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Mel Brooks has often said that humor was probably the one weapon that the
Jews had against the Nazis. The Three Stooges get there shots in at the
Nazi Party with the short YOU NAZTY SPY! This was the first time that
anyone in the movie business had the nerve to make fun of Adolf Hitler.
Released in January of 1940 (over a year before the U.S. entered WWII),
NAZTY SPY! beat Charlie Chaplin's THE GREAT DICTATOR by nine months. YOU
NAZTY SPY! starts with three men, Mr. Ixnay, Mr. Amscray and Mr. Ohnay
discussing how they can keep their munitions business going when the king
the country of Moronica wants only peace. Their solution: Overthrow the
king and install a dictator who will do their bidding. Their man:
Wallpaper hanger Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard). There are also jobs for his
assistants too, Gallstone (Curly Howard) and Pebble (Larry Fine).
The thing that really makes this work is Moe's uncanny resemblance to Der Fuerher and the subtle things that underscore the real-life situation like Hailstone's speech to the masses. It looks almost like the real thing. This short proves that the Stooges were indeed much more than mere slaps and eyepokes, and that they may have been a lot more intelligent off camera than people gave them credit for.
An excellent Stooge short, and one of their best. Like everybody else
it was very gutsy of the Stooges to make fun of Hitler in the pictures
nobody else had done it yet. I can't believe this wasn't nominated for an
Academy Award like MEN IN BLACK (which I don't think is that great) was.
Moe's Hitler impression is simply BRILLIANT, and the man deserves more
recognition for it. This short is filled with hilarious, non-stop verbal
puns and funny one-liners. One of the few Stooge shorts that dared to do
this instead of relying almost fully on physical humor (TRICKY DICKS is
another one filled with puns and one-liners, and that's also a great
which proves the Stooges are excellent verbal comics as well as physical.
This was sequeled a year later with the Stooges as I'LL NEVER HEIL
This was also the very first Stooge short from the early 40's, which was the Stooges' classic, Golden Age period.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"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, then takes everything. That's a
dictator." These are the exact words spoken to Moe Hailstone at the
prospect of his becoming dictator of the mythical city of Moronika. Moe
is quite hilarious as he plunges into his new role with gusto! Joining
him in his tyranny are Larry Pebble as Minister of Propaganda and Curly
Gallstone as Field Marshal. The end result is "You Nazty Spy!", the
first Three Stooges comedy that valiantly attempted to satirize Adolf
Hitler and the Third Reich.
My favorite moments from "You Nazty Spy!" include the following. (Please DO NOT read any further if you have not yet seen this film.) When Moe decides that he has to think very carefully before taking the job of dictator, he gives himself a Hitlerian moustache and parts his hair back! During the rather violent round-table conference, Curly swings a golf ball right into Larry's mouth! With a generous helping of nonsensical wordplay and mock German dialect, Moe is at his greatest during his outdoor speech to his Moronikan constituents. Speaking of wordplay, this short is absolutely loaded with it! As an example, when Larry asks Moe how they can hold a round-table conference with a square table, Moe answers, "In Moronika, nothing is on the square. We shall have to cut corners." As another example, when Larry says, "If I take Mickey Finlen, I better be Russian," Curly responds, "Then quit Stalin."
"You Nazty Spy!" is quite an excellent Three Stooges spoof on Naziism. It was followed by a sequel, titled "I'll Never Heil Again" (1941), as well as several other anti-Nazi Stooge shorts, some of them again involving a Hitlerian moustache for Moe. To top everything off, "You Nazty Spy!" was Moe Howard's and director Jules White's favorite Stooge comedy, as well as a runner-up favorite for Larry Fine.
The Three Stooges must've known what was goin' on in Germany (all three are Jewish), so thety decided to do a parody. It is not only they're funniest one yet, but also the'yre most meaningful (I thought this parody was much better than the Groucho Marx one in 1938). Here, The stooges play Hailstone, Gailstone and pebble. They become the heads of Moronica (I love the slogan: Moronica for Morons) and start to create chaos. Very smart comedy, including scarily right on impression of Moe doing Hitler (though I crack up at the thought of him speaking) and Curly doing Mussolini. Gags of course, but the puns are hilarious as well. A++
This one shows the Stooges, the writers, and the studio all in top form. The writing is very clever, in fact rather Marxist, that is Marx Brothers type. Moe as a "Hitler type" dictator and Curly as a "mussolini", they just can't miss. Curly even does a "Bob Hope" when he turns to the camera and in reference to some dialog between Moe and Larry says, "They're nuts!" In comparison to Chaplin's overzealous take on 'ol Shicklegruber, this is much funnier. Cahplin at this point, or more accurately from about the mid 1920's onward, tends to get too much pathos involved with otherwise great comedy. His comedies and especially his feature films always seemed to be attempting to send the world a message or moral. Much like the Our Gang shorts produced during their floundering MGM period. The Stooges version is played strictly for laughs and well it should be. If you're going to play someone as rotten as Hitler, than make a total ass out of him without any appearances of "having seen the light" like Chaplin does at the end of his "Great Dictator". The Stooges are all fired up in this one and I'll bet Chaplin was too, considering the Stooge's version was released before Chaplin's. "Hail, Hail, Hailstone! Wahoo!"
What can be said about The Three Stooges besides the fact that they're
one of the funniest and most innovative comedy groups in film history?
While their schtick is undoubtedly tame and inoffensive by today's
standards, the incredible amount of physical acting, slapstick, and
quick-wit that plagued each one of the group's shorts still stands the
test of time as some of the most original and lawless humor that there
is out there.
It's fun to go back and revisit some of the more controversial shorts the trio did, one of them being "You Nazty Spy!," released in the early part of 1940 and attempting to satirize World War II, the Nazi Party, and the Third Reich. The short infuses satire into the slapstick (maybe we should bill it "slaptire") as it follows the land of Moronica, a country in dyer need of leadership as discussed by its three current cabinet members. They enlist in the help of three half-wits, Moe Hailstone, Curly Gallstone, and Larry Pebble (I suppose Kidneystone was on an international business trip). Immediately, Moe is instated as the leader, assuming the Adolf Hitler role, with Curly and Larry by his side, portraying the likes of Benito Mussolini and Joseph Goebbels, respectively.
Scene after scene shows the leaders' incompetence but how empty promises and a blissfully ignorant public that is willing to blindly accept anything spitballed at them by the Moronica government keep them in power. A key scene depicting conformity and blind following comes early, where Moe, Curly, and Larry stand out on a balcony and dish out rules and ideas for the government. Alongside Moe, who is dishing out the madness, is Larry, holding up cue-cards for the public (structured by archive footage) that insist the audience applaud, cheer, or even hiss. The scene is a bold iteration for how conformity and blindness make up key traits of most of the public.
"You Nazty Spy!" is as satirical and thought-provoking as it is substantial and hilarious, featuring Moe Howard in an underrated performance that clearly channels on the likes of Adolf Hitler. Howard gives a thoroughly impressive performance; one that has unfortunately been shadowed, with Charlie Chaplin's performance in The Great Dictator (which came out later) getting most of the love. This is a bit upsetting, as Howard achieves rare comic ability of being uniquely funny but also potent with his satire of Hitler. Assisted as usual by the likes of his acting partners Larry Fine and Curly Howard, Howard's role in "You Nazty Spy!" turns out to be one of the essential reasons why the short is so successful.
World War II satire/propaganda wasn't uncommon; even Disney, the company you expect to remain squeaky-clean during this time, is guilty of churning out animated shorts criticizing or lampooning the Nazi Party and the communist lifestyle. Even with lofty ideas and criticisms, director Jules White and writers Felix Adler and Clyde Bruckman still keep the short at a nicely safe and controlled level, as well as the short being helped by the likes of its Stooge cast, who never cease to infuse their own trademark comedy into any kind of scenario. In the long line of World War II comedy skits, this one ranks considerably high and one of the smarter critiques, which comes as surprising given the comedy group's territory.
Starring: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard. Directed by: Jules White.
This short just proves that the Stooges were not just slapstick masters, but that they were great social satirists. The boys were ahead of the curve by making a blatent parody of how Hitler came to power. The thing that made it more ironic was the fact that Moe, a Jew, plays a perfect Hitler characature and pulls it off convincingly. If you want to see some more of Moe's dead on imitation of Schikelgruber, just look at "They Stooge to Conga" and "I'll Never Heil Again" (the sequel to this short).
I've been a fan of The Three Stooges for a long time, and in my opinion this short is one of the best they ever made. "You Natzy Spy!" does a great job of poking fun at Hitler and the Natzi's and much of the politics in Europe at the time. Moe looks so much like Hitler it's scary, a very funny film.
At a time in Hollywood when the movie colony was hesitant still to
critique Nazi Germany even obliquely, three comedians of Jewish
ancestry did a wonderful job in sending up the whole Nazi gang for a
few belly laughs.
This Three Stooges short You Nazty Spy anticipated Charlie Chaplin's more famous The Great Dictator by several months. Chaplin might have gotten a few ideas from the boys, but their film was strictly slapstick without any serious message underpinning the short.
Moe makes one great Hitler and Larry and Curly aid and abet as the field marshal and propaganda minister. They do come to an end that I really wish that Hitler, Goering, and Goebbels had come.
The Three Stooges has always been some of the many actors that I have
loved. I love just about every one of the shorts that they have made. I
love all six of the Stooges (Curly, Shemp, Moe, Larry, Joe, and Curly
Joe)! All of the shorts are hilarious and also star many other great
actors and actresses which a lot of them was in many of the shorts! In
My opinion The Three Stooges is some of the greatest actors ever and is
the all time funniest comedy team!
You Natzy Spy! is a great Three Stooges short which in My opinion is one of the best! The Stooges are very good here! Richard Fiske and he has a totally different personality than most of his role in The Three Stooges shorts. This role is similar like the one in "In the Sweet Pie and Pie". As always he performs very well. Also so do Dick Curtis, Don Beddoe, John Tyrrell, Eddie Laughton, and Al Thompson. The beautiful Lorna Gray is also in this one and she is something else! I recommend this one!
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