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"Uh, no Chief! I'll take orders Chief." "Okay. [Slap!] "That's for absolutely nothing!" - Larry and Moe (CRIME ON THEIR HANDS, 1948)

Bookmark and Share DUTIFUL BUT DUMB

Average Rating:     [9.36/10]   34 votes


Three dimwitted photographers are sent to Vulgaria to take pictures of a new death ray machine. Unknown to the stooges, the penalty for snapping pictures in this country is death. The stooges manage to escape a firing squad and the chase begins as they hide from the Vulgarian army.

The oyster soup gag was repeated by Moe in SHIVERING SHERLOCKS (1948) and by Larry in INCOME TAX SAPPY (1954). Curly's battle with a live oyster in his stew was created for silent screen comic Billy Bevan in the short WANDERING WILLIES, also directed by Del Lord.
IMDb Rating


Moe, Larry and Curly
Release Date
March 21, 1941
Production Type
Short Subject
16.8 min.
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Production Notes   (3)
Title Origin:   Expression "beautiful but dumb;" also possibly Beautiful, But Dummies (1938 Educational comedy short)
Prod. No.:   485
Shooting Days:   4 days   From: 1940-08-01   To: 1940-08-05

Stooge Mayhem   (Avg. 1.75)
Face Slaps: 6 Eye Pokes: 1 Head Bonks: 0 Pastry Thrown: 0

Stooge Quotes   (2)
  • "I can't find the negative." "What about the positive?" "I'm positive about the negative, but a little negative about the positive." "Oh, negative eh?" "No, I'm positive the negative is in the developer." "Your brains need developing!"
    (Larry, Moe and Curly)

  • "Calling all cars! Calling all cars! Be on the lookout for three photographers....d'ey ain't in here!"

Stooge Goofs   (7)
  • Changing Hands
    When Moe is lighting the giant cigar for Curly, Curly is holding the cigar with his left hand, but it's in his right hand suddenly in the next shot.

  • Changing Name
    The magazine the Stooges work for is called â€Å"Whack”, but once the boys arrive in Vulgaria, the magazine is called â€Å"Focus” on their cart.

  • Character Breaking
    When Moe and Larry are chanting â€Å"Heave, ho!” as Curly is trying to puff the cigar, Moe looks like he's going to laugh.

  • Fake Gun
    When Curly is firing a pistol at the oyster soup, he shoots a bottle and it falls off the counter. But if Curly was using a real gun, wouldn't the bottle have shattered instead of falling backwards?

  • Jump in Picture
    A lot of noticeable jump cuts in the film during the entire oyster sequence.

  • Music Continues To Play
    When Curly is playing the harmonica behind the radio, he pulls it down from his mouth for a second, but the music is still playing!

  • Visible Wires
    You can see the wires that pull Moe and Larry's shorts off when the invisible ray shoots them off.

Stooge Routines   (6)
  • Disguising as a lamp
    A Stooge disguises as a lamp by putting a lampshade over his head and holding a lightbulb in his hand. When somebody mistakes the Stooge for a lamp and tugs down on his tie, the bulb in his hand lights up like a real lamp.
    Also used in:  DOPEY DICKS  ·   JERKS OF ALL TRADES

  • Disguising as a tall man
    The Stooges disguise as one tall man by standing on each other's shoulders inside of a big jacket, with one Stooge on top with his head sticking out of top the jacket.

  • Hanging on the edge of spears or bayonettes
    The Stooges hang from their behinds on the edge of three guard's spears or bayonettes.
    Also used in:  MATRI-PHONY

  • Liquor after-effects
    After a Stooge or supporting character drinks some strong liquor, it causes loud ringing and horn noises and/or him to blow smoke from his mouth.

  • Soup Battle
    A Stooge has a battle with live food in their soup that eats everything they put into the soup.

  • Uses Three Watches to Tell the Time
    Moe wonders what time it is, and a Stooge pulls up his sleeve revealing three wristwatches ... Moe: Say, what's the idea of the three watches? Stooge: That's how I tell the time. You see, (points at first watch) this watch runs 15 minutes fast every two hours. (points at watch at other end) This watch runs 10 minutes slow every four hours. The watch in the middle is broken, stopped dead at two o'clock. I add the time from the fast watch to the slow watch and divide by the two in the middle.Moe: Well, what time is it now? Stooge: (pulls pocket watch from pocket) 3:15 ...
    Also used in:  RHYTHM AND WEEP  ·   STUDIO STOOPS

Stooge Trivia   (0)

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Audio Files   (0)

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Transcript   (Y)

Transcription by xraffle:  

[The short opens up on an overhead view of outside where we see a bunch of people buying newspapers from a salesman. A newspaper shows up on the camera. The headline reads: "Percival De Puyster Elopes!"]

[Dissolve to a sign that says: "Whack- The Illustrated Magazine. If it's a good picture, it's out of whack"]

[Dissolve to the inside of Mr. Wilson's office. Wilson is at his desk while his assistant stands beside him]

WILSON: Where are those pictures of that movie star? You're holding up the presses.

ASSISTANT: I have those three new photographers on the job, Mr. Wilson.

WILSON: Yeah, what's their names?

ASSISTANT: Klick, Klack and Kluck.

WILSON: What'd you send them for?

ASSISTANT: But sir--

WILSON: I didn't say anything of the kind.

ASSISTANT: Yes sir. [walks off-camera]

WILSON: [in an angry manner] Klick, Klack and Kluck.

[Dissolve to Percival's apartment. Percival is trying to close his front door, but is having a hard time because a bunch of reporters are after him. They all yell as he pushes the door shut. Once he gets the door closed, he is relieved]

PERCIVAL: Oh my public.


PERCIVAL: Sweetheart!

PERCIVAL'S WIFE: Have you forgotten all your other wives?

PERCIVAL: Completely. Except on alimony day, but this is Wednesday. Ah!

[Percival hugs his wife and kisses her on the forehead]

[Cut to the hallway. Moe is walking down. He is very tall and is wearing a long coat. He is standing on top of Larry, who is hiding under the coat. Larry pops his head out from under the coat. When Moe sees him, he bonks Larry on the head]


[Larry almost loses his balance and Moe almost falls. He signals to Larry to walk over to Percival's apartment. On top of Percival's front door is an opening where Moe sticks a long expandable camera lens through.]

[Cut to the inside of Percival's apartment]

PERCIVAL: [to his wife] Oh darling. This is the supreme moment.

[Percival's wife sees the camera lens sticking out on top of the front door]


[Percival turns around and sees the camera as well]

PERCIVAL: Whoa! What was it? [Moe sticks his head through the opening] Oh! It's man.

[Percival closes the opening on top of the front door. It closes on Moe's face and he and Larry fall down]


PERCIVAL: I'm going to faint.

[Cut to the hallway. When Moe gets up, he takes the big expandable lens and covers Larry's head with it]

LARRY: Oh hey! What is it? Put the lights on. Put the lights-- Where am I? What's happening? Hey! Help!

[A stranger passes by and sees Larry with the big expandable lens on his head]

STRANGER: Ahhh! [runs away]

LARRY: Help!

[Moe sees the stranger run away. He walks up to Larry, removes the big expandable lens from his head, and he bonks him on the head]

MOE: Nitwit.

LARRY: What happened?

[Cut to Percival's apartment. Percival and his wife are sitting at the table getting ready to eat. The center plate is covered.]

PERCIVAL'S WIFE: Oh Percival. You think of everything.

PERCIVAL: Just a little surprise dear. I hope you like it.

[Percival removes the cover from the center plate and Curly's head is under it]


[Curly gets up from the table and knocks the table down]

CURLY: Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk.

[Curly takes out his camera]

CURLY: Hold it.

[Curly takes a picture of Percival and his wife]

CURLY: I got it. Nyuk nyuk nyuk. [runs to the front door]

PERCIVAL: Why! [throws a grapefruit at Curly]

CURLY: Thanks.

[Curly ducks when he sees the grapefruit being thrown at him.]

CURLY: You missed me. Ehh--

[Another grapefruit is thrown at Curly and it hits him in the face and gets stuck. Curly has a hard time getting the grapefruit off of his face. He finally gets it off.]

CURLY: Psss. Hmm.

[Dissolve to Moe and Curly in the dark room. They are developing the picture. They are wearing special hats with a light in front of it.]

MOE: How long has that been in the soup, froghead?

CURLY: About uh--- [looks at the three watches on his wrists]

MOE: Hey! What's the idea of the three watches?

CURLY: That's the way I tell the time.

MOE: How do you tell the time?

CURLY: This one runs ten minutes slow every two hours. This runs twenty minutes fast every four hours. The one in the middle is broken and stopped at two o'clock.

MOE: Well, how do you tell the time?

CURLY: I take the ten minutes on this one and subtract it by the twenty minutes on that one. Then I divide it by the two in the middle.

MOE: Well, what time is it now?

[Curly grabs a clock from the inside of his jacket pocket]

CURLY: Uh, ten minutes to four.

MOE: Hmm so it is!

[Moe grabs the clock from Curly and hits Curly on the head with it. The clock breaks.]

CURLY: Oh!! Oh! Hmm hmm. Hmm. [Curly bumps the light on his hat against Moe's] Ruff!! [Moe eyepokes Curly] Oh!

[Larry approaches Moe and Curly from off-camera]

LARRY: Hey, wait a minute. I can't find the negative.

MOE: [to Curly] How 'bout the positive?

CURLY: I'm positive about the negative, but I'm a little negative about the positive.

MOE: Oh, negative eh!

CURLY: No, I'm positive. The negative is in the developer.

MOE: Your brain needs developing.

[Moe and Larry grab Curly by the neck]


[Moe and Larry shove Curly's face into the water where the picture is being developed. When they take Curly's head out, the picture is stuck on his face]

CURLY: Hey fellas I'm lost!

MOE: Why you numbskull!

[Moe pulls the picture off of Curly's face]

CURLY: Ahh ahh ahh! Ahhhh ahh ahh ahh!

[When Moe finishes taking the picture off of Curly's face, pieces of the picture end up all over his face]

CURLY: What happened?

[The scene ends and a new scene begins inside Wilson's office. The assistant knocks on the door of the room the stooges are in]

ASSISTANT: Hey! What's holding up that picture?

MOE: Here we come.

[Moe opens the door and it slams on the assistant. The assistant ends up falling on one the pictures that's on the stand. This causes a chain reaction and all the pictures lined up end up falling down. The last picture, which is behind Wilson, falls on his head. Wilson gets the picture off of himself]

MOE: There ya are boss, we got it.

LARRY: What a picture!

CURLY: We always bring them back alive.

[Wilson looks at the picture. The camera shows a close-up of it. It is a picture of Curly with the pieces of the picture all over his face]

WILSON: What is this?

CURLY: Hmm. Six for the price of one.

MOE: You dimwit. You forgot to turn the winder.


MOE: Like this. [turns Curly's ears]


WILSON: Clear out of here. You're fired.

ASSISTANT: Wait a minute boss. Every photographer we've sent to Vulgaria to get a picture of that ray machine has been shot.

WILSON: So what?

ASSISTANT: What can we lose if we send them?

WILSON: Say, I think you got something there. [to the stooges] I changed my mind. There's a boat leased for Vulgaria at six o'clock and you're gonna be on it.

LARRY: Vulgaria.

CURLY: Vulgaria.

MOE: Vivo Vulgaria.

STOOGES: A vivo, a vievo. A vivo vievo vum.

MOE: Bump and a rat cat pitter-patter cat cat.

STOOGES: Ra-ra-ra Vulgaria!

[The stooges run out of the office.]

CURLY: Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk.

[Before Curly leaves the office, he grabs the big camera. He puts it over his shoulder and he ends up knocking the pictures again by accident. The chain reaction occurs again and the last picture falls on Wilson. The assistant helps get the picture off of Wilson. The scene ends]

[Dissolve to this note: "The Vulgarian Frontier- Subject to change without notice"]

[Dissolve to a sign that says: "Ca meras proh ibited- O npenal tyof de ath"]

[Dissolve to the same sign, but this time, it says: "Cameras prohibited- On penalty of death." The camera pans below the sign where we see the stooges drive in with their little scooter.]

[Dissolve to the stooges on the same location, only this time, they're trying to take pictures]

CURLY: Take your picture mister?

VILLAGER: No no no no! Read the sign! Read the sign! [points to the sign above him]

CURLY: We ain't gonna park here. We just wanna take some pictures. Hold it!

[As soon as Curly snaps a picture, the villager runs away]

CURLY: I got-- [realizes the villager is gone] Oh camera shy! Hmm.

MOE: What's the matter with everybody in this town? I think we'd better take a pan shot of the buildings or get something around here.

[Cut to the Sergeant and three soldiers. They are getting ready to sentence some guy to death because he was taking pictures.]

SERGEANT: And for taking pictures in Vulgaria, you are sentenced to be shot. [to the soldiers] Hut!!

[Cut to the stooges. Curly has his camera in Moe's direction and is getting ready to take a picture of him]

MOE: What are you doing? [hits Curly in the head with his camera]

CURLY: Oh! Hmm!!

[The sergeant, his three soldiers, and the person being executed all march toward the stooges.]

CURLY: Oh boy! A parade!

LARRY: Let's get some pictures of it.

[The stooges approach the sergeant]

MOE: Wait a minute buddy. We wanna shoot a picture. You look important, stand in the middle.


[Moe pushes the sergeant in front of the person being executed]

CURLY: Say, you're covering the little fella.

SERGEANT: What are you doing?

MOE: Wait a minute. Tilt your hat. You're shading your face. [pushes the sergeants hat in a different direction.]

CURLY: I got an idea. [takes the gun from the sergeants pocket] Put this gun to his head.

[Curly gives the gun to the guy being executed. He points the gun at the sergeant.]

CURLY: Hold it!!

SERGEANT: Ohh! No! [grabs the gun] That man shoot pictures. Now we shoot him.

LARRY: An execution!

MOE: Hey, can we shoot a picture of it?

SERGEANT: Yeah, you shoot the picture and we shoot you.

MOE: Thanks!

[The stooges get ready to take a picture. Then they realize that they're not supposed to, so they run away]

STOOGES: Ah ah ah!!

[The sergeant and the three soldiers abandon the guy they're executing and they run after the stooges. As they run after the stooges, the guy snaps a picture of them with his camera and runs away]

[As the stooges run, they tip over a big wooden board and as the soldiers run after the stooges, their bayonets on their rifles get caught on that wooden board.]

[The stooges see the soliders' bayonets stuck]


[The stooges continue to run, but all of a sudden, steel bars slide in from each side of the wall and trap the stooges]

CURLY: Ah ah! Hey!

MOE: Hey buddy, open this.

[Dissolve to the sergeant and his three soldiers. They're getting ready to shoot the stooges, who are still behind the bars]

SERGEANT: Attention.

MOE: You got nothing to worry about boys. They can't shoot us.

SERGEANT: Aim! Fire!

[As soon as the soldiers shoot, the stooges duck]

CURLY: Hmm! Ah ah!

MOE: Wait a minute! This ain't according to rule 27 of international law.

LARRY: We're supposed to have a last request.

CURLY: Yeah, this is request night!

SERGEANT: What do you request?

MOE: How about a last smoke?

SERGEANT: Alright, but when the smoke is finished, so are you!!

MOE: Gee thanks!

[Curly takes out a huge cigar from inside his shirt]

CURLY: Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk.

[Curly bites a little piece off of the cigar and spits it out. Moe lights the cigar and Curly smokes it. Moe taps Curly in the head]

[Dissolve to a clock, which shows us that several hours have past.]

[Several hours later, we see the sergeant, the three soldiers and the stooges asleep. While sleeping, Curly still has a small piece of the cigar in his mouth.]

[The sergeant wakes up and discovers the stooges asleep. He yells to wake up the soldiers.]

SERGEANT: Attention! [The soldiers still remain asleep] Attention! [The soldiers awake and get ready to shoot] Ready, aim--

[The stooges quickly wake up and stop the soldiers from shooting]

MOE: Hey wait a minute!

MOE: [to Curly] What did you go to sleep for?

CURLY: Mmm. Mmm.

MOE: Come on. Come on.

[Moe and Larry each blow on Curly's ear]

CURLY: Ahahahaha! Stop it! I'm ticklish!

MOE: A fine time to get ticklish. [bonks Curly on the head]


MOE: Come on.

LARRY: Puff harder!

[Moe and Larry try to help Curly finish smoking his cigar by making him puff harder]

MOE AND LARRY: Heave ho! Heave ho! Heave ho!

[Curly swallows the cigar by accident.]

MOE AND LARRY: Heave ho! Heave ho!

CURLY: Hey fellas! I swallowed it.

LARRY: When?

CURLY: On the ho.

MOE: Well heave! [kicks Curly in the rear]


LARRY: Heave! [kicks Curly in the rear]


[Moe and Larry continue to kick Curly in the rear. As the stooges do this, the sergeant finds this to be a great opportunity to shoot them]

SERGEANT: Ready! Aim, fire!!

[The soldiers shoot at the stooges. When the camera cuts to the stooges, we see the stooges run around with no heads.]

SERGEANT: Oh! Fire fire! Some more fire! Oh look!

[The soldiers continue to shoot at the stooges while the stooges continue to run around headless.]

[Dissolve to the colonel's office. The ray machine operator is showing the colonel the new ray machine. In front of the ray machine is a rifle.]

RAY MACHINE OPERATOR: Colonel! This is our new invisible ray. We can point it at any gun, and the gun goes off, poof!!

COLONEL: Well, proceed with the poofing!


[The ray machine operator turns on the ray machine, points it at the rifle and the rifle goes off. The colonel gets startled.]

COLONEL: With that poofer, we can shoot the enemy before they shoot us.

[A soldier walks into the colonel's office]

SOLDIER: Colonel, there are three spies at large taking pictures underground.


[The colonel, the ray machine operator, and the soldier walk out of the office.]

[The stooges are outside and they look through the window of the colonel's office and see that there's nobody inside.]

MOE: Nobody in here, come on.

[The stooges enter into the colonel's office through the window. As soon as they get in, they see the rifle.]

MOE: Hey, look at the tricky gun.

LARRY: If we only had our cameras, we could take a picture of it.

[Curly sees the ray machine]

CURLY: Oh, look at that big camera! Get in front of the gun and I'll take your picture.

MOE: Ok.

[Moe and Larry stand in front of the rifle. Curly walks up to the ray machine]

CURLY: Haha. What a tricky camera, but I'll get it. Smile fellas!

LARRY: Be sure to get us in.

CURLY: Stand close together. Ready?

MOE: Let her go!

CURLY: Watch the birdie!

[Curly turns on the ray machine thinking it's a camera. The rifle goes off and it shoots the belts off of Moe and Larry's pants. Their pants fall down. When they bend down to pick up their pants, the rifle goes off again and it shoots their hats off]

CURLY: [walks up to Moe and Larry] What happened?

MOE: What happened! I'll murder you!

[Moe goes after Curly. Moe grabs Curly by the door.]

CURLY: No no no!

MOE: I'm gonna tear you limb from limb.

[All of a sudden, we hear footsteps]

CURLY: You ain't got time, I hear footprints.

[The stooges quickly separate and hide]

CURLY: Nyah ah!

[Curly hides behind the radio. Moe sees a lamp. He takes the lampshade and puts it over his head. The light bulb is still attached to the top of the lampshade.]

[The colonel, the solider and the ray machine operator walk into the office]

COLONEL: I thought the shots came from here.

RAY MACHINE OPERATOR: There's no one here now. Maybe I can get a report on the radio.

[Without looking, the colonel reaches for Moe's tie and pulls it. The light bulb on the lampshade turns on. As soon as the colonel and soldier walk away, Moe takes off the lampshade, blows on the light bulb and the light turns off. Moe puts the lampshade back on his head]

[The ray machine operator tries to turn on the radio, but it won't turn on. Curly, who is hiding behind the radio, sees the wires all messed up.]

RAY MACHINE OPERATOR: This radio must me dead.

COLONEL: Maybe a tube's burned out. Look in the back.

RAY MACHINE OPERATOR: It's funny! It worked alright a minute ago.

[Curly takes out a pan flute and starts playing it. He is also wearing a cymbal on his head]

RAY MACHINE OPERATOR: [hearing the music] We must have a foreign station.

[Curly continues to play the pan flute to give the impression that the radio is playing music. He starts clashing the cymbal on his head. He also takes out a small pair of sticks and hits them against the radio. He also plays with the strings on the radio as well.]

COLONEL: Stop that music.


[The ray machine operator tries to change the station but can't.]

RAY MACHINE OPERATOR: It's on every station.

[Curly continues to play his pan flute]

COLONEL: Get the news.


[The ray machine operator tries to change the station again. Curly stops playing]

CURLY: [In a disguised voice] Calling all cars. Calling all cars. Be on the lookout for three photographers. [changes to his regular, high-pitched voice] They ain't in here.

RAY MACHINE OPERATOR: [becomes suspicious] I wonder where they are.

[The colonel walks up to the radio]

CURLY: [in his regular voice] Well pal, you got me.

[The colonel and the ray machine operator move the radio and see Curly behind it. Curly still continues to talk in his regular voice.]

CURLY: The last time I saw 'em, they were running east on Main Street. Or maybe it was west. For that matter, I'm not sure it was Main Street and it mighta been three other guys.

[Curly stands up and talks to the colonel and the ray machine operator]

CURLY: You know, I'm a stranger here in town and I-- [realizes he's in trouble] ah ta ta ta ta.

[Curly runs away. He passes by the soldier.]

CURLY: [to the soldier] Nyah ah, ruff!!

[Curly jumps on the table and slides right out the window. The colonel, soldier and ray machine operator stick their heads out the window in order to grab Curly. Moe and Larry come out of their hiding spots and close the windows on their heads. Curly takes his sticks and hits each of them on the head.]

[Dissolve to outside the building. The stooges march around each other. Moe and Larry are wearing the colonel's and the ray machine operator's uniforms. Curly is wearing the soldier's uniform. Two soldiers are standing by the entrance with a rifle. At the end of their rifles are bayonets.]

[The stooges continue marching. Moe and Larry finally stop marching, but Curly still continues, so Moe grabs Curly's face to stop him.]

CURLY: Ah! Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk. [reaches back and feels the bayonet at the end of the rifle of the soldier] Hmm. Ahhh ruff!!


[The stooges get scared and run away. They run towards the entrance of a restaurant.]


[A guy comes out of the restaurant and rings the bell]

MOE: Hey, eats!

CURLY: What are we waiting for?

LARRY: I ain't waiting.

[The stooges run into the restaurant and end up knocking that guy who was ringing the bell]

CURLY: Hmm. Hehe.

[Moe and Larry end up sitting at a table that only has two seats. Curly and Moe end up sitting at the same chair]

MOE: Get out of the way.

[Curly gets out and lets Moe have the chair. He goes up to the counter and sits on one of the single rotating seats]

[A waiter walks up to Curly]

WAITER: Today, we got raw oyster stew. What you have?

CURLY: Oyster stew. Hehe.

[The waiter gives Curly a liquor bottle]

CURLY: Oh. [snaps his fingers] Nyuk nyuk nyuk. [shakes the bottle a little bit]

CURLY: Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk. [opens the bottle and steam comes out] Nyah ah ah ah!

[Curly puts down the bottle. Then he realizes that everything is ok, so he takes the bottle and drinks a little bit of it]

CURLY: [starts spinning in his chair] Ah ah ah ah!! [grabs the counter to stop himself from spinning] Ow!!! Ruff! [clicks his teeth]

CURLY: [singing] Na nee na.

[Curly takes the bottle again, drinks it quickly, and puts it down]

CURLY: Ahahahaha. Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk. [starts spinning again] Ah ah ah ah! [grabs the counter to stop himself from spinning] Oh!! Hmm.

[Curly looks through the bottle and we hear a popping and fizzling sound. Curly takes the bottle and takes one quick sip]

CURLY: That's all-- [starts spinning again] Oh ah ah ah ah ah! [grabs the counter to stop himself from spinning] Ahhh!

[The waiter comes up to Curly and gives him a bowl of oyster stew.]

WAITER: There you are.

CURLY: Are these oysters fresh?

WAITER: We just dropped them in.

CURLY: Oh thank you.

[Curly drops a cracker into the stew. While he looks away and cleans his spoon with his napkin, the oyster eats the cracker.]

[Curly discovers that his cracker is gone. So, he puts in another cracker. As soon as he looks away to grab his spoon, the oyster eats the cracker again.]

[Curly discovers that his cracker is gone again, but still doesn't know why.]

CURLY: Nyahh! Hmm.

[Curly puts in another cracker in the stew. As soon as he looks away to grab his spoon, the oyster eats the cracker again.]

[Curly discovers that his cracker is gone again]

CURLY: Eeeeh ahhh! Tss tss tss.

[Curly puts in another cracker and this time, he sees the oyster eat it]

CURLY: Nyah ah ah!! Hmm.

[Curly puts another cracker into the stew. As soon as Curly dips his spoon into the stew, the oyster eats the cracker and catches the spoon. Curly yanks the spoon out]

CURLY: Hmm. Hahaha.

CURLY: Haha. [singing] Na nee na. Hmm.

[Curly puts in another cracker into the stew. As soon as Curly dips his spoon into the stew, the oyster eats the cracker again and catches the spoon. Some of the stew splashes.]


[The oyster starts making noise]


[Curly takes a cracker. He dips the cracker in once and pulls it away. He then dips it in again and pulls it away.]

CURLY: Hehehe.

[Curly dips the cracker a third time, but this time, he didn't pull it away in time and the oyster caught it]

CURLY: Ohh! Hmm. Ruff! Ruff! Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.


[Curly grabs his fork. He takes a cracker and dips it in, but the oyster eats it and catches his finger.]

CURLY: Oh. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

[Curly taps his finger with the fork to get his finger free, but it's still caught. He then slaps his hand and it becomes free]

CURLY: Hmm. Hmm. [gets an idea and he snaps his finger] Hmm.

[Curly takes out a spool of thread]

CURLY: Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk.

[Curly ties the cracker in the thread]

[Curly dips the cracker into the stew and quickly yanks it out]

CURLY: Hehe.

[Curly dips the cracker into the stew again and the oyster tries to catch the cracker, but Curly quickly yanks it out in time]

CURLY: Ahahaha!

[Curly dips the cracker into the stew and the oyster catches it this time]

CURLY: Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Mmm.

[Curly tries to pull on the thread. All of a sudden, the oyster pulls all of the tread off of the spool]

CURLY: Ah ah ah ah ah! Hmm.

[Curly grabs a shaker of pepper]

CURLY: Oh. Pepper! Hahaha.

[Curly takes a cracker and puts a lot of pepper on it]

CURLY: Hahaha!!

[Curly drops the peppered cracker in the stew and the oyster eats it]

CURLY: Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk.

[The oyster sneezes]

CURLY: Gesundheit! Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk--

[The oyster squirts some stew on Curly's face]

CURLY: Ah! Ah ta ta ta ta ta! Hmm! Hmm.

[Curly stands up, takes out his gun and starts shooting at the stew. The waiter gets mad at Curly.]

WAITER: Hey cut that out!!

[Curly keeps on shooting]

WAITER: Stop that! Cut that out!!

[Curly slaps the stew to try to get the oyster, but the stew just ends up splashing]

[Cut to outside. The colonel runs outside with his underclothes. He is covering himself with a blanket. With him are three soldiers with rifles. He hears Curly shooting, so he runs up to the entrance of the restaurant.]

COLONEL: [to the soldiers] That's them.

[The colonel and the soldiers run into the restaurant.]

[Dissolve to the outside of the restaurant. The colonel walks out of the restaurant. The three soldiers are also coming out of the restaurant. Each of the soldiers is holding their rifle over their shoulders. The stooges are hanging upside down on the bayonets that's on the end of the rifles]

[The stooges yell in fear as they're hanging upside down on the bayonet]

MOE: Let us down out of here!

LARRY: Take it easy!

CURLY: Nyah ah ah ah!

LARRY: Whoa!

CURLY: Woo woo woo woo woo!

MOE: Hey! Look out with that knife there!

[The scene ends.]


Videography   (3)

Fan Reviews   (16)
Posted 2010-04-30 20:41:28 by Shemp_Diesel
Edited 2015-01-16 10:52:38 by Shemp_Diesel

Just your typical 1940s classic. I don't know why shooting rounds of lead at a bowl of oyster stew is funny but it is.

8.5 pokes

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2014-05-17 00:13:15 by Carrie The Canary

Curly hiding inside the radio making music with a harmonica while playing the tubes and wires is one of his all time great scenes.

Posted 2010-05-01 00:11:09 by mankey8284

The oyster soup scene is one of the best scenes ever! Awesome short, and of course Curly being in the radio is a priceless scene

Posted 2000-09-16 00:52:00 by Stooge
Edited 2003-06-30 20:11:00 by Stooge
The usual early 40's masterpiece, and features the classic oyster soup routine with Curly. One of Curly's best scenes. I also love his scene in the radio.

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2003-01-17 10:34:00 by [Deleted Member]
Imagine my surprise when I saw the "raw oyster stew" routine performed by Billy Bevan in the 1926 Mack Sennett two-reeler, "Wandering Willies" (also directed by Del Lord). But Curly "owns" this bit, just like Frank Sinatra "owned" certain songs. Lou Costello also did it later on, but neither his performance nor Billy Bevan's comes anywhere near Curly's for sheer hilarity. That crazy hat with the tassels is a riot, too!

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2002-06-26 11:48:00 by Dr. D. Lerious
This is a classic for me. I especially love the "oyster soup" gag in the bar. To see Curly take out his frustration on the elusive oyster with a .38 and to slap most of the soup out of the bowl to get to him. I don't know about youse guys, but that routine just tears me apart. I just simply love it!I would change the ending to having the Boys unning "out of town" with a picture of the death-ray machine in hand.For duty and humanity!

Reviewer's Rating: (10)
Posted 2001-11-07 17:53:00 by BJR
A fairly good short, but I disagree with the four-star average -- there are a lot better ones. Not to be too picky since this is supposed to be "nonsense comedy" anyway, but it is VERY cheap how the stooges escape from their jail cell right before they are about to be shot -- it shows them behind bars with their heads in their shirts, and the next thing you see is them running away! Other than that, I liked it fairly well, especially Curley's reaction to the oyster stew.

Reviewer's Rating: (9)
Posted 2001-11-07 17:08:00 by metaldams
The ending may have come out of nowhere, but who cares? This short is an absolute classic from the Stooges golden era. I'm going to have to agree with sickdrjoe, Moe ramming Curly's head into the chemicals in the dark room is hilarious and probably one of the best Stooge scenes. This whole short is excellent and Curly is definitely the Stooge of the short. The oyster scene, dark room scene, radio scene, cigar scene...it's all good! Yet another Stooge classic.
Posted 2001-11-05 18:14:00 by Super service
Do any of my fellow stooges appreciate the scene with Curly trying his best to eat "fresh" clam chowder? The way he vents his frustration with the revolver and his hand have me howling every time I see this!! I just love it!~At your service day and night, we do the job and do it right...Super service
Posted 2001-09-05 23:29:00 by Ingagy
I don't think we've mentioned Moe's question "How long has this one been in the soup, Froghead" followed by the "What's the idea of the three watches?" routine. I know they used this routine (This one runs ten minutes fast every two hours - this one runs twenty minutes slow every four hours - the one in the middle is broken and stopped at two o'clock...) in several shorts but I think 'Dutiful But Dumb' was the first... could be wrong... that resounding clang when Moe breaks the huge pocket watch over Curly's head sounds like someone hit an anvil with a hammer!!...
Posted 2001-08-24 22:44:00 by [Deleted Member]
How "Dutiful" of the boys to play "Dumb" for us again! A great short. Gettaloada that effeminate groom when he saw that part of the camera hanging over the door! What a hot looking babe like his bride would see in him is beyond me. Like I said in the "Three Pests in a Mess" thread, I wonder if these two shorts use that same hallway. Great radio secene, I agree. What Curly did to the Vulgarian officials when they trapped the official's heads in the window is like what they did to the German officers at the end of "They Stooge to Conga". That was brilliant! The oyster stew scene is also hillarious. It's the only Stooge scene my mom likes. I ask you now, what was so incomplete about the ending? You know what probably happened to the boys after they got carried off (doing the finger across the throat gesture). This short has pretty much the same ending as "Matri-Phony", but it's still great nonetheless.ISLIPP-©2001
Posted 2001-04-23 19:59:00 by [Deleted Member]
One of my favorite bits is when pieces of a photograph are glued to a picture of Curly. It's hillarious. Oyster soup is funny, and the radio bit. don't forget Curly's foot-long cigar, which as a last request he is told he can finish.
Posted 2001-04-03 03:26:00 by Mike Holme
Weird but excellent short! The stooges are at some of their best humor, especially when Curly is pretending that he is the voice on the radio while the general just stares at him when he discovers his little fraud. One of Del Lord's best shorts.4 pokesEdited by - Mike Holme on 9/28/2001 2:11:43 AM
Posted 2001-02-08 02:52:00 by sickdrjoe
Two measly pokes for this classic from the Stooges' finest period? Sit down and watch it again, Mr Webmaster! Moe and Curly in the darkroom ranks with their best scenes ever (face shoved into a tray of photo-developing chemicals!!)This is exactly how I like to see the boys, in a fast-moving script with a relatively generous budget, outdoor shooting, large supporting cast, great slapstick augmented by lots of secondary gags (like the guy about to be shot for taking a picture taking a picture of the Stooges about to be shot for taking a picture...whew!)
Posted 2000-12-12 22:41:00 by Uncle Mortimer
For me, Curly's oyster routine is one of his finest and funniest moments on film. I never tire of that scene. It's a good thing he couldn't see those TASSELS shakin' around on his hat!(who knows what would have happened then)
Posted 2000-09-15 19:39:00 by Ichabod Slipp
Curly's head under the newlyweds' dinner dish and "Be on the lookout for three photographers. They ain't in here!" are the highlights. Otherwise, rather routine and slow in places. The oft-used oyster gag? Passable. When they remade it for the movie with Michael Chiklis I noticed they didn't re-create the obvious film edits.

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