False Alarms (film)

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False Alarms
False Alarms onesheet 1936.JPG
Directed by Del Lord
Produced by Jules White
Written by John Grey
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Stanley Blystone
June Gittelson
Beatrice Curtis
Beatrice Blinn
John Grey
Cinematography Benjamin H. Kline
Edited by Charles Hochberg
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • August 16, 1936 (1936-08-16) (U.S.)
Running time
Country United States
Language English

False Alarms is the 17th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1936 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.


The Stooges are firemen who are constantly getting in trouble. After missing their umpteenth fire call, they are warned by their superior Captain Ashe (Stanley Blystone) that one more incident will cost them their jobs. They then proceeded back to work, in this case, cleaning the fire hoses. In the midst of the action, a new coupé that Captain Ashe has purchased is delivered to the station. Curly rolls out the hose into the street. But in the process, the hoses are cut by a passing streetcar, with Curly starting to identify them after the first names of the young Dionne quintuplets. In frustration, Moe wrings Curly’s hands on the wringers.

Meanwhile, Curly sneaks out to visit his girlfriend Maisie (Beatrice Curtis) to celebrate her birthday despite the restrictions. She has two friends who need dates, so Curly tries to get Moe and Larry to join him. The two other girls are named Mimi (Beatrice Blinn) and Minnie (June Gittelson), the latter being tall, heavy set, and quite determined to secure a boyfriend. She even aggressively pursues a very reluctant Curly when it becomes apparent that the restrictions are going to prevent Moe and Larry from joining the party. Larry attempts to go anyway, but is stopped by Moe at the fire pole by pulling his hair. Moe then goes to the stock room holding Larry by the hair, and locks the door to prevent Larry from leaving. But Larry fights back, and the key goes into the sink in the melee. Moe then proceeds to use Larry as a plunger to retrieve the key. Just then, Curly realizes that the only way he knows to get Moe and Larry out of the fire station is to pull a fire alarm, so he decides to activate it. The firemen respond to the call, but without Larry and Moe. Realizing the alarm, they force themselves out, and down through the fire pole. They found that the firemen have left them, so they decided to use Captain Ashe's new coupé.

They go to the alarm location, finding Curly and the three girlfriends waiting for them. Moe is irate by the false alarm, but sensing the approaching fire truck (and Captain Ashe), they decide to take the coupé back to the station. All six ride the car all through town dodging cars and streetcars until they hit the lamppost. All the passengers are trapped in the boot except for Moe who lands outside. Moe, assisted by concerned pedestrians, retrieves them out of the car, but with their egos bruised, the three girlfriends scoot off in a huff. However, before this happens, Minnie (sporting a large black eye) gets into a comical face slapping match with Curly.

The Stooges push the battered coupé out of the accident scene, but forgot to shut it off. The car goes in its own power in the street, back to the fire station. It goes out again, and Captain Ashe realizes that it is his car that is in trouble. The car ends up into an open Bekins van, and as they closed the door, the car explodes. The fire truck, with an irate Captain Ashe who threatens to kill them, chases the Stooges. Sensing Ashe, they escape in the van, smoking car and all.

Production notes[edit]

False Alarms was filmed on location in Los Angeles, California on May 19–22, 1936.[1] The following landmarks appear in the film:

  • Fire station: Engine No. 61 and Truck No. 61 (at 5821 West 3rd Street)
  • Carl X Folsom Modern Motor Service (at 200 North Larchmont Boulevard)
  • Max Factor Make-up Studio
  • Remington Rand, Inc.
  • Safeway Stores
  • Ashley Apartments
  • Bekins movers
  • Ozarks Drugstore
  • Los Angeles Railway trolley No. 400
  • Silvertown Tires[1]


  1. ^ a b Pauley, Jim (2012). The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations. Solana Beach, California: Santa Monica Press, LLC. pp. 97–105. ISBN 9781595800701. 

External links[edit]