Production Information
A Ducking They Did Go
Studio: Columbia
Short Number: 38
Release Date: April 7, 1939
Running Time: 16:16

“I’ll be back in a quack with a quack, and I do mean quack!” – (Curly)


A Ducking They Did Go Short Take

The Stooges are once again unemployed. After an unsuccessful attempt to steal a watermelon from a deliveryman (Cy Schindell), which lands them in trouble with a cop (William Irving), the boys wind up at the offices of the Canvas Back Duck Club. The club, run by conmen Blackie (Lynton Brent) and Doyle (Wheaton Chambers) needs some salesmen and the trio has no trouble getting the job because, unbeknownst to them, the whole thing is a scam. Dressed in duck-hunting gear, Larry, Moe and Curly invade the police station and barge right into the office of the police chief (Bud Jamison). The Stooges somehow convince him, the mayor, and the entire police department to join up. Once the stooges informed the conmen about the sale and who they sold them to, the conmen took the money and leave knowing that they’ll get caught.

By the time the group arrives at the lodge, the “club owners” are long gone, and an old man assures them that there are no ducks to be found. In a panic, Moe and Larry try to solve this dilemma by hurling decoy ducks and rubber decoys over the pond. Curly arrives at last with a large flock of ducks (à la the Pied Piper of Hamelin) and leads them into the water. Eventually, the old man shows up (with the sheriff) ranting that Curly has stolen his prize domestic ducks, worth $5 apiece. The cops realize they have been swindled and point their guns at the Stooges, who flee the scene.

The Three Stooges Firsts

A Ducking They Did Go has the fist of many egg smashings in a Stooge film; after Curly shakes hands with Blackie and smashes an egg into his hand, the take lasts a full twelve seconds. Another first is Larry trying to shoot a duck off Moe’s back. For the first time in several years, the ‘fist game’ is just the original.

Directed byDel Lord
Produced byJules White
Written byAndrew Bennison
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Lynton Brent
Bud Jamison
CinematographyLucien Ballard
Edited byCharles Nelson

A Ducking They Did Go Production Notes

  • Filmed on November 15–18, 1938, the title A Ducking They Did Go is a play on the old children’s song “A-Hunting We Will Go.”
  • The closing shot of the Stooges leaping over a bush, and landing on a trio of bucking steers was recycled from the end of 1936’s A Pain in the Pullman.
  • Particularly in later years, Stooge film sets were modest, as was the size of the supporting cast. Columbia spent more money than usual on 1939’s A Ducking They Did Go, building an artificial lake on Stage #6 and hiring a large cast.