The Stooges are exhausted cowboys who come upon the town of Dead Man's Gulch. The town's population seems to be shrinking, as evidenced by the sound of gunfire and dwindling numbers on the population sign. Badlands Blackie (Dick Curtis) and his gang are the reason behind this. Six sheriffs have been killed in just five months; plus, the blacksmith has been kidnapped and Blackie is threatening to eliminate him unless his daughter, Nell (Christine McIntyre), agrees to marry him. The locals make Curly sheriff, and Moe and Larry deputies. As Nell has promised to wed Curly if he saves her father, he makes his first order of business to help out Nell. Through a series of misadventures (Curly is locked up like a dog, complete with collar strapped tightly around his neck), the Stooges manage to vanquish the bad guys, and rescue Nell's dad.
- Moe Howard as Moe
- Larry Fine as Larry
- Curly Howard as Curly
- Christine McIntyre as Nell the Blacksmith
- Dick Curtis as Badlands Blackie
The script for The Three Troubledoers short called for a gag in which a bazooka gun was to backfire and shoot black soot into Moe's face. "The special effects man used too much air pressure," says director Edward Bernds, "so some of the soot shot up under his Moe eyelids. They had to pry his eyes open and remove these big chunks of black powder from his eye. I was terrified; I thought the poor guy had been blinded." Moe had a similar ordeal while filming 1939's Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise, when gobs of black goo (representing oil) shot under his eyelids.
The Three Troubledoers was produced after Curly Howard suffered a mild stroke. As a result, his performance was marred by slurred speech, and slower timing. Though Curly's falsetto voice had deepen slightly by this point, the ailing star was comfortable enough to deliver his dialogue is his regular speaking voice in The Three Troubledoers.
Director Edward Bernds later recalled how Curly's condition would have its peaks and valleys: “ ...it was strange the way he (Curly) went up and down. In the order I shot the pictures, not in the order they were released, he was down for A Bird in the Head and The Three Troubledoers, he was up for Micro-Phonies, way down for Monkey Businessmen, and then up again, for the last time, in Three Little Pirates.