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Muscle Up a Little Closer is the 176th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1957 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe Besser). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.

Muscle Up a Little Closer
Columbia Pictures made an error by listing the Stooges as "Shemp (who had died), Larry and Joe," omitting Moe entirely.
Directed byJules White
Produced byJules White
Written byFelix Adler
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Joe Besser
Maxine Gates
Ruth Godfrey
Harriette Tarler
Matt Murphy
CinematographyIrving Lippman
Edited byHarold White
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 28, 1957 (1957-02-28)
Running time
CountryUnited States


Moe, Larry and Joe are about propose marriage to their sweethearts. But later, the boys discover that Joe's fiancee's ring has been stolen. The Stooges suspect it is Elmo, a muscular bully who works at their plant. The Stooges eventually come face to face with him in the company gym, but when they try to make him give the ring back by physical force, the plan backfires and Moe and Larry are knocked senseless. But Joe's girl (Maxine Gates) is tougher and knocks out Elmo. She retrieves the ring and she can now marry Joe.

Production notesEdit

Filmed on June 27–29, 1956,[1] Muscle Up a Little Closer was the first film to feature Moe and Larry's more "gentlemanly" haircuts, first suggested by Joe Besser. However, these had to be used sparingly, as most of the shorts with Besser were remakes of earlier films, and new footage had to be matched with old.[2]

The title of the film parodies the Otto Harbach/Karl Hoschna 1908 song "Cuddle up a Little Closer, Lovey Mine".[3]


  1. ^ Muscle Up a Little Closer at
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff; Howard Maurer, Joan; Lenburg, Greg; (1982). The Three Stooges Scrapbook, p. 264, Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0946-5
  3. ^ Solomon, Jon. (2002) The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion, p. 487; Comedy III Productions, Inc., ISBN 0-9711868-0-4

External linksEdit