Back from the Front
|Back From the Front|
|Directed by||Jules White|
|Produced by||Jules White|
|Written by||Ewart Adamson
Jack "Tiny" Lipson
|Edited by||Edwin H. Bryant|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|May 28, 1943 (U.S.)|
Back From the Front is the 70th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1943 starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). The comedians released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.
The Stooges join the war effort by enlisting in the Merchant Marines. While aboard ship, they have a brief altercationwith Lt. Dungen (Vernon Dent), a secret German Nazi officer, and then mistake a torpedo for a beached whale. Moe says they have to kill it, and it promptly explodes. After being lost at sea for several days, they come across the SS Schicklgruber and climb aboard. Now with fully grown beards, they encounter Lt. Dungen again, who does not recognize them. After realizing they are in with a nest of German sailors, they eventually overtake the crew and toss them overboard.
Back from the Front was filmed over four days on July 24-28, 1942. It was the first Stooge film to feature an accompanying sound effect for the eye poke gag. A TWANG is heard when Moe pokes Lt. Dugen (Vernon Dent) in the eyes. Different sounds were used with varying rates of success throughout 1943 and 1944 — a nose honk is inappropriately used in Higher Than a Kite, a xylophone in Crash Goes the Hash. The sound of a ukulele or violin string being plucked was used regularly after 1945. Moe reprises his Adolf Hitler role from You Nazty Spy! and I'll Never Heil Again. The end was satire, with Moe telling the Nazis to use their heads and shoot out their brains, to which Stanley Blystone replies, "But mein Führer, we're Nazis. We have no brains." When the Hitler-disguised Moe sneezes and his toothbrush moustache flies off his face, he gets it back and refers to it as "my personality".
"Schicklgruber" is the surname Adolf Hitler's father, Alois Hitler carried for the first 40 years of his life, until he took the name Hitler (Hiedler) from his stepfather. While Adolf Hitler himself never carried the surname, the British made use of it for propaganda purposes since even to Germans, the name is laughable. The Stooges used it numerous times as the only name by which they would refer to Hitler.