We Want Our Mummy

We Want Our Mummy is a 1939 film directed by Del Lord and starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard). It is the 37th short film released by Columbia Pictures in 1939 starring the comedians, who released 190 short films for the studio between 1934 and 1959.

We Want Our Mummy
Directed byDel Lord
Produced byJules White
Written bySearle Kramer
Elwood Ullman
StarringMoe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Howard
Dick Curtis
Bud Jamison
James C. Morton
Eddie Laughton
Ted Lorch
John Tyrrell
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 24, 1939 (1939-02-24) (U.S.)
Running time
CountryUnited States


Museum curators Dr. Powell (Bud Jamison) and Professor Wilson (James C. Morton) hire the Stooges as private detectives to locate Professor Tuttle of Egyptology, who went missing while attempting to find the Egyptian mummy of an ancient pharaoh named Rutentuten in Cairo. The Stooges check the basement and help a man take a box onto a truck, not aware that Tuttle is bound and gagged inside. They are then told by the curators to find the tomb and bring back the mummy, for which they will be paid $5,000. They hail a taxicab in New York City, and inform the bewildered driver (Eddie Laughton) they are bound for Egypt.

Once in Egypt, the boys, under the duress of a mirage, believe an empty patch of sand is a lake of cool water, and dive in, inadvertently diving into a series of tunnels that may lead to Rutentuten's tomb. They begin to investigate, but end up separated, as Curly runs afoul with a living mummy. He takes off running, and he and his pals reunite.

Upon their arrival, the Stooges learn that Tuttle is being held hostage by a group of thieves; they have him bound and gagged as the Stooges wander through the tunnels. Curly finds what the Stooges believe to be the mummy of Rootin' Tootin' in a secret room, activated by a trap door. When Curly tries to pick it up, he clumsily drops it, crumbling it to dust.

They then hear gang boss Jackson (Dick Curtis) threatening the professor in the hopes of getting him to tell the crooks where the mummy is. The frightened professor tells them, and is warned that if the mummy is not there, he and the Stooges will be killed. The Stooges realize they will be killed if Jackson discovers the crushed mummy, so Moe gets the idea to make a mummy out of Curly. Curly responds by stating, "I can't be a mummy, I'm a daddy!", but he relents when warned of the alternative. He lies on the stone slab in disguise when the crooks arrive. Jackson decides to search for the jewels by cutting Curly open, causing Curly to open the bandages on his chest when Jackson turns his head away. Jackson then searches in Curly's jacket, pulls a newspaper out and reads "'Yanks win World Series' — can you beat that!" Curly blows his cover by replying, "Yeah, and I won five bucks!" Jackson replies "No kiddin'. I had the Cubs and ....." Suddenly realizing he has been tricked, Jackson charges Curly, but in the process of chasing the Stooges, he and his cronies fall into a well Curly had fallen into earlier and hid using a carpet. The Stooges admit to Professor Tuttle that Curly had destroyed the mummy; however, it turns out, that the mummy which was destroyed was not that of Rutentuten, but of his wife, Queen Hotsy-Totsy. He holds up a small mummy case, containing the real mummy of Rutentuten, who was a midget.

An alligator crawls into the room when no one is looking and stands still. Curly spots the still alligator and believes it to be another mummy, and plans to take it home with him. When Curly bends over to grab some rope, the alligator bites Curly on the behind. When Curly tells Moe, Larry & the professor what happened, they don't believe him - until the alligator snaps his jaws again. The four run frightened out of the tunnels and back to the waiting cab outside.

Production notes

We Want Our Mummy is the first Stooge film to employ "Three Blind Mice" as the Stooges' official theme song (the song also appeared somewhat prematurely in 1938's Flat Foot Stooges, due to some confusion in that film's release date). This version of "Three Blind Mice," often known as the "sliding strings" version, would be used regularly up to and including 1942's What's the Matador?. An alternate version of the 'sliding strings' version would be used for a brief period starting with 1945's If a Body Meets a Body.[1]

The reference to the 1938 World Series between the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs is a rare acknowledgement of a real-life sporting event.[1]

In reality, there are no alligators in Africa including Egypt. The crocodilian species native to Africa is the Nile crocodile.


  1. Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. pp. 129, 146. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
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