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Recap / The Three Stooges: Disorder in the Court

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The Three Stooges are key witnesses at the murder trial of Kirk Robin. Their friend and colleague, Gail Tempest (Suzanne Kaaren), is a dancer at the Black Bottom cafe where the Stooges are musicians, and is the prime suspect in the murder. The Stooges are the only ones who can prove her innocence. Hilarity and Courtroom Antics ensue.

The short is one of the four in the public domain, and thus is usually included in cheap video collections, making it perhaps one of the best known Stooge shorts. It is the only Curly short to have fallen into the public domain.


The Duck Season, Rabbit Season routine below was a recycled gag from Buster Keaton talkie Sidewalks of New York.


  • Brick Joke: As the Stooges try to catch the runaway parrot so they can read the note on its leg, the spigot for the out-of-control fire-hose they were using to try to incapacitate the parrot breaks off, prompting Curly to shut it off by tying the hose in a knot. At the very end after Gail Tempest is cleared of the crime and the media is taking a group photo of Gail, the Stooges, and several others, the tied-up hose bursts, spraying water all over everybody as the scene fades to black.
  • Close-Call Haircut: The prosecutor gets one after Curly accidentally shoots a gun.
  • Courtroom Antics: Doesn't gets much more antics-laden that allowing the Three Stooges to run wild in a courtroom and allowing them to reenact what they witnessed.
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  • Courtroom Episode: The whole short happens in the courtroom during Gail Tempest's hearing for her allegedly murder of Kirk Robin.
  • Dashingly Dapper Derby/Nice Hat: Curly's "doiby".
  • Deus ex Machina: The real murderer of Kirk Robin decided for some reason to write a letter in which he gleefully confesses and says where he's going and leaving it tied to the foot of Robin's pet parrot.
  • Dodgy Toupee: When the Stooges are playing music for the court, the prosecutor's hairpiece gets stuck the bow of Larry's violin and is peeled clean off.
    Larry: A tarantula!
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Moe is the first to point out the pile of letters that Polly has been referring to.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: This exchange:
    Prosecutor: Take off your hat. [Curly does so] Now, raise your right hand. [Curly puts his hat back on and does so] Now, put your left hand here [he points to the book he's holding; Curly does puts his cane in his right hand and puts his hand there]
    Judge: Take off your hat. [Curly does so, putting his right hand down in the process]
    Prosecutor: Raise your right hand.
    [this continues until Curly puts his hat on his cane (which is still in his right hand) and raises his right hand]
    Prosecutor: Will you get rid of that hat?! [grabs it off Curly's cane, only for Curly to grab it and put it on the Prosecutor's head]
    Curly: Raise your right hand.
    [Prosecutor does so, but puts it down when he realizes what Curly just did]
    Prosecutor: Raise your right hand!
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  • Fanservice: Gail Tempest's dancing outfit shows off her legs, and has a collar that stops just above her cleavage. Naturally, some of the people in attendance can't take their eyes off her, including an elderly, apparently married man.
  • Garden-Hose Squirt Surprise: An interesting variant: In order to prevent the parrot from flying away, Moe suggests getting it wet. Curly then proceeds to grab and turn on a fire hose, but has trouble controlling it. A police officer attempts to shut the hose off, but breaks the valve. Eventually, Curly does hit the parrot, and to prevent the hose from causing any more disorder, Curly ties it in a knot. At the end, when the Stooges, Gail, and the Defense Attorney gather for a news photo, the hose bursts, soaking everybody.
  • Head in a Vise: Moe was demonstrating a reenactment of the crime scene using Curly as the victim and put Curly's Head in the vice.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After giving his witness account in very... unusual language, the defendant tells Curly to talk so the jury can understand him. Curly belts out "Is everybody dumb?!"
  • iSophagus: When the Stooges are reenacting a musical performance during the trial, Curly slaps Moe on the back causing him to swallow a harmonica. They then find that when they press on Moe's stomach they can hear the harmonica, and soon Curly and Larry begin to make Moe play "Ach Du Lieber Augustine" by pumping his arm and squeezing his stomach, before he coughs the harmonica up.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: A gun is introduced as evidence. Curly is told to try to pull the incredibly rusty trigger, after being told "Never fear, it's not loaded." After one harmless click, he then accidentally shoots off the prosecutor's toupee when his finger gets stuck in the trigger guard.
  • Literal-Minded: Curly, all the way through the short. For example...
    Judge: Take the stand.
    (Curly picks up the chair at the witness box)
    Curly: Where do I put it?
    Judge: No no, take the stand.
    Curly: I got it, now what do I do with it?
    Prosecutor: Sit down!
  • Motor Mouth: The prosecutor, Played for Laughs, of course.
    Prosecutor: Do you solemnly swear totellthetruthwholetruthandnothingbutthetruth?
    Curly: Huh?
    Prosecutor: Do you solemnly swear totellthetruththewholetruthandnothingbutthetruth?!
    Curly: Are you trying to give me double-talk?
    Prosecutor: (quite irritated now) Do you solemnly swear totellthetruththewholetruthandnothingbutthetruth?!
    Judge: Why don't you answer him?
    Curly: He's talkin' pig latin; I don't know what he's saying!
  • People Fall Off Chairs: Curly's messing around with the chair on the witness stand results in this.
  • Punny Name: The actual murderer is a man named Buck Wing: "buck-and-wing" is the name of a type of solo tap dance.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The judge, who maintains his calm in the face of Stooge stupidity.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: The revolver used to kill Kirk Robin is presented as evidence in Gail Tempest's trial and handed to Curly by the defense attorney, who orders him to pull the trigger to prove that it's so hard to pull a woman like Gail wouldn't have been able to. For the sake of the gag that ensues, that means that even with the attorney assuring Curly that the gun isn't loaded, nobody at no point between picking it up at the site of Kirk Robin's murder and delivering it to the courtroom bothered to check if it was actually unloaded.
  • Rule of Three: First the prosecutor's toupee is stomped on and shot, then it's shot off his head, then the water hose blasts it off his head.
  • Tap on the Head: Curly knocks out several members of the jury with a hammer to the head while chasing after a parrot.
  • Smoking Gun: A parrot is discovered in the course of the trial with a letter tied to its leg, revealing the true killer and freeing Gail Tempest.
  • Villain Ball: Buck Wing, the actual murderer of Kirk Robin, decided for some reason to write a note gloating about it (and the place he was going to escape to) and tie it to Robin's parrot's foot. Result: Moe notices the note and, after some hijinks, provides iron-clad proof that Gail Tempest isn't guilty (not to mention whatever will happen to Mr. Wing).
  • Whole Plot Reference: The case being presided over in the court is a parody of the nursery rhyme, "Who Killed Cock Robin", but instead, it's "Kirk Robin".
  • Who's on First?: A brief example:
    Attorney: Mr. Howard, kindly tell the court what you know about the murder of Kirk Robin.
    Curly: Well, it was like this, Mr. Court.
    Attorney: [whispered] Address the judge as "Your Honor!"
    Curly: Well, it was like this, My Honor.
    Attorney: [still whispered] "Your Honor," not "My Honor"!
    Curly: Why? Don't you like 'im?
    Judge: Allow the witness to proceed. The court understands him.
    Curly: Thanks, Courty, you're a pal.


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