Log In

The Three Stooges Online Filmography
"My father died dancing... on the end of a rope." - Curly (ACHE IN EVERY STAKE, AN, 1941)

Bookmark and Share OILY TO BED, OILY TO RISE

Average Rating:     [9.33/10]   40 votes


Widow Jenkins has just sold her farm to three swindlers. Meanwhile, Curly has the uncanny talent of having his wishes come true, and when he wishes for a car, the boys find one... the swindlers' abandoned car. Driving to the Jenkins farm, they're treated to a nice meal and greeted by the woman's three beautiful daughters. To repay her for the hospitality, the Stooges attempt to fix the water pump and accidentally discover that the farm is sitting on oil. Realizing that the widow's been swindled, the boys set out to stop the crooks and win the hearts of her three daughters.

Reworked as OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (1958) with Moe, Larry and Joe Besser.

Linda Winters ('June Jenkins') went on to bigger fame in Hollywood using the name Dorothy Comingore, costar of CITIZEN KANE.

Costar Adrian Booth Brian, aka Lorna Gray ('May Jenkins'), was a guest of the 1995 Three Stooges Convention, and the 2004 Fan Club Meeting, both held in Philadelphia; see The Three Stooges Journal # 75 (Fall 1995) and Journal # 110 (Summer 2004) for details.

Ms. Booth joined ten other actresses who worked with the Stooges, including Joan Howard, at a costar reunion held on Feb. 17, 2007 in Burbank CA; see The Three Stooges Journal # 121 (Spring 2007) for the story and photos.

IMDb Rating


Moe, Larry and Curly
Release Date
October 06, 1939
Production Type
Short Subject
18.33 min.
Buy at Amazon.com

Discuss OILY TO BED, OILY TO RISE in the Forum

Cast Members   Production Crew

Collapse All | Expand All
(Click on the icon to expand individual sections.)

Production Notes   (3)
Working Title(s):   OIL'S WELL
Prod. No.:   449
Shooting Days:   4 days   From: 1939-03-16   To: 1939-03-20

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 1.50)
Face Slaps: 5 Eye Pokes: 0 Head Bonks: 1 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (7)
  • "Hey, don't look now, but I think we're about to be killed.

  • "If I wasn't so weak from hunger, I'd bat your brains out if you had brains."
    (Moe, to Larry)

  • "Wait a minute...how could a bear get down there?" "It's barely possible."
    (Curly & Moe)

  • "My three daughters, April, May and June." "Hmmm, three of the prettiest months of the year."
    (Eva McKenzie & Curly)

  • "If I didn't need you, I'd exterminate you."

  • "I'm sawing a saw in half with a saw, see?"

  • "Oh, took me illiterately."

Stooge Goofs   (10)
  • Changing entrance order
    When the Stooges return to the Widow Jenkins' farm after recovering the deed, Moe goes through the door first, followed seconds later by Curly and Larry. However, in the next shot, when they enter the dining room, Curly is the first to enter.

  • Character Breaking
    Near the end when the Stooges are fighting over the steering wheel, Larry has this smile on his face like he's going to break character and start laughing, but it's Moe's shoving him out the way afterwards that snaps him out of it.

  • Location Change
    After Curly points out the car to Moe and Larry, the camera shows a close-up of the car and on it, you can see a reflection of the Stooges running towards it. But when the camera goes back to the Stooges, they're still standing in the same place as before, THEN they run up to the car.

  • Location Change
    During the scene with the Stooges and the three swindlers in the car, after Curly says â€Å"Oh, hit a woman, would you?!”, the camera cuts to a brief shot of the road. When it cuts back to the car, the Stooges and the swindlers have switched locations all of a sudden.

  • Missed Hit
    When the crowbar spins around and is supposed to hit all three Stooges on the back of the head, it doesn't hit Moe, yet he still reacts.

  • On-the-Set Injury
    When Moe was supposed to get oil squirted into his face, he forgot to close his eyes and the oil accidentally got inside his eyes. Afterwards, they had to get the first aid man to pry his eyes open and take all that crap out.

  • Stray Chicken
    When the camera first shows the Stooges throwing wood into the bottom-less wagon, you can see a chicken under there, frantically trying to get away before it gets hurt.

  • The Sign
    When Eddie Laughton steps in the mud, he takes down the sign on the nearby pole & folds it once, in half, then scrapes the mud off his shoe, then throws the sign to the other side of the car. However, when the sign lands on the other side, it shows a second fold near the bottom of the sign Laughton didn't make.

  • Visible Padding
    When the saw hits Moe in the stomach, you can tell that there is padding inside of his coat to protect him from getting hurt.

  • Visible Wire
    During Curly's battle with the wagon door, you can see the wire attached to the door that was used to pull it up.

Stooge Routines   (3)

Stooge Trivia   (1)

Audio Files   (2)
  • It's Barely Possible
    Wave Sound (95.08 Kb)
    "Didja hear that?" "Woo-wwo-woo - sounds like there's a bear down there. I'm gonna get a trap!" "What a minute. How can there be a bear down there?" "It's barely possible!"

  • Cheese Knife
    Wave Sound (25.09 Kb)
    "Don't get excited! Ya can still use it for a cheese knife!"

Video File   (Y)

Transcript   (N)

There isn't a transcript available for this episode.

Videography   (1)

Fan Reviews   (10)
Posted 2010-10-21 00:08:00 by Final Shemp
When talking about Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise, three scenes must be brought up. The opening where the Stooges find themselves doing yard work for a stranger, in exchange for a meal is the first. The slapstick in the scene is dead on, as the Stooges take one shot after another to great comic effect. Curly takes a lot of punishment from saws in this sequence, getting smacked in the face and sliced on the head. He even attempts to repair a broken saw by sawing it in half, giving birth to one of my favorite Stooge lines "I'm sawing a saw in half with another saw, see?" The Stooges incompetence at the simplest tasks get the better of them in this sequence, as their property damage turned a man who offered them food for work into someone who demanded compensation. One can't help but wonder how long it took to work off their debt, or if they just wandered away.
The Widow Jenkins was a different breed than this gentleman. She didn't ask for compensation and helped the Stooges out of the goodness of her heart. It was the Stooges that offered her compensation for their meal, which proves that they have good hearts buried within them as well. This also leads to the second sequence of slapstick, the pump scene, which is arguably the Stooges' finest hour.
This scene is positively brilliant. Every touch is just right. Every knock to the head is perfectly executed. Every sound effect has the right amount of oomph. Curly's round as an "unsuccessful cork" brings the guffaws coming long and hard.
Changing out of their oily clothes and into old lady dresses for the finale, the Stooges go looking for the crooks and have a battle with them in a runaway car. One of the crooks threatens to punch Curly out "dame or no dame," prompting Curly to retaliate "Oh, hit a woman would ya'?!" The brawl brings the short to a triumphant conclusion, as the Stooges warm hearts conquer all.
Not only that, this is a rare Stooge short in which the boys get the girls in the end, and not only that, they're the daughters of a millionaire widow, ensuring no money problems from here on out. If the Three Stooges shorts had continuity, I'd suggest Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise be the series finale, as it has an appropriate happy ending.
As it is, it's about as close to a perfect Three Stooges short you can get. There are three lengthy scenes of slapstick full of laughs and a story that makes you cheery. It's an all-time favorite.
Final Shemp's Final Word: 4 Pokes

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2008-08-12 17:18:10 by DocWatson

The only real objection I have to this one is the lack of a good plot. Most Stooges shorts had good plots. This one is mostly great for the amount of one liners and gags the boys do. The story is rather thin but it's funny.

3.5 out of 4 from me.

Reviewer's Rating: (9)
Posted 2003-04-10 12:24:00 by [Deleted Member]
One of the more unusual shorts, in that it hinges on the plot device of "wishing wizard" Curly having magical powers. That doesn't prevent him from getting clonked on the head with firewood by Moe and Larry, and having an extended battle with the unruly trapdoor on the bottom of a wagon. Curly's ride on the "oil geezer" is one of the classic Stooges images, and Dick Curtis makes a fine villain, as always.

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2003-04-07 03:45:00 by MeliaKira
One of the best. A top-notch Nyuker from the Curly era, has the boys as hobos out on the road. And every time Curly wishes for something he gets it...Including the Widow Jenkins' daughters, a free automobile, and a hearty dinner of roast chicken and dumplings and hot apple pie.

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2002-01-26 16:28:00 by BJR
A good 1939 effort, just before the so-called "Golden Era" of Curly shorts. I liked it pretty well, but it's not a classic.A lot of the beginning was somewhat funny, but not that funny. Once the boys arrive at the lady's house, it gets better. The oil-pumping scene was pretty good, as was the "chase scene" with the guys who bought the farm and the Stooges.Many of you will want to "moida me" when you hear this... but I will say this... this is the ONE CASE where the Besser remake is better than the Curly version. Because OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL had an entirely different plot, it wasn't annoying having to see Joe exactly replicate Curly's lines, as is the case in PIES AND GUYS.I know most of you have already seen this, since it's a "Curly Classic." But one thing... do yourself a favor... ESPECIALLY if you are a Moe fan... and also watch OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.Rating: 7/10
Posted 2001-10-22 00:45:00 by [Deleted Member]
Moe has shown over and over how tough he was, starting with "the falling through the table" incident in "Pardon My Scotch" (1935). But in "Oily", he had to get stuff plucked out of his eyes! I know how getting soap in my eyes feels and I've had many cosmetic eyelid surgeries. I can sympathize with Moe. In fact, we ALL know how soap or some particle in the eyes feels. Not good. It's scary to think about eye injuries happening to us.Anyway, this short is great from beginning to end! There's 2 things I don't get 1.) Why did the bad guys still think the Stooges were "dames" when Curly has his bonnet off? I think it's Dick Curtis that says the "dame or no dame" line, but can we be sure from that line that he knew the Stooges were guys? Wouldn't he have exclaimed something like Bud Jamson as Pierre in "Whoops, I'm an indian", when he said "She's a HE!"?2. How in the world did all of the bad guys and all of the Stooges totally trade places in the car?Aside from these gliches, it's a great film, made all the better by the presence of the lovely Lorna Gray. I could look at her all day and night. (SIGH)ISLIPP-you TRIPP. ®2001Edited by - ISLIPP on 10/23/2001 1:20:34 AM
Posted 2001-10-08 14:19:00 by Shemp_Diesel
The first full strength Jules directed short(imo). Plus I would be remiss to not mention the toughness of Moe who agreed to redo the "oil splattering in his eyes" gag years later in the Besser remake. 3 1/2 pokesEdited by - Shemp_Diesel on 10/8/2001 2:32:59 PM

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2001-03-06 00:03:00 by sickdrjoe
Even if you don't like the Stooges (and if so, why are you reading this?), this short features Lorna Gray (aka Adrian Booth Bryan), the most drop-dead gorgeous woman ever to appear with the boys. Unfortunately, being under contract to Columbia limited her opportunities and her career never took off as it might have somewhere else...but what a woman! Christine might've been a better actress and nobody played outraged society matrons like Symona, but Lorna/Adrian was the piece de resistance. Huh? The SHORT?? Oh, yeah, the short! It's great, of course!
Posted 2000-12-31 12:52:00 by Uncle Mortimer
Tony, whadaya been smokin? This is a great short! It might not be "ACHE IN EVERY STAKE", but it still has memorable scenes, good lines, great violence and "CURLY: THE WISHIN' WIZARD". Not to mention APRIL, MAY & JUNE! Three of the sweetest dames in Stoogeville. (they rank right up their with Mergatroyd's 'leggy' assistant in "Fiddler's Three"
Posted 2000-09-15 19:27:00 by Ichabod Slipp
Some great scenes in the barn trying to saw a saw in half with a saw, see? I do wonder how they did that oil gusher scene on Columbia's budget.

Discuss OILY TO BED, OILY TO RISE in the Forum

Collapse All | Expand All
(Click on the icon to expand individual sections.)

Back To Top

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available in an effort to advance awareness and understanding of the issues involved. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information please visit: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission directly from the copyright owner.