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Film / Men in Black (1934)

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For duty and humanity!
Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard!
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In their third short, Men in Black, The Three Stooges play medical school graduates whose only credentials are that they had the highest temperatures in their class. They are hired as doctors at the "Los Arms Hospital" only because they have been in their senior class for too many years. The new graduates at the hospital are warned by the superintendent that three of them (the Stooges) are "not overly bright," but that their identities will be concealed as long as they promise to devote their lives to "the glorious cause of duty and humanity", which prompts the three to step forward and thank him profusely for not letting their identities be known. The rest of the short consists of a series of skits in which the Stooges go from one patient to the next, making mistakes ranging from drinking a patient's medicine to sewing their tools inside a man on the operating table.

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The short marked the only time the Stooges were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject - Comedy.

Not to be confused with The Men in Black, or Columbia's 1997 film.


Tropes:

  • Ambiguous Disorder: The psychiatric patient who rambles loudly about Hamlet and canaries.
  • Catchphrase: "For duty and humanity!"
  • Drop the Hammer: As doctors, the Stooges are given wooden mallets to administer anesthetic via Tap on the Head; naturally, Moe gets the largest hammer and Curly the smallest.
  • Face Fault: The "falling backwards" variant, after the Stooges listen to a nurse trying to explain what a "pippin" is.
  • It Won't Turn Off: The loud speaker, even after the stooges destroy it. Then they spot a piece of equipment scampering across the floor behind them. Cue the revolvers.
  • Meat Grinder Surgery: The Stooges employ an entire hardware store's worth of surgical implements on Dr. Graves, including a jackhammer. Fortunately, the doctor survives the surgery. Unfortunately, he got stitched up with nearly all of the tools still inside of him.
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  • Oh, Crap!:
    Moe: (panicking) Where are the tools?
    Larry: (realizing) The tools!
    Curly: (confused) ...tools?
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Moe's names for the surgical tools.
    • Earlier, Moe's names for the various liquids being poured into the psychiatric patient's medicine.
  • Running Gag: The Stooges come out of the storage room with different vehicles every time.
    • Also, breaking the glass in Dr. Graves' door.
    • And of course: "Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!"
  • Running Gagged: The final gag of the short is the doctors getting fed up with being constantly being called and wrecking the hospital's speaker, with hammers and handguns.
  • Shout-Out: It's a pun on Men in White, an acclaimed stage play, and later a 1934 Clark Gable film.
  • Suddenly Shouting: "Water. WATER!" (splash)
    • Also: "Cotton. COTTON!"
  • Tap on the Head: For once though it actually doesn't work on the doctor they try it on. It later works on Dr. Graves, however.
  • Why Are We Whispering?: While operating on Dr. Graves. The nurse's reason for whispering is that she lost her voice asking for a raise.
  • Worst Aid: It's the THREE STOOGES. Doing SURGERY.
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