Grips, Grunts and Groans

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Grips, Grunts and Groans
Directed by Preston Black
Produced by Jules White
Written by Herman Boxer
Clyde Bruckman
Searle Kramer
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Harrison Greene
Casey Colombo
William Irving
Herb Stagman
Blackie Whiteford
Elaine Waters
Lew Davis
Cinematography Benjamin H. Kline
Edited by Charles Nelson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • January 15, 1937 (1937-01-15) (U.S.)
Running time
Country United States
Language English

Grips, Grunts and Groans is the 20th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1937 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.


After escaping from the railroad police after stowing away on a train, the Stooges befriend a champion wrestler named Ivan Bustoff (Harrison Greene). His trainers, who are part of the mob, have a large bet placed on Bustoff to win the big match. But Bustoff likes to go out drinking, and after a wild night out with the boys ending in Bustoff downing a mixture made of "a little bit of tequila, vodka and cognac", he passes out drunk. The mobsters hire/force the Stooges to become Bustoff's managers and get him to the ring sober. In the locker room at the arena, the boys are trying to wake Bustoff up, but end up knocking him out with dumb bells and causing the locker to fall on him.

In fear, the Stooges substitute Curly, who possesses a tendency to get violent in reaction to the smell of Wild Hyacinth perfume. Moe and Larry realize that this can be used to their advantage. But the subsequent wrestling match is not a good time for Curly as he performs poorly. Moe then spots a woman spectator holding a bottle of Wild Hyacinth and gets it from her. By this time, the mobsters get wind of Bustoff's non-participation and are threatening the Stooges with harm if Curly does not win as planned. The Wild Hyacinth is then applied to Curly, and soon the challenger is knocked out cold along with nearly everyone else in attendance as Curly goes on a rampage using the match bell as a cudgel. The bell then slips out of Curly's hands and flies up in the air, only to land back onto his head and knock him out as well.

Production notes[edit]

The filming of Grips, Grunts and Groans took place from October 30 to November 5, 1936.[1] Its title parodies the expression "gripes, grunts and groans."[2]

An external stimulus that causes Curly to go berserk was also used as a plot element in Punch Drunks, Horses' Collars, and Tassels in the Air.[2]


  1. ^ Pauley, Jim (2012). The Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations. Solana Beach, California: Santa Monica Press, LLC. p. 130. ISBN 9781595800701. 
  2. ^ a b Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, California: Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 99. ISBN 0971186804. 

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