Higher Than a Kite

Higher Than a Kite is the 72nd short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1943 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.

Higher Than a Kite
Directed byDel Lord
Produced byDel Lord
Hugh McCollum
Written byMonte Collins
Elwood Ullman
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Vernon Dent
Dick Curtis
Duke York
CinematographyJohn Stumar
Edited byPaul Borofsky
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 30, 1943 (1943-07-30) (U.S.)
Running time
CountryUnited States


The Stooges want to fly for the Royal Air Force, but end up as mechanics working in a motor-pool garage. When given the assignment of getting a 'squeak' out of the Colonel's car from his assistant Kelly (Duke York), they get sidetracked after Moe's head gets stuck in a pipe. After several painful attempts, they finally unscrew Moe from the tight quarters, and he eventually chases Larry and Curly around the vehicle, breaking the windshield in the process. The Stooges disassemble the entire engine, and are still puzzled, as they are not exactly certain what a squeak looks like. Kelly comes to retrieve the Colonel's car, with the Stooges still hoping to be airmen.

The trio promptly evacuate the garage after Kelly realizes what they have done, only to end up hiding out in a bomb mistaken for a sewer pipe. The bomb is then dropped behind enemy lines (reflecting the recent British bombing of Cologne, Germany in June 1942[1]). Moe and Curly quickly disguise themselves as German officers and Larry disguises himself as a woman (Moronica). Marshalls Bommel (Dick Curtis) and Boring (Vernon Dent) (parodies of German generals Erwin Rommel and Hermann Göring) then enter, and go about flirting with Moronica. The Stooges eventually steal enemy secrets from under the nose of the Nazi officers, knock them cold, and escape. During their escape, a photo of Adolf Hitler gets stuck on Curly's behind. A bulldog wearing a "U.S. Marines" coat and helmet runs in and bites Curly where Hitler's photo is, and Curly runs off with the bulldog still hanging from his hindquarters.

Production notes

Higher Than a Kite was filmed over five days on February 20–25, 1943.[2] It was the only Stooge film to feature supporting actor Duke York in a non-monster role.[3]

Footage of Moe getting his head wedged inside a pipe was reused in the 1960 compilation feature film Stop! Look! and Laugh!.[1]


  1. Solomon, Jon. (2002) The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion, p. 230; Comedy III Productions, Inc., ISBN 0-9711868-0-4
  2. Higher Than a Kite at threestooges.net
  3. Galbraith IV, Stuart (July 7, 2012). "The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection". DVD Talk. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
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