Disorder in the Court

Disorder in the Court is a 1936 short subject directed by Preston Black starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). It is the 15th entry in the series released by Columbia Pictures starring the comedians, who released 190 shorts for the studio between 1934 and 1959.

Disorder in the Court
Directed byPreston Black
Written byFelix Adler
Produced byJules White
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Bud Jamison
Harry Semels
Suzanne Kaaren
James C. Morton
Edward LeSaint
Solomon Horwitz
Al Thompson
Eddie Laughton
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byWilliam A. Lyon
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 30, 1936 (1936-05-30) (U.S.)
Running time
CountryUnited States
Disorder In The Court, full movie


The Stooges are key witnesses at a murder trial. Their friend and colleague, Gail Tempest (Suzanne Kaaren), is a dancer at the Black Bottom cafe where the Stooges are musicians. She is accused of killing Kirk Robin (a play on "Who Killed Cock Robin?").

The Stooges harass the defense attorney (Bud Jamison) in Disorder in the Court

When the Stooges are called to the witness stand, they are nowhere to be found. The defense attorney (Bud Jamison) goes out into the hall only to find the Stooges playing jacks and tic-tac-toe simultaneously on the floor. After considerable mutual frustration, the court finally swears in Curly, who begins to describe the events that took place on the night of the murder. He offers to show the court exactly what happened. The Stooges and Tempest are part of a musical act; Tempest and the Stooges break into their musical routine to prove this, with Larry on violin, Moe on harmonica, and Curly on both spoons and upright bass while Tempest dances.

The act is interrupted when Larry unknowingly mistakes a man's toupée for a tarantula and Moe subsequently takes the guard's gun and starts shooting the toupée, causing pandemonium in the court. Moe and then Curly re-enact the actual murder (with Curly on the receiving end). Moe then looks at the parrot, who was at the murder scene, and sees a note tied to the parrot's foot. He opens the parrot cage, and the parrot flies out after it scratches Moe's finger. The Stooges eventually capture the bird by shooting water at it through a fire hose. Moe then reads the letter out loud and reveals that it is a confession from the real murderer, Buck Wing, which finally proves Tempest's innocence. The note also said that Buck Wing will disappear.

The Stooges and Gail Tempest were going to get their picture taken; however, the fire hose, which Curly tied up earlier, explodes and sprays water everywhere.




Production notesEdit

Disorder in the Court was filmed over six days on April 1–6, 1936.[1] The film title is a play on the stereotypical judge's cry, "Order in the court!"[2]

A colorized version of this film was released in 2006 as part of the DVD collection "Stooges on the Run."

Sol Horwitz, the father of Moe, Curly, and Shemp Howard, makes an uncredited appearance as a member of the public audience.[2]

Disorder in the Court was the first Stooge short to give Curly Howard top billing over costars Larry Fine and Moe Howard.

This is the first Stooge short in which Curly is spelled "C-U-R-L-Y" in the opening titles instead of the previous "C-U-R-L-E-Y." The title card also has the Stooges inverted reading from left to right, Curly-Larry-Moe, as opposed to Moe-Larry-Curly in previous shorts, effectively giving Curly "top billing." This change in the title card coincides with the refined and more familiar Columbia Pictures image of a torch-bearing woman, with a shimmering light instead of the primitive animation of light rays in the previous version. In addition, the "Columbia" theme now uses a more upbeat theme, featuring a brass introduction.[2]

Copyright statusEdit

Disorder in the Court is one of four Columbia Stooge shorts that fell into the public domain after the copyright lapsed in the 1960s, the other three being Malice in the Palace (1949), Sing a Song of Six Pants and Brideless Groom (both 1947). As such, these four shorts frequently appear on budget VHS and DVD compilations.[2]

In popular cultureEdit

Gail Tempest (Suzanne Kaaren) dancing in the courtroom.

The presumed perpetrator is a dancer named Buck Wing, a reference to the buck-and-wing dance common in vaudeville and minstrel shows.[2]

The classic 'swearing in' ('Take off your hat!,' 'Raise your right hand,' 'Judgy Wudgy') routine was borrowed nearly verbatim from Buster Keaton's 1931 film Sidewalks of New York, directed by Stooge veteran and producer Jules White.[2]

A shot of the trio performing in court was used by Hershey's in a 1980s ad campaign.[3]

The short appears in the 2019 horror film 3 from Hell.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Disorder in the Court at threestooges.net
  2. ^ a b c d e f Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 96. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dZ3svPD32Y

External linksEdit