Dutiful but Dumb (1941)
Director: Del Lord
Screenplay: Elwood Ullman
Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Bruce Bennett, Chester Conklin, Vernon Dent and Bud Jamison
Larry, Curly and Moe are photographers who are sent to Vulgaria. Their boss knows that photography in Vulgaria is punishable by death! When the Stooges arrive they begin taking photographs of soldiers in a firing squad about to execute a photographer. What could go wrong?
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…
Every scene in Dutiful but Dumb is full of gags with very few relying on Moe abusing Larry and Curly. Highlights include: Moe wearing a long coat while riding on Larry’s shoulders to appear as an extremely tall man, Curly popping up to get a movie star’s photo, Moe disguised as a lamp, Curly hiding in a huge radio and “voicing” all the channels, and the classic bit of Curly attempting to eat a bowl of fresh clam soup.
We get to hear Curly’s real voice when he acts as an announcer while hiding in the radio. Curly’s scene with the clam soup required several takes because the crew was laughing so much, Curly would begin to laugh as well. The clam soup gag was so popular that Lou Costello performed it in Here Come the Co-Eds (1945), Moe presented it Shivering Sherlocks (1948), and Larry took on Lobsters in 1954’s Tax Sappy.
Dutiful but Dumb earns 5 of 5 stars.