The Stooges are Civil War spies for the Union. As Operators 12, 14 and 15, the Stooges are sent behind Southern lines during the Civil War.
The songs that play over the opening credits are several Civil War standards, such as Dixie, John Brown's Body, and The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
When the general asks the Stooges if they remember their names, somebody chokes on their cigar smoke.
After Curly kisses the girl's hand, Moe bops him on the head and he holds his head in pain, but in the next shot, Curly's not holding his head.
Buttz begins to fill the glasses, then the camera cuts to a quick close-up of Major Filburt, and when it cuts back to the original shot, the glasses are all filled suddenly.
Moe loses track of the baby's gender several times. He goes from saying "He was walking down the railroad" to "And I was with her."
After the Stooges jet out of the house when their identies are revealed, you can see Major Filburt running out of the house after them, then the camera shows the Stooges running in the woods, and when it cuts back to the original shot, Filburt runs out of the house again.
You can see a string pulling the cannon when the soldiers lift it.
The short concludes with an episode in which Larry and Curly disguise themselves as, respectively, Captain Dodge's father and wife. This leads to a controversial gag in which Colonel Butts inquires about Captain Dodge's baby. Moe runs off and brings in a swaddled infant, which is revealed to be black, thus giving away the Stooges' charade. Although the gag is quite innocent, especially in comparison with other race-based humor of the era, it was nevertheless often cut or severely edited in broadcast prints.
(Moe assures his "wife" that he will find their missing child.)
Moe: There, there! Don't worry, Dixie Lou, I'll get him!
Major Filbert: Him?
Major Filbert: Her?
Major Filbert: Tell me Captain, is your wife a blonde or a brunette?
(Moe chokes on his drink.)
Moe: Well sir, I really can't say. You see, when I first married her, everyone accused her of being very lightheaded!
Colonel: (toasting) Here's to the success of our cause.
Moe: And here's to the success of our cause!
Moe: What did you'all say the name of this cake was?
Judith: Southern Comforts.
Moe: Yes, ma'am. Tastes like Southern comforter.
Moe: I baked a cake once but it fell and killed the cat.
Curly: Let's have a nip and tuck!
Colonel: What's that, major?
Curly: One nip and they tuck you away for the night!
Curly: (running through the woods) I was lost! All by myself!
Larry: I'm getting tired of this army.
Curly: I'm getting tired of both armies!
General: I want you to bring me back the necessary information...providing you get back.
(The Stooges are eating a cake not knowing that there is a potholder baked inside.)
Moe: How's yours taste?
Curly: Like a mattress.
Moe: Want mine?
Curly: I'm stuffed now!
Moe: (after Curly burned their spy note) Do you know what that paper was?
Curly: There were three men in three beds, only had two blankets. How'd they keep warm?
Colonel: I don't know. How did they, Major?
Curly: They turned on the heat!
General: What happened to Operator 13?
Curly: He swam across the river and died of Potomac poisoning.
Moe: I wonder if this is the right place, Lieutenant?
Larry: I reckon this is the place, Captain. What do you all say, Major?
Curly: Well, since there's no other place around the place, I reckon this must be the place, I reckon.
Colonel: (to Major Filbert) He can smell a spy a mile away.
Curly: (whispering) I'm glad he can't smell 'em any closer!
Larry: Excuse me, gentlemen, I've gotta take care of a weak back.
Major: Pardon me...how long have you had a weak back?
Larry: Oh, about a week back.
Curly: (explaining why he quit his job) Oh, I got sick of the dough and thought I'd go on the loaf.
Curly: I used to work in a bakery as a pilot. I used to take the bread from one corner and pile it on the other.
Billy Engle, who has a tiny role as one of the Union officers, would also appear with the Stooges at the other end of their careers with Flying Saucer Daffy (1958). This is one of the longest gaps between appearances for a Stooges supporting player.
Scenes from this film were used in the 1984 music video for The Jump 'n the Saddle Band's Stooge-themed hit, The Curly Shuffle.
Running time: 19 minutes 33 seconds
This is the first short where the Stooges are going through a patch of trees. Two Stooges, usually Larry and Curly, push the tree limbs forward before letting them go. When they let go, the trailing Stooge, usually Moe, has to duck a tree branch whipping back toward him. This repeats until eventually he forgets to duck and is struck by the branch. This is a recurring joke in the Stooge shorts.
This is the first short in which the Stooges mention "Charlie". When the Stooges meet a guard, they often reference Charlie. The guard asks who Charlie is, and a Stooge replies that "everybody knows Charlie. He walks like this." The Stooges then demonstrate a silly walk until they get clear of the guard, at which point they take off running. This is a recurring joke in the Stooge shorts. In this film, they actually meet a soldier named Charlie, who asks the Stooges, "Are you all looking for me?"
This is the first of several Stooge shorts in which they play enlisted soldiers. The Civil War was the setting for only one other Stooges short, Uncivil Warbirds (1946).
In this short, Larry salutes, elbowing Moe. Moe then salutes, elbowing Curly. Finally, Curly salutes, but since he is on the end, he cannot hit anyone, grumbling to himself "a victim of soicumstance!" This joke would be copied in the later short Half-Shot Shooters (1936).
Probably the only time that Curly is 'whacked' by Moe without the viewing audience actually seeing it. This occurs when Curly makes a joking remark to Colonel Buttz's daughter stating: "I quit that job in the bakery. Oh, I got sick of the dough and thought I'd go on the loaf."
Originally, the characters were supposed to be called "Greps", "Burp", and "Belch."
Filming Dates: 3-13 thru 3-15 and 3-18-1935 (4 days)
Union general: What happened to Operator 13?
The general is referencing MGM Civil War drama Operator 13, which starred Gary Cooper and Ted Healy. Curly had a small walk-on cameo as a soldier.
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