Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise

Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise
Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise
Directed by Jules White
Produced by Jules White
Written by Andrew Bennison
Mauri Grashin
Starring Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Dick Curtis
Eddie Laughton
James Craig
Eva McKenzie
Dorothy Moore
Lorna Gray
Dorothy Comingore
Richard Fiske
Cinematography Henry Freulich
Editing by Charles Nelson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) October 6, 1939 (1939-10-06)
Running time 18' 13"
Country United States
Language English

Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise is the 42nd short subject starring American slapstick comedy team the Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.



Once again, the Stooges are three hapless tramps. After nearly destroying a farmer's (Richard Fiske) pile of firewood, the boys come to the assistance of the Widow Jenkins (Eva McKenzie), who has just been cheated out of her land by a trio of swindlers (Dick Curtis, Eddie Laughton, James Craig). Attempting to fix the woman's well, the Stooges instead unleash an oil geyser. They manage to retrieve the deed to the land and are allowed to marry the now wealthy Widow Jenkins' daughters. Moe tells Curly to wish for quintuplets, and Curly replies, "We'll honeymoon in Canada!" (a reference to the Dionne quintuplets).

Oil injury

Moe Howard recalled in his autobiography that he received a glob of goo (representing oil) directly under his eyelids during shooting:

I remember once when the prop man concocted a smorgasbord of gook: chocolate, whipped cream, asbestos chips, linseed oil, ketchup, and other unknown goodies. Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise...was—what else—an oil well picture. The plot had us in one scene trying to repair a water pump. After many attempts, I took a screwdriver, knelt down, peered into the mouth of the pump, and jiggled the screwdriver inside of it. Gazing up the opening, I jiggled again and then looked up a third time. Suddenly, a blob of assorted gunk got me right in eye...and...it took hours to clean me up for the next scene.[1]

Moe would have a similar ordeal while filming 1946's The Three Troubledoers, when chunks of black soot became lodged under his eyelids.


  • The shot of Curly riding the oil gusher up into the sky would be reused in Oil's Well That Ends Well.[2]
  • The title Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise is another parody of the Benjamin Franklin's "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." (A previous short was called Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb.)[2]
  • In the end of the film, Moe tells Curly that all he has to do is "wish for quintuplets, and we're all set!" Curly responds with "That's a cinch! We'll honeymoon in Canada!" This is a reference to the Dionne Quintuplets.


  1. ^ Howard, Moe (1977, rev. 1979). Moe Howard and the Three Stooges. Citadel Press. pp. 95, 101. ISBN 0806507233. http://www.amazon.com/Moe-Howard-Stooges-Pictorial-Entertainment/dp/0806507233/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206817654&sr=1-2. 
  2. ^ a b Solomon, Jon. (2002) The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion, p. 94; Comedy III Productions, Inc., ISBN 0971186804

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