Gents Without Cents is the 81st 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.
Its title is a play on "without sense." Other parodies include The "Noazark" (Noah's Ark) Shipbuilding Company and show headliners The "Castor and Earl" (castor oil) Revue.
The Stooges originally performed their "Niagara Falls" skit in 1943 for the feature film Good Luck, Mr. Yates, but the scene was cut at the last minute. Instead of wasting the footage, Columbia built Gents Without Cents around it.
The Stooges are small time song-and-dance performers who are having trouble rehearsing due to loud tapping that is going on one story above them. When they go to give the rowdies a piece of their mind, three lovely ladies named Flo (Lindsay Bourquin), Mary (Laverne Thompson) and Shirley (Betty Phares) come to the door. It turns out the girls are performing their tap dance routine. The six become friends and go to a talent agent, Manny Weeks (John Tyrrell), to show of their stuff. However, he is at first unimpressed with the Stooges' act, but hires them anyway to perform at the Noazark Shipbuilding Company to entertain defense workers.
The Stooges, as "Two Souls and a Heel", slay the audience with their hilarious "Niagara Falls" routine ("slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch..."). When the boys receive word that the headliners (The Castor and Earl Review) have to bail, they and the girls offer to take their place. Weeks is so enthralled with the boys' performance that he offers to send the trio to Broadway.
The Stooges nearly leave their ladies, but end up getting married first with a honeymoon planned for—where else?—Niagara Falls. In a hilarious ending Curly does the "Niagara Falls" routine while reading a road sign..and has to run for his life chased by the other two Stooges!
Gents Without Cents is the first Stooge film to employ a syncopated, jazzy version of "Three Blind Mice" as the Stooges' theme song. The new version is in the key of F, while the key of G was previously utilized. This syncopated version would be used regularly (though briefly) after the next film, No Dough Boys. This version was revamped during the Shemp Howard era.