Brideless Groom is the 101st 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.
Shemp plays a voice instructor and the object of affection to tone-deaf vocal student Miss Dinkelmeyer (Dee Green), with Larry is his musical accompanist. After an excruciating session, Moe enters his classroom to tell Shemp that his uncle had died and left him an inheritance of five hundred thousand dollars. Shemp cannot collect the money unless he is married (which horrifies Shemp) within 48 hours after the reading of the will. Shemp uses his filled-up black address book to propose to any and all women he has, with unsuccessful results. With only six hours to get married, Moe and Larry lead Shemp through a series of disastrous situations including the destruction of a phone booth and Shemp being beaten silly by a woman named Miss Hopkins (Christine McIntyre) who had just moved into the building.
Upon recovering from his bruising, Shemp unintentionally proposes to his unattractive and tone-deaf student Miss Dinkelmeyer. She happily accepts and the two of them, with Moe and Larry in tow, head over to the Justice of Peace (Emil Sitka) to get married. Shemp pulls out the wedding ring but accidentally loses it in the piano. Moe forces him to look, and in doing so, Shemp wrecks the piano completely. Eventually he finds the ring, and he is hustled to get married right away. However, the Stooges' building landlord calls Moe to tell him that news of Shemp's inheritance was printed in the paper and all the women he called and proposed to found out about it and were looking for him. They all arrive at the Justice of Peace's office all looking to marry Shemp to get his money, whereupon chaos ensues. The women start fighting, taking out their aggressions not only upon themselves but upon the Stooges as well. Nonetheless Shemp, in a dazed state, ends up marrying his student, just in time to collect the money. Shemp comes to, is told what happened, and is frightened beyond reproach.
- The basic plot of Brideless Groom is not unique, having been used in (among others) Buster Keaton's 1925 comedy Seven Chances (remade in 1999 as The Bachelor starring Chris O'Donnell).
- The film features longtime Stooges supporting player Emil Sitka's best-remembered line "Hold hands, you lovebirds!" (The line is engraved on Sitka's headstone.) The shot where Emil Sitka has a birdcage smashed on his head was worked into the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction when Eric Stoltz is watching television.
- Brideless Groom would be recycled in the second half of 1956's Husbands Beware.
- Brideless Groom is one of four Stooge shorts that fell into the public domain after the copyright lapsed in the 1960s (the other three being Malice in the Palace, Sing a Song of Six Pants, and Disorder in the Court). As such, these four shorts frequently appear on cheaply produced video or DVD compilations.
- In 2005, Brideless Groom was colorized and included as one of the featured shorts on a Legend Films DVD compilation called The Three Stooges In Color, featuring wraparounds from The Film Crew. Sony/Columbia Pictures also colorized a restored version of this film that was released in 2007 as part of the DVD collection "Hapless Half-Wits."
- The version of "Voices of Spring" during Shemp and Miss Dinkelmeyer's singing lesson was sung by frequent Stooge co-star Christine McIntyre, who appears in this short as "Miss Hopkins". This version of "Voices of Spring", along with McIntyre herself, were previously used in 1946 Three Stooges short "Micro-Phonies".
Brideless Groom contains a considerable amount of slapstick violence for a Shemp-era short. One sequence features Christine McIntyre who portrays Miss Hopkins, a woman whom Shemp actively pursues for his wife. Unfortunately, she mistakes him for her cousin Basil. After learning her mistake, she takes it out on poor Shemp by slapping him silly then finally punching him through her door. During the filming of the scene, when Christine threw her punch, she leaned too far into it, and hit Shemp for real and broke his nose. This mistake was left in the film, and when watched it in slow motion, Shemp can be seen falling down and opening his mouth like he was yelling in pain after the punch. Director Edward Bernds remembers getting McIntyre to give Shemp the blows:
- "In the story, Shemp had a few hours in which to get married if he wanted to inherit his uncle's fortune. He called on Christine McIntyre, who mistook him for her cousin (Basil) and greeted him with hugs and kisses. Then the real cousin phoned and she accused Shemp of kissing her, as it were, under false pretenses. At this point, she was supposed to slap Shemp around. Lady that she was, Chris couldn't do it right; she dabbed at him daintily, afraid of hurting him. After a couple of bad takes, Shemp pleaded with her. 'Honey,' he said, 'if you want to do me a favor, cut loose and do it right. A lot of half-hearted slaps hurts more than one good one. Give it to me, Chris, and let's get it over with.' Chris got up her courage and on the next take, let Shemp have it. 'It' wound up as a whole series of slaps — the timing was beautiful; they rang out like pistol shots. Shemp was knocked into a chair, bounced up, met another ringing slap, fell down again, scrambled up, trying to explain, only to get another stinging slap. Then Chris delivered a haymaker — a right that knocked Shemp through the door. When the take was over, Shemp was groggy, really groggy. Chris put her arms around him and apologized tearfully. 'It's alright, honey,' Shemp said painfully. 'I said you should cut loose and you did. You sure as hell did!'"
- Lenburg, Jeff; Howard Maurer, Joan; Lenburg, Greg; (1982). The Three Stooges Scrapbook, p. 81, Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0946-5