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You Nazty Spy!

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You Nazty Spy! (1940) the first Nazi parody, starring the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly)

You Nazty Spy! is a rare treat of the Three Stooges.  In addition to being a hysterically funny short film, You Nazty Spy! is also a political satire, and bears the honor of being the first anti-Nazi film parody

, beating Charlie Chaplin’s famous film, The Great Dictator, by several months.  The basic premise has Moe, Larry and Curly working as paperhangers at the mansion of a government official of the imaginary nation of Moronica.  The government officials (Mr. Ixnay, Mr. Ohnay and Mr. Amscray) are planning to overthrow the monarch, and plan to replace him with a dictator who’s stupid enough to follow their instructions.  They decide upon the three paperhangers, who are offered the role of dictator (Moe Hailstone), field marshal (Curly Gallstone) and Minister of Propaganda (Larry Pebble).  Making fun of Adolph Hitler, Goering and Goebbels, respectively.  A very funny moment is where Moe is first contemplating the offer, and he accidentally picks up a small piece of electrical tape on a fingertip and transfers it beneath his nose, ala Hitler’s mustache.  Likewise, he runs his fingers through his hair and voila! the dictator Hailstone.

It’s a fast-paced short film, with plenty of both slapstick and verbal humor, which we’ve come to expect from the Stooges by this point.  Highlights of the film include the spy, Mata Herring (spoofing the famous female spy Mata Hari, played by the beautiful Lorna Gray), and a “peace” conference with their Axis partners, ending quickly with a typical Stooges slapstick fight — as well as their trademark map with the verbal humor of the names of the various countries.

Curly for President T-shirt




Alls well that ends … ?

The film ends with the boys running away from an angry mob that’s attempting to overthrow the dictator, and locking themselves into a room for safety.  Only to realize that the room is filled with lions! Despite the ending, the film generated a sequel, I’ll Never Heil Again.  A very funny film that makes a serious point in a silly way, and is strongly recommended.  I rate it 4 clowns out of 5.

You Nazty Spy! is available as part of The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 3: 1940-1942 – a colorized version is available on the Three Stooges DVD collection The Three Stooges – Stooged & Confoosed (Colorized / Black & White).

Funny movie quotes from You Nazty Spy! starring the Three Stooges – Moe, Larry, Curly

Mr. Ixnay: We’ve come here to offer you the greatest opportunity of your life.
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): You mean you’ll let us paper the living room?
Mr. Ixnay: No, no, no. You’re through with papering. My partners and I are going to make you Dictator of Moronica.
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): Dictator? What does a Dictator do?
Mr. Ixnay: A Dictator? Why, he makes love to beautiful women, drinks champagne, enjoys life and never works. He makes speeches to the people promising them plenty, gives them nothing and takes everything. That’s a Dictator.
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): Hmph, a parasite. That’s for me.

Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): Propaganda?  What’s that?
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): A papa gander marries a mama gander …

In charge of Moronika

Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): We must throw of the yoke of monarchy, and make our country safe for hypocrisy!

Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): Moronica must expand! We shall lend our neighbors a helping hand, we shall lend them two helping hands — and help ourselves to our neighbors!

Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): We will now pause for station identification.
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): This is N-U-T-S.
Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): When you hear the conk on the dome, it will be exactly 3 o’clock.
[whacks Curly on the head]
Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): 3 o’clock Bolonia watch time.
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): 3 o’clock Bolonia watch time.

Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): Ring for my sectery.
Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): You mean secretary?
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): I said sectery!
Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): Secretary.
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): Which is correct?
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): Stenographer. I’ll ring for her.

Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): What do you mean by reading a book? Suppose you learn something. Loyal Moronikans shouldn’t read. Take your troops out and have them burn every book in Moronika.


Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): [Holding a book] I’ll keep this.
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): Oh, a bookkeeper.
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): Go burn the books.
Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): Why burn the books?
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): There are too many bookmakers. The bookies are overrunning the country. Those are my orders.

Guard: I caught this man walking down the street with a chicken
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): Blonde or brunette?
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): [to Curly] Quiet.
[to Man]
Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): Where’d you get the chicken?
Man: From an egg.
Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): Where’d you get the egg?
Man: From a chicken.
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): Ah, a vicious cycle. We must kill it. Remind me to kill a cycle.

Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): On second thought, throw him to the lions.
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): We have no lions.  How about to the Tigers or the Cubs?

Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): What’s the matter with him?
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): He’s a little grouchy.  He woke up on the wrong side of the gutter this morning.

Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): If I take Mickey Finland, I better be Russian.
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): Then quit Stalin’.

Mata Herring

Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): [kissed Mata Herring] She doesn’t taste like herring to me!

Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): How can you shoot her with dice?
Curly Gallstone, Field Marshal (Curly Howard): They’re loaded. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard): And to think, I might have asked Mata Herring to marry me.
Larry Pebble, Minister of Propaganda (Larry Fine): You’ve have been in quite a pickle with that Herring.

Trivia for You Nazty Spy!

  • Was the first Hollywood film to spoof Adolf Hitler, released nine months before Charlie Chaplin’s more famous The Great Dictator (1940).
  • This Stooges short was Moe Howard’s personal favorite.
  • This was Larry Fine’s favorite short.
  • Larry walks with a limp because he has injured himself shortly before filming began. However, it adds to the realism because Josef Goebbels walked with a limp.
  • The Stooges, who were all Ashkenazi Jews, occasionally worked a word or phrase of Yiddish into their dialogue. In particular here, the Stooges make several overt Jewish and Yiddish cultural references: The exclamation “Beblach!” used several times in the film is a Yiddish word meaning “beans”. “Shalom Aleichem!”, literally “Peace unto you” is a standard greeting in Yiddish meaning “hello, pleased to meet you”. “Moe: We’ll start a ‘Blintzkrieg’ (Blitzkrieg). Curly: I just love blintzes especially with sour krieg.” This is a reference to the Ashkenazi Jewish dish blintzes with sour cream. In Moe’s imitation of a Hitler speech, he says “in pupik gehabt haben” (the semi-obscene “I’ve had it in the bellybutton” in Yiddish). These references to the Nazi leadership and Hitler speaking Yiddish were particularly ironic inside jokes for the Yiddish-speaking Jewish audience.
  • Curly “Gallstone”‘s red book of women’s addresses and phone numbers has the rather overt sexual references “Ruby Clutch” “oh, oh oh! G” (bra size) and the unread “Tessie oomph 2 69” which were ignored by the censors. This was a key dig at the attempt to censor The Great Dictator (1940) then in production by Charlie Chaplin. (Curly was also noted in his personal life for being a womanizer.)

Cast of characters

Additional Cast

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