Cactus Makes Perfect is the 61st 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.
The film opens with the Stooges' mother (played by veteran comedian Monte Collins in drag) attempting to wake up her three boys without success. "Get out of bed you lazy loafers!" she screams to no avail. Finally, she yanks a rope the leads from the kitchen to the bed where the trio is sleeping soundly. This causes the bed to spin vertically and hilariously until they are expelled - violently. Afterwards, she smacks them around in typical Stooge fashion (like mother, like sons).
Curly receives a letter from the Inventors' Association, who state that his Gold Collar Button Retriever is "incomprehensible and utterly impractical." Naturally, Curly misinterprets this as a success, and the trio leave their mother's home to make their fortune. The mother offers them money, then belts them for accepting it ("You WOULD take it!") as they depart. In transit, they are swindled into buying a map leading to a lost mine in the Old West. After actually finding a lost mine, the Stooges run afoul of two down-on-their-luck prospectors (Vernon Dent, Ernie Adams), who try to rob the boys out of their dough. Moe and Larry flee to an abandoned hotel where Curly hid the gold in a safe ("It's safe in the safe".) The miners show up, and they all take refuge in the safe room. The miners drill through the door, which Curly attributes to termites, and throw a stick of dynamite in. After a little back and forth, the stick fizzles out. Believing it to be a dud, the boys burst out laughing and Curly chucks the dynamite, causing it to actually explode. The short ends with three person-shaped holes in the wall, the Stooges dazed, the coins raining from the ceiling, and the miners nowhere to be seen.
- The title Cactus Makes Perfect parodies the proverb "practice makes perfect."
- Curly's remark, "I shoot an arrow into the air, where it lands I do not care: I get my arrows wholesale!" parodies Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Arrow and the Song," which begins, "I shot an arrow into the air, / It fell to earth, I knew not where..."
- Solomon, Jon. (2002) The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion, p. 207; Comedy III Productions, Inc., ISBN 0-9711868-0-4