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A PLUMBING WE WILL GO (director: Del Lord; screenwriter: Elwood Ullman; cinematographer: Benjamin Kline; editor: Arthur Seid; cast: Curly Howard (Curly), Larry Fine (Larry), Moe Howard (Moe), Bess Flowers (Mrs. Hadley), John Tyrrell (Judge Hadley), Wilson Benge (Hadleys’ butler), Monte Collins (Prof. Bilbo), Dudley Dickerson (The cook), Bud Jamison (Police Officer Kelly); Runtime: 18; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Del Lord/Hugh McCollum; Columbia; 1940)
“One of the best shorts The Three Stooges ever did.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

One of the best shorts The Three Stooges ever did. It’s directed by Del Lord (“Paradise for Buster”/”One Shivery Night”/”Trapped by a Blonde”) with the usual Stooges’ slapstick antics.

The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard) are exonerated by Judge Hadley for a chicken coop theft due to lack of evidence and immediately get chased by Officer Kelly when they are caught fishing in a pet store’s fish tank. They swipe a plumber’s truck to escape. When they park in front of an estate, they are mistaken for plumbers and are invited into the Hadley mansion to fix a leak. The Stooges’ proceed to wreck the house, mistaking pipes filled with wire for water pipes, flooding the house, causing water to come out of the stove when the bewildered cook turns it on, causing water to come gushing out of the TV when Mrs. Hadley shows guests a show with a live shot of Niagara Falls, Curly while in the bathroom is screwing pipe onto pipe onto pipe until he’s caged in and then drills through the floor to escape, Larry digs a big hole in the lawn to look for pipes and finally the Stooges’ escape through the hole when the police are called and come out through a magician’s (Monte Collins) cabinet that holds a lady–with the cops in hot pursuit.

The Stooges’ had these gem one-liners: Larry: How can you fix it when it’s leaking? Moe: We had to forget something or we wouldn’t be plumbers. Curly: Don’t mind me, I’m only the plumber.

What makes this solid entertainment is that The Three Stooges execute to perfection a well-conceived sight gag.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”