Tillie and Augustus Winterbottom are thought to be missionaries when they arrive to find Phineas Pratt trying cheat the Sheridans out of her father's inheritance, including a ferry ...
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Tillie and Augustus Winterbottom are thought to be missionaries when they arrive to find Phineas Pratt trying cheat the Sheridans out of her father's inheritance, including a ferry franchise and a boat. The only way to keep the franchise is to win a race against Pratt's boat. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Before the steamboat race, one of the boats used in the filming began to sink. The crew frantically tried to bail, but water was coming in as fast as they could bail it out. The fire department was called, and set their pumps to work until 1 AM, to no avail; the water was still rushing in. Director Francis Martin called the man who built the boat, who stated that it could not spring a leak. Martin ordered the man to come down to the set and see for himself. Seeing the boat list to one side, the builder repeated that it could not spring a leak. The following conversation is reported to have taken place, at that point: Francis Martin: "All I know is we've been pumping water out of her hold for nine hours and it comes in as fast as we pump it out." Builder: "She ain't got a hold." Francis Martin: "I don't care what the technical term is, all I know is we've been pumping water out of her interior for nine hours." Builder: "She ain't got an interior any more than a raft. She's flat on the bottom, sitting on drums. You've got all that heavy stuff on one side and that's what makes it lean over. You've been bailing Malibu Lake into Malibu Lake for nine hours." See more »
Tillie and Gus was the last film directed by Francis Martin. Alison Skipworth and W C Fields star in this tale of two swindlers who have come to help out their family after a relative has died. In this, we get to see a lot of Fields' tricks with props - the hat and cane bits, cards, rolling the coin along his knuckles. And of course, he teams up with Clarence Wilson (the lawyer) again, from several of his previous films. Gotta love the "make your own paint" bit, when he adds in a scoop of lead, (which we now know is poisonous when ingested) as directed by the radio host. Did people really mix up their own paint ?? Baby LeRoy steals the show once again (Fields would make four movies with him-- has an interesting bio on IMDb). In Tillie and Gus, it all comes down to the big race to see who gets the job as ferryboat for the town. While quite a good, plain, fun, simple story, it's not the usual hilarious, non-stop antics that we see in some of the other W C Fields flicks.
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