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HISTORY

The working title for this film was Tucson Joe . A 22 Aug 1951 HR news item states that Gold Raiders was to be released under the title Stooges Go West , however, the opening title card reads "Jack Schwarz Productions, Inc. presents Bernard Glasser Productions, Inc. presents George O'Brien and the Three Stooges in Gold Raiders ." The Stooges are listed in the film's end credits as Moe Howard, Shemp Howard and Larry Fine. According to Jun 1952 DV articles, the production was made in four and one-half days and was conceived of by the star, George O’Brien, and producer Bernard Glasser, while they both served in the U. S. Navy during World War II. Modern sources add Dick Crockett to the cast. ... More Less

The working title for this film was Tucson Joe . A 22 Aug 1951 HR news item states that Gold Raiders was to be released under the title Stooges Go West , however, the opening title card reads "Jack Schwarz Productions, Inc. presents Bernard Glasser Productions, Inc. presents George O'Brien and the Three Stooges in Gold Raiders ." The Stooges are listed in the film's end credits as Moe Howard, Shemp Howard and Larry Fine. According to Jun 1952 DV articles, the production was made in four and one-half days and was conceived of by the star, George O’Brien, and producer Bernard Glasser, while they both served in the U. S. Navy during World War II. Modern sources add Dick Crockett to the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Oct 1951.
---
Daily Variety
11 Jun 1952.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jun 1952.
---
Film Daily
5 Oct 1951
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1950.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 1951
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 1952
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Oct 1951
pp. 1057-58.
Variety
18 Jun 1952
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story and scr by
Orig story and scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set construction
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
MAKEUP
Makeup
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Tucson Joe
Stooges Go West
Release Date:
14 September 1951
Production Date:
December 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Bernard Glasser, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 September 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1803
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
55-56
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Traveling peddlers Moe and Shemp Howard and Larry Fine witness ex-marshal George O’Brien being shot at by bandits. Fearing that the peddlers will identify them, the bandits flee. The peddlers approach George, who has only fallen from his horse and is uninjured, and the group decides to ride together to the next town, Red Mesa. There, George reports the ambush to the sheriff and then introduces himself as an insurance agent selling policies to guarantee gold shipment deliveries. The nervous sheriff, having failed to deter the bandits himself, encourages local miner John Sawyer to take out a policy on his next shipment. At Sawyer’s suggestion, George hires Laura Mason as his clerk and Sandy Evans, Sawyer’s nephew and the foreman of his mine, to assist with protection. Meanwhile, the peddlers attempt to sell their faulty wares to an unsuspecting crowd at the local saloon. When they try to prove the miraculous powers of a $1 pair of glasses by reading off an eye chart they have memorized, the crowd discovers the hoax and a fight ensues. George, hearing the ruckus, rushes to the saloon and subdues their detractors and then hires Moe, Shemp and Larry to assist him with the next shipment. After drawing a map, George explains that the peddlers will conceal the gold in their wagon and take the main road to Red Mesa while he tricks the outlaws into believing that the gold is being transported by the back road. George, suspicious of crooked saloon owner Taggart, tells the peddlers to go to the saloon and broadcast that George will be escorting the gold the following day. Back at the insurance office, Laura accepts her alcoholic ... +


Traveling peddlers Moe and Shemp Howard and Larry Fine witness ex-marshal George O’Brien being shot at by bandits. Fearing that the peddlers will identify them, the bandits flee. The peddlers approach George, who has only fallen from his horse and is uninjured, and the group decides to ride together to the next town, Red Mesa. There, George reports the ambush to the sheriff and then introduces himself as an insurance agent selling policies to guarantee gold shipment deliveries. The nervous sheriff, having failed to deter the bandits himself, encourages local miner John Sawyer to take out a policy on his next shipment. At Sawyer’s suggestion, George hires Laura Mason as his clerk and Sandy Evans, Sawyer’s nephew and the foreman of his mine, to assist with protection. Meanwhile, the peddlers attempt to sell their faulty wares to an unsuspecting crowd at the local saloon. When they try to prove the miraculous powers of a $1 pair of glasses by reading off an eye chart they have memorized, the crowd discovers the hoax and a fight ensues. George, hearing the ruckus, rushes to the saloon and subdues their detractors and then hires Moe, Shemp and Larry to assist him with the next shipment. After drawing a map, George explains that the peddlers will conceal the gold in their wagon and take the main road to Red Mesa while he tricks the outlaws into believing that the gold is being transported by the back road. George, suspicious of crooked saloon owner Taggart, tells the peddlers to go to the saloon and broadcast that George will be escorting the gold the following day. Back at the insurance office, Laura accepts her alcoholic grandfather Doc Mason’s promise to stop drinking, a condition of his new job as George’s medical examiner. She then makes a list of things he needs to purchase for the job, accidentally using the back of the map. With the allowance Laura has given him, Doc visits the saloon to pay his past debt, but is unable to resist the offer of a drink from Utah, the bartender. Utah then demands Doc pay his past bill and Doc, now drunk, empties the contents of his pockets, including the map, onto the saloon counter. Taggart spots the map and deduces George’s ruse. On the day of the shipment, George and a posse ride the back trail as planned, while Moe, Shemp, Larry and Sandy take the main road to Red Mesa. When only four bandits attack George’s posse, George, suspecting a fake ruse, orders his men to hurry to the main road. Meanwhile, Taggart’s men ambush Sandy and the peddlers, wounding Sandy in the attack. Fearing for their lives, Moe, Shemp and Larry pull off the road and hide behind some nearby boulders. When the bandits approach, the trio throws exploding trick cigars at them, making the bandits think armed men surround them. Soon after, George and his men arrive and drive away the outlaws. The town’s mine operators, impressed by George’s skill, line up at his office to take out insurance policies. After Sawyer and the peddlers assure George they did not alert Taggart to their plan, Laura realizes that Doc might be to blame. Under questioning, Doc admits to Laura that he was drinking and, when he cannot find the list, Laura deduces the map was on the same piece of paper. She immediately goes to the saloon and rifles through Taggart’s office desk, but Taggart interrupts. When Laura holds him at gunpoint and demands the map be returned, Taggart wrestles her for the weapon. Alerted by Laura’s screams, George runs into the office, overpowers Taggart and escapes with Laura. In the months that follow, George and his men squelch the bandits’ attacks and hide the gold in the local jail to protect it from the bandits. One day, however, Taggart coerces Doc into revealing the gold’s location by threatening to hurt Laura. Later Doc, wracked with guilt because of his betrayal, hides out at home. Worried about his health, George visits Doc, unaware that three of Taggart’s men are spying on the house. When the bandits break into the house to capture George, they find that he is already out cold, seemingly dealt a blow by Doc. Doc then goes to the jail and holds Sandy and several other men guarding the gold at gun point, while the bandits take the gold to the saloon. Unknown to the outlaws, Doc is in league with George, who is waiting at the saloon to capture them. A shootout ensues at the saloon and after Taggart runs out of ammunition, George subdues him with his fists. Stupefied by George’s fighting skill, the peddlers attempt a variety of punches on each other. Later, George leaves town, promising Laura, Doc and the sheriff to return soon, while the peddlers jump in the back of their moving wagon and wave goodbye, suddenly realizing that the wagon has no driver. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.