|Directed by||Edward Bernds|
|Produced by||Bernard Glasser
|Written by||William Lively
|Music by||Alex Alexander
|Edited by||Fred Allen|
Jack Schwarz Productions
|Distributed by||United Artists|
Gold Raiders is a 1951 comedy Western film starring George O'Brien and The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard). The picture was O'Brien's last starring role and the only feature film released during Shemp Howard's second tenure with the trio.
As peddlers, the Three Stooges help insurance agent George O'Brien outwit a gang of desperados who are after a valuable gold-mine shipment, led by local bigwig Sawyer (Lyle Talbot).
Gold Raiders was an attempt by independent producer Bernard Glasser to inaugurate a new western series starring George O'Brien, the lead in F. W. Murnau's 1927 masterpiece Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and later a top star in Western and outdoor-adventure features. Adding novelty value to the proceedings are The Three Stooges, who consisted at that time of Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard. O'Brien and the Stooges receive roughly equal screen time, so this could also be considered the second full-fledged "Three Stooges movie," although the Stooges had appeared in earlier films as supporting players; their first starring feature was 1945's Rockin' in the Rockies with Curly in place of Shemp.
Gold Raiders marked the second and last feature film with Shemp Howard as part of the Stooges since the act's first screen appearance, the 1930 film Soup to Nuts, which also featured the Stooges' original leader Ted Healy.
The 56-minute Gold Raiders was economically filmed in five days by director Edward Bernds, who also directed several of the Stooges' shorts. Filmed on December 26–30, 1950, Bernds later commented "I should have never made that picture. It was an ultra-quickie shot in five days at the unbelievable cost of $50,000 ($497,718 today), which, even then, was ridiculously low. I'm afraid the picture shows it!"
It was originally released by independent producer Jack Schwarz through United Artists in 1951. Although the principals worked well together, plans to pursue an O'Brien-Stooges series were abandoned. The film was reissued to theaters in 1958, and television distributor AAP issued two home-movie abridgements on 8mm film in the 1960s.
Sheila Ryan co-stars as the granddaughter of tipster doctor Clem Bevans, while silent-film star Monte Blue enjoys a larger part than usual as a local mine owner. Some of the stunts were performed by Hugh Hooker, who also plays a juvenile role.
- George O'Brien ... George O'Brien
- Moe Howard ... Moe (billed as The Three Stooges)
- Larry Fine ... Larry (billed as The Three Stooges)
- Shemp Howard ... Shemp (billed as The Three Stooges)
- Clem Bevans ... Doc Mason
- Sheila Ryan ... Laura Mason
- Lyle Talbot ... Taggart
- Monte Blue ... John Sawyer
- Fuzzy Knight ... Sheriff
- Hugh Hooker ... Sandy Evans
- John Merton ... Clete
- Remy Paquet ... Singer
- Al Baffert ... Bartender (billed as Andre Adoree)
- Roy Canada ... Slim
- Bill Ward ... Henchman