Malice in the Palace (1949)

The Three Stooges Collection Volume 6 DVD

Columbia Pictures Corporation
 Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard
Directed by: Jules White

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: The Three Stooges are running a restaurant in a middle eastern land when a couple of rogues enter and demand food.  After some comical misunderstandings the trio learn the whereabouts of a stolen diamond and decide to find and return the gem to get a reward.

Featured Feline: The scenes in the restaurant are memorable as Larry Fine goes back in the kitchen to prepare an order of rabbit and hot dogs.  He sets some hot dogs on a plate and a hungry cat gets up to the table and takes one.

Malice in the Palace - cat steals hot dog

Seeing the cat stealing the food, Larry chases after it through the restaurant with a meat cleaver.  He catches the cat and carries it back to the kitchen by the scruff, waving the cleaver at the cat in a threatening manner.  Moe, Shemp and the two patrons watch this with trepidation.

Malice in the Palace - Larry threatens cat with cleaver

Back in the kitchen Larry feeds the cat under a table and begins to cut the rabbit.  With each chop the cat meows, giving the group out front the wrong idea about what is happening.

Malice in the Palace - cat being fed in kitchen

At one point Larry accidentally steps on the cat’s tail (it cuts away just before he puts pressure on the tail with his foot) and the cat screeches, causing the others to cringe.

Malice in the Palace - cat's tail about to be stepped on

The same routine is repeated with a dog, only the dog gets his tail slammed in a window (this also cuts away just before the impact.)  When Larry comes out to serve the food the two rogues are disgusted with what they think they are being served and force Mo and Shemp to sit down and eat.  What they don’t notice is the cat and dog come into the room and are now sitting beneath the table.

Malice in the Palace - cat and dog under table

As they start to poke and cut into the food the dog barks and whines and the cat meows and purrs, causing Moe and Shemp to become distressed.

Malice in the Palace - cat meowing under table

When Larry comes out the rogues make him sit and eat but he has no problem doing so.  Seeing this the rogues sit down to eat and as they take their first bite the cat jumps at the dog (who has grabbed a fallen hot dog) and screeches, starling them.  What’s notable about this scene is it appears they had to put some kind of wire around the cat to make him jump at the dog.

Malice in the Palace - cat jumping at dog

It also looks like someone is holding the cat under the table and lets it go or gives it a push just before the cat leaves the shot following the dog.

Malice in the Palace - cat and dog about to leave from under table

Final Mewsings: Animals need to watch their tails around The Three Stooges!

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