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Following the Battle of Bull Run, two stage actresses are recruited as Union spies. Pauline Cushman poses as a New Orleans socialite and Gail Loveless (Marion Davies) dyes her hair and skin to pass as a slave. With the help of Captain Hitchcock (Ted Healy) and Lt. Littledale posing as traveling medicine show doctors, the women infiltrate General Jeb Stuart's headquarters in Virginia to search for information to stop an invasion of Washington DC. Loveless meets Capt. Jack Gailliard (Gary Cooper), one of Stuart's senior officers, and is smitten.

The mission a success, Loveless is recruited again to pose as a Confederate sympathizer exiled from New York. Arriving in Richmond, she must identify and help Operator 55 (Walter Long) assassinate the organizer of the Sons of Liberty, an underground network of Confederate spies and sympathizers infiltrating the North. The head of that organization is none other than Jack Gailliard, and Gail must make a choice between her duty and the man she loves.

Curly Howard has a brief cameo (8 sec.) in OPERATOR 13 as a Confederate soldier. Costume and makeup production stills of Curly exist, and one graces the cover of The Three Stooges Journal # 118 (Summer 2006). It can also be found in the book One Fine Stooge.

Healy stooge Paul "Mousie" Garner had a small role as a Union soldier in the film's opening moments, but unfortunately cannot be singled out from the crowd scene.

OPERATOR 13 was referred to, two years later in the Stooges' Civil War comedy UNCIVIL WARRIORS (1935)... "What happened to Operator 13?" "He swam across the river and died of 'Potom-aine' poisoning."

Walter Long is usually known for his bad-guy turns in films like THREE LITTLE PIGSKINS (1934), and Laurel and Hardy's PARDON US (1932), GOING BYE-BYE (1934) and THE LIVE GHOST (1934). But this time, he appears as one of the "good guys," Union spy 'Operator 55.'

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Ted Healy and Curly Howard (Solo)
Release Date
June 15, 1934
Production Type
Feature Film
84.5 min.
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Shooting Days:   58 days   From: 1934-02-19   To: 1934-04-26

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