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"Did anyone ever point a gun at you?" "Yeah, but he couldn't shoot me." "How come?" "I had my finger in the barrel!" - Gene Roth & Larry (SLAPHAPPY SLEUTHS, 1950)

Bookmark and Share BACK TO THE WOODS

Average Rating:     [7.72/10]   35 votes


It is colonial times and the Stooges are tried by an English court for fighting some guards. They're sentenced to protect the colonies from the Indians. The Governor tries to make peace, but the Indian chief demands too high a price for the Pilgrims to pay for hunting privileges, so things look grim. The Stooges decide to hunt for the colonists anyway, and run into a lot of trouble with the Indians.

Former model Ethelreda Leopold appeared in many Stooge comedies but got few speaking parts. This is one of her largest roles. Ms. Leopold (Hope) was a guest of the 1990 Three Stooges Convention in Philadelphia; see The Three Stooges Journal # 55 (Fall 1990).
IMDb Rating


Moe, Larry and Curly
Release Date
May 14, 1937
Production Type
Short Subject
19.5 min.
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Cast Members   Production Crew

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Production Notes   (2)
Prod. No.:   268
Shooting Days:   5 days   From: 1937-03-02   To: 1937-03-06

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 2.50)
Face Slaps: 6 Eye Pokes: 2 Head Bonks: 2 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (3)
  • "Fire at will." "Which one is Will?"
    (Moe and Curly)

  • "Order! Order!" "Order? I'll take a ham sandwich!" "Hold thy tongue!" "Not tongue, ham!"
    (Murdock MacQuarrie & Curly)

  • "Why don't ye looketh where ye swishith?"

Stooge Goofs   (15)
  • Branch Slingshot
    When the stooges are using the tree branch to launch their missiles, you can see a long cord/string attached to the branch to assist it in swinging it forward.

  • Breaking Gavel
    When the judge slams his gavel, the top accidentally breaks and flies off.

  • Bud moves his foot
    When the stooges drop their steel ball n' chains on Bud Jamison's foot, he moves his foot right before they land.

  • Cheap Bucket
    When Curly throws the bucket at the Indians, the bottom of the bucket breaks off after it hits the ground.

  • Dubbed-In Line
    When Curly brings over a bees nest to Larry and Moe, we hear Moe exclaiming â€Å"Ah! ‘Tis a hornet's nest!” but his mouth doesn't move.

  • Falling Hat
    Moe's hat keeps accidentally falling off when the Stooges are doing their â€Å"about face” routine, and the barrel of Larry's gun knocks Moe's hat off a few seconds later when the Stooges are marching backwards out of the room while singing â€Å"A-Hunting We Will Go-eth”.

  • Giveth Them the Works
    As Moe hands the governor the credential which says â€Å"Giveth them the works”, Moe takes a peek at it himself. So if he knew what the letter said, why did he smile at Larry and Curly afterwards as if he thought nothing was wrong?

  • Location Change
    When Moe and Curly knock out the Indians dancing around the tree that Larry is tied to, some of the Indians land at Larry's feet, but in the next shot, they've been moved to the side all of a sudden.

  • Loose Shoe
    While Curly is dancing, his shoe accidentally falls off during one part.

  • Missed Hits
    Lots of missed hits in this short. First, when Larry slams his rifle on the ground along with Moe, it was supposed to hit Curly's foot, but it missed. Then, when the Stooges take off their hats and bow to Faith, Hope and Charity, only Moe and Curly bump heads, but Larry acts like he was hit, too. And a little later in the film when Curly drops his rifle down and shoots down a turkey, the rifle doesn't really hit Larry's foot.

  • Missing Line
    At the end of the court scene, Larry turns to say something to the judge, but the scene fades out before he speaks.

  • Missing Part
    After the camera shows the Indians in the lake, the camera cuts back to the Stooges and Curly is holding his face as if he was just hit, but they didn't show how he got hit.

  • Muted Audio
    After the governor yells â€Å"Fie! Fie!” when he sees the Stooges and the three ladies dancing, he's moving his mouth and saying something else but his dialogue is muted.

  • Redubbed Line
    In the canoe scene reused from WHOOPS I'M AN INDIAN, Moe's original line to Curly, â€Å"C'mon, hurry up!” is redubbed in this version as â€Å"Make-eth haste, quincehead!”, but you can see that the new line doesn't match his original mouth movement correctly.

  • Two Additional Indians
    We see the Stooges dump hot coal down the pants of only three Indians, yet there are five Indians soaking in the water afterwards.

Stooge Routines   (10)

Stooge Trivia   (1)
  • The was the first Stooges short to feature old footage from a previous short - the ending canoe scene is from WHOOPS I'M AN INDIAN! (1936).
    Source: BACK TO THE WOODS (1937)
    Added by MR77100 on 2009-06-01 11:02:09
    Status: Confirmed

Audio Files   (0)

No audio files are available for this episode.

Video File   (Y)

Transcript   (N)

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Videography   (4)

Fan Reviews   (12)
Posted 2010-08-26 18:21:22 by Final Shemp
What Back to the Woods lacks in coherent plot it makes up for in solid laughs, and that's what the Three Stooges are all about.
The story is lightweight, and is little more than a flimsy excuse to put the Stooges in costumes and have them get chased around by Indians. It's forgivable, since short subjects are meant for amusement and not compelling story, though after the plot driven effort of 3 Dumb Clucks, Back to the Woods feels a bit shallow. Still the setting is fun, and the boys make the most of running around in it.
The laughs are steady and consistent throughout the entire short. The trial at the beginning is a delight, and I enjoyed the boys dance routine to a music box. Curly does a great physical gag late in the short where he knocks down an Indian by dropping to his hands and kicking his legs up like a horse. The effect is done very well. The climatic rescue of Larry is a blast.
Back to the Woods probably isn't my favorite Three Stooges short, but it's one I'll gladly revisit time and time again.
Final Shemp's Final Word: 3 1/2 Pokes

Reviewer's Rating: (9)
Posted 2010-04-14 18:02:33 by Shemp_Diesel

The only Jack White directed short that wasn't in the 3 and a half or 4 poke range. I wonder what happened? It has it moments, like the musical box sequence.

2 1/2 pokes

Reviewer's Rating: (5)
Posted 2009-02-20 13:59:52 by Hassan bin Sober
I thought the music box scene went on too long, and I don't think that very often about a scene in any Stooges short. Once the boys headed into the woods though, I was thoroughly entertained. Still, I'm only giving it 2.5 pokes, rating it against other Stooges shorts.

As far as the racism issue - I don't see it. The British people in the beginning of the episode were not portrayed in a flattering light. The judge pronounced them guilty without even hearing their story. Is this racism against the Brits? Of course not - it's just funny. The Stooges are never anything but bumbling goofs. Is that racism against white folks? Or Jewish American folks? Of course not - it's just funny. The Indians in the episode were bumblers themselves. It was just FUNNY! Almost everyone in a Stooges short is bumbling around in a comical way. It's funny! It's comedy!

Someone, if they were sufficiently bitter and motivated to do so, could find something to complain about, not just in every Stooges comedy, but in pretty much every situation that comes up in daily life, if they're willing to read things that aren't there into situations, as is going on here. It's a mystery to me why this happens, or what triggers the people that do it decide to 'go for it', in one situation and not another.

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2001-02-05 23:41:00 by Stooge
Edited 2008-06-12 19:15:16 by Stooge
Comment:A weak and slow-paced short. It really drags in the first half, and the musical box scene in particular goes on WAYYYY too long. The pace picks up a little in the last half when the Stooges are battling the Indians.

Interesting Points:
- The last short directed by Preston Black (a.k.a. Jack White).
- The ending is reused from WHOOPS, I'M AN INDIAN.

Funniest Moment:
- The Stooges dumping hot coals down the Indians' pants.

Reviewer's Rating: (6)
Posted 2008-01-14 16:07:46 by BeatleShemp
I give this short a two and a half poker. There were slow parts in it, but it picks up when the Stooges enter the woods and must rescue Larry from the Indians. Moe and Curly are a great team.
Posted 2001-07-01 22:52:00 by Dunrobin
Edited 2005-04-16 14:31:55 by Dunrobin
I don't think this short is slow, Stooge. It's got plenty of great lines, and I love the hot coals down the pants routine and the chases.I've always been something of a history buff' so I guess that's why I've always enjoyed the Stooge shorts spoofing "historical" times' such as "Back to the Woods", "Restless Knights", Fiddlers Three", etc.

Reviewer's Rating: (9)
Posted 2002-09-17 20:28:00 by jaronson
It seems like nobody on the board (including me) agrees with G.B.'s comments. First he thinks BACK TO THE WOODS and ALL GUMMED UP/BUBBLE TROUBLE are racist to old people and Native Americans and then he wants us to worship the Palma remakes and gives RUMPUS IN THE HAREM four pokes.Anyway, I thought this was better than other people said. Sure it's not great, but I thought the music box scene was funny (even though it was too long). The Indian chase is my favorite part.Grade: B- (3 pokes)

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2001-07-02 00:48:00 by Larrysgirl
This short does drag a little...it just seems to lack a 'spark' to bring it up to par with the other shorts. Maybe its the material the stooges had to work with. I still like this short because it's different in its plot and subject matter. G.B, I do respect your opinions, but to drop your rating to a 'bomb' is a little harsh. The indians in this short were protrayed no better or worse than other films with indians during that time. Try to remember WHY the indians and the stooges did what they did in this short. The colony needed food, but the indian Chief wanted too much money for peace, so the stooges go out into the woods to hunt for food. You'd do that if you were hungry, wouldn't you? The stooges accidently shoot at the indians, and the indians, understandably, give chase. Larry is captured and would've been killed if Moe and Curly hadn't knocked out two indians,took their clothes, then knocked the other indians out. The 'hot-coals-down-the-pants' scene was done as a matter of self-defence. True, the stooges shouldn't have been out in indian territory in the first place, but they had a good reason. There are no really clear-cut right and wrong situations here. I also understand why the indians acted like they did too. So I hope everyone, you too, G.B. can step back and try and see all sides to this story. Peace.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2001-07-01 15:31:00 by metaldams
(Sigh) Look G.B., you can have your opinions, and I accept that. I just happen to disagree with your opinions, and I'll tell you why, in one simple statement. Sure, the Indians, (or Native Americans), may look dumb and poked fun at in this short, but there are 190 shorts where three white Jewish guys are getting poked fun at. Nobody makes a big deal about that, (nor should they). The Stooges equally dumb aversaries in this short just happen to be Native Americans instead of Vernon Dent, Bud Jamison, Emil Sitka, etc. Actually, come to think of it, Bud jamison gets his earlier in the short as well.Quality wise, an average Curly short.
Posted 2001-03-22 19:17:00 by [Deleted Member]
Could have been an entertaining short subject if not for the blatantly racist humor against Native Americans that I just couldn't get past. I know times were different then, and ethnic humor was one thing, but this short subject just seemed so mean-spirited. I couldn't appreciate its otherwise funny humor. I don't believe in following PC rules, but this went just a little too far in my opinion. And yes, this is my opinion. There may be a lot of disagreements, grunts, and groans about my review, but I really don't care. Everyone's entitled to their opinions and I'm sticking to mine.
Posted 2001-02-19 02:28:00 by Uncle Mortimer
I have to reiterate that this is a 'slow' and somewhat 'dull' short. I wish it wasn't, but it is. However, it's "my boys" so I'll find 'something' entertaining in it.
Posted 2001-01-06 15:16:00 by Mike Holme
First of all, the film really dragged in the beginning and the middle. It was only in the chase scenes where some fun started to happen. I didn't like the colonial theme either.

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