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The Stooges were not known professionally as the Three Stooges when the film was released and were billed under their own names
|Directed by||Archie Gottler|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Jerome S. Gottler|
|Music by||Louis Silvers|
|Edited by||James Sweeney|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Woman Haters is the inaugural short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1934 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, employed as traveling salesmen, join the Woman Haters Club, swearing to never get romantically involved with a woman. That does not last very long. Jim (Larry) finds an attractive woman, Mary (Marjorie White), falls in love, and has proposed marriage. Women Haters Tom (Moe) and Jack (Curly) talk him out of it. However, during the party, Mary's intimidating father threatens Jim to marry his attractive daughter by telling him a story about his other, unattractive daughter having a fiance who tried to abandon her on their wedding day. He and his brothers had roughed him up for it but also forced him to go through with the ceremony. Jim is convinced to go through the ceremony, much to the man's dismay. Later, on a train ride, the confrontation escalates between the Stooges and Mary.
Mary uses her feminine charm to woo both Jack and Tom in an attempt to make Jim jealous. She sings a theme ("for you, for you my life my love my all") with each of the Stooges in turn, as she flirts with them. Each is attracted to her charms as she proves the oath they swore as Women Haters was fraudulent (though Jack attempts to resist her). Finally, Mary tells Tom and Jack the truth, that she and Jim are married, and pushes her way into bed with the trio, knocking Tom and Jack out the train window in the process. The film closes as the Stooges, now old men, finally reunite at the now almost empty Woman Haters clubhouse when Jim enters and declares he wants to rejoin.
Woman Haters was filmed over four days on March 27-30, 1934. It was the sixth entry in Columbia's "Musical Novelty" series, with all dialogue delivered in rhyme. Jazz Age-style music plays throughout the entire short, with the rhymes spoken in rhythm with the music. Being the sixth in a “Musical Novelties” short subject series, the movie appropriated its musical score from the first five films. The memorable song “My Life, My Love, My All,” featured in this short, was originally “At Last!” from the film Um-Pa.
- Curly Howard was billed under his pre-Stooge name "Jerry Howard" in this short.
- The Stooges had different names in this short: Curly is "Jackie", Moe is "Tom" and Larry is "Jim". This also marked one of the few Stooge shorts that features Larry as the lead character. Others include Three Loan Wolves and He Cooked His Goose.
- Bud Jamison's character delivers the first "eye pokes" to the Stooges, as part of the initiation into the Woman Haters Club. He pokes Larry in the eyes first, followed by Curly. Finally, he delivers an eye poke to Moe, who mistakenly blames Curly and promptly slaps him, igniting the first real Stooge brawl of the short films.
- This short includes a young Walter Brennan playing the train conductor being initiated into the Woman Haters Club by Moe and Curly.
- In contrast to later Stooge films, Larry and Curly are more willful and defiant to Moe, even giving him some slapstick vengeance of their own, rather than being mere subordinates.
- Curly delivers his first "woob-woob-woob-woob!" and "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" in this short, although the latter is not quite delivered in the eventual "classic" style.
- Curly spends most of this short wearing pants that are split in the back.