Sappy Bull Fighters

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Sappy Bull Fighters
Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written byJack White
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Joe Besser
Greta Thyssen
George J. Lewis
Joe Palma
Manuel Granada
CinematographyIrving Lippman
Edited byHarold White
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 4, 1959 (1959-06-04) (U.S.)
Running time
CountryUnited States

Sappy Bull Fighters is a 1959 short subject directed by Jules White starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe Besser). It is the 190th and final entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians between 1934 and 1959.


The Stooges are vaudeville entertainers who trek to Mexico to perform their gag bullfight shtick, with Joe as the brave matador, and Moe and Larry dressed in a bull costume. Unfortunately, their gig is cancelled once they arrive. According to the trio, the manager fired them after they refused to do 10 additional shows for free. With no money to return home, the Stooges are stranded. Feeling bad for them, attractive señorita Greta (Greta Thyssen) gets the boys a gig at the local bull ring. However, when she leaves Greta mistakenly takes the trio's suitcase instead of hers. When they go retrieve it, however, Joe becomes attracted to Greta and begins to kiss her, infuriating her evil jealous man-hating husband named José (George J. Lewis).

The next day, the Stooges perform their act successfully at a bullring José recognizes the trio. In an act of revenge he pays the bullring attendant (Joe Palma) to release a live bull into the ring. Moe and Larry flee, but Joe is unaware of the switch. He eventually head-butts the wild animal, and is paraded out of the ring to the rousing cheers of "Olé, Americano!"




Production notes[edit]

Sappy Bull Fighters is a reworking of 1942's What's the Matador?. Minimal recycled footage from the original was used, including far shots (and "woo woo woo" 's) of Curly Howard riding the bull.[1] The film is a parody of the 1941 film Blood and Sand.[1]

Though filmed over two days in mid-1957 (July 15–16), Sappy Bull Fighters film was not released until nearly two years later. By that time, the Stooges were experiencing a rebirth in popularity, due to the release of their shorts on television. In essence, the June 1959 release of Sappy Bull Fighters actually competed with the enormously successful television revival.[1]

The film also marks Joe Besser's final appearance as a Stooge, as he left the act to tend to his ailing wife following its production. Besser would be succeeded by Joe DeRita (as "Curly Joe") in the trio's subsequent projects.

At 15:12 Sappy Bull Fighters is the shortest film the team made at Columbia Pictures. The longest is A Pain in the Pullman (1936) at 19:46.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Solomon, Jon. (2002) The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion, p. 209; Comedy III Productions, Inc., ISBN 0-9711868-0-4

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