Uncivil War Birds is the 90th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.


It is the American Civil War, and the Stooges, who are ready to marry their sweethearts, have to enlist in military service. Moe and Larry accidentally join the Union Army, while Curly manages to correctly sign up with the Confederate. Before the error can be corrected, several Union soldiers order Moe and Larry to lock up their "prisoner." (Curly)

A few moments later, a Confederate general sees Curly being released and, upon seeing Moe and Larry, thinks he has captured two Union soldiers. This mix up goes back and forth several times, until Moe and Larry finally find Confederate uniforms, only to be caught in Union army headquarters. They eventually escape by performing minstrel song-and-dance routine in blackface, with Curly playing a Mammy-type character and Larry strumming a banjo, but not before Moe says "Brother, y'all ejaculated a mouthful."

They sing "Dixie" with parody lyrics:

Way down south in New York City
The cotton grows on the trees so pretty
On the trees?
On the trees.
In the South?
South Brooklyn!" Oh south of the Bronx where I was born
The folks are rotten and the jokes are corn
Look away. Get away! Get a waitress we're hungry!

However, the Union soldiers see through their disguises and give chase. The boys escape, incapacitate the sergeant, and steal some vitally important Union maps along the way.

Later on, Curly is still unable to get a Union uniform and is captured by some Union riflemen. With Moe and Larry in tow, the soldiers take Curly back to the smokehouse and lock him in with preparations to execute him. However, Moe distracts the soldiers with a ham from the smokehouse, and as they are preoccupied with the smoked meat, he and Larry pull the fatal ends of their rifle bullets out, reducing them to merely blanks. Meanwhile, other soldiers appear for a piece of the ham, piling their guns next to the useless ones.

An officer takes Curly out and places him against a wall to be shot. The soldiers (including Moe and Larry) accidentally take the guns from the other pile, line up, and aim at Curly. One gun goes off prematurely, barely missing Curly's head. Larry and Moe realize their error, much to their horror, and Larry faints. The officer, disgusted with his men, grabs one of the guns armed with blanks and fires at Curly, who plays along and goes through a very animated death sequence.

As the other soldiers prepare to bury the body, they find out that Curly isn't really dead and chase him into a barn. Moe and Larry give them the idea to sneak around the back, and as they do, Moe knocks them out one after another. Curly leaves the barn and tries, twice unsuccessfully, to use a horse to get the maps to the head of the Confederacy, and he and Moe end up pulling a wagon themselves, with Larry at the helm.

Back home, the boys marry their sweethearts, and during a toast, accidentally spill their drinks down their wives' back. The Belle sisters then angrily attack their new husbands.

Curly's illnessEdit

Uncivil War Birds was produced after Curly had suffered a mild stroke. As a result, his performance was marred by slurred speech, and slower timing, though Curly was more energetic and displayed better timing than in previous shorts. In addition, Moe Howard and Larry Fine are paired together and given the lion's share of the film's dialogue.


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