jamison
Fred Kelsey
Eddie Laughton
Chester Conklin
Harry Semels
Marjorie Deanne
Stanley Brown
Lew Davis
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byArt Seid
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • March 21, 1941 (1941-03-21) (U.S.)
Running time
CountryUnited States

Dutiful But Dumb is a 1941 short subject directed by Del Lord starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). It is the 54th entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians, who released 190 shorts for the studio between 1934 and 1959.


The Stooges are Click, Clack and Cluck, paparazzi-like photographers working for Whack Magazine ("If it's a good picture, it's out of Whack!"). After failing in their attempts to get a photo of movie star Percival De Puyster and his new bride, their boss Mr. Wilson (Vernon Dent) fires them. But Wilson changes his mind and instead sends the Stooges to Vulgaria (an obvious parody of fascist Bulgaria) for their next job, knowing full well that taking pictures in Vulgaria is against the law (mainly because photography is considered a form of espionage) and punishable by death. The inept trio arrive and inadvertently let another photographer who was to be shot escape. The Stooges themselves try to escape but end up running into a Vulgarian prison. As the firing squad is setting up for the Stooges' execution, Curly requests one last smoke, leading to him pulling out a cigar the length of a hero sandwich. After he finishes it, the firing squad open fire, but the trio run off with their heads inside their shirts.

Three Vulgarian officers watch a demonstration of their country's new ray gun which can fire other guns remotely. When they hear of the Stooges' escape, they leave the officer's office. The Stooges soon arrive in the office and discover the ray gun, which they think is a new camera. But when Moe and Larry pose in front of the gun, Curly manages to shoot their belts and hats off. The Stooges hide as they hear the officers returning, with Curly taking refuge inside the radio, destroying the wiring in the process. When the officers try to turn on the radio, Curly pulls out a large harmonica and begins playing, while strumming the remaining wires like a harp and banging inside the radio with xylophone mallets. The officers discover Curly, who jumps out of a window to escape. Moe and Larry trap the officers' heads in the window while Curly hits the officers in the head with his mallets.

The Stooges are now dressed in the Vulgarian officers' uniforms and end up in a local cafe full of guards, in which Curly pits his wits against a strong drink, and then a defiant oyster in his stew. When the oyster works Curly's last nerve, he pulls out his gun and fires at it repeatedly. This gets the attention of the guards, who promptly capture the Stooges and literally carry them off, upside down, on the bayonets of their guns.




Production notes[edit]

Dutiful But Dumb was filmed on August 1–5, 1940;[1] the film title is a play on "beautiful but dumb."[2]

An adaptation of the oyster soup battle is featured in The Three Stooges video game, where players control Curly, who attempts to pick up and eat as many crackers from the oyster soup as possible before the oysters do. Oysters occasionally fire soup at Curly.[3] The gag was later performed by Moe in 1948's Shivering Sherlocks, and Larry, who fights the Lobster Gumbo in 1954's Income Tax Sappy.[2] The gag also appears in the 1945 Abbott and Costello film, Here Come the Co-Eds.[2]


  1. ^ Pauley, Jim (2012). The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations. Solana Beach, California: Santa Monica Press, LLC. p. 91. ISBN 9781595800701.
  2. ^ a b c Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, California: Comedy III Productions, Inc. pp. 190–191. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
  3. ^ Fletcher, JC (2008-04-17). "Virtually Overlooked: The Three Stooges". Retrieved 2011-02-25.

External links[edit]