Socially-conscious banker Thomas Dickson faces a crisis when his protégé is wrongly accused for robbing the bank, gossip of the robbery starts a bank run, and evidence suggests Dickson's wife had an affair...all in the same day.
Waterfront couple raise their son to be a sea captain. He grows up to be rather snotty and rebels against drunken Beery. Valiant Dressler keeps things moving even as hubby ruins their tugboat business. Dressler dotes on his son and his snooty girlfriend. Written by
The tugboat used as the "Narcissus" in the film was then named the "Wallowa." It was leased to the filmmakers in Seattle by the Foss Launch & Tug Co. After the movie was filmed, the tugboat was refitted with a new engine and renamed the "Arthur Foss," after Thea Foss's son, who was then president of the Foss Co. Today, the tugboat "Arthur Foss" is owned by the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center. It is docked on Lake Union in Seattle, next to the Museum of History and Industry, and is open for tours on weekends. The "Arthur Foss" is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See more »
Tugboat captain Marie Dressler (as Annie) manages to rear a son and run the family business, with only spotty help from alcoholic husband Wallace Beery (as Terry Brennan). "Tugboat Annie" sailed to the top of box office lists, helmed by the tremendous appeal of Ms. Dressler. This is one of her finest and most fondly remembered performances. Dressler would be good anyway, but gets terrific help from Mr. Berry. He and Dressler possess the chemistry and craft to pull off the slightly weak and episodic story.
The weakness is in the bland relationship essayed by Robert Young (as Alexander "Alec" Brennan) and pretty Maureen O'Sullivan (as Patricia "Pat" Severn). Frankie Darro (as young Alec) is fine, studying algebra and history with Dressler in the early scenes, but you wonder how Dressler plus Berry (or anyone) could have netted Mr. Young. The relationship between Dressler and Berry is the story's strength, with the co-stars putting comic pathos in the classic "love triangle" involving wife, husband and alcohol.
******* Tugboat Annie (8/4/33) Mervyn LeRoy ~ Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Robert Young, Maureen O'Sullivan
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