|Index||3 reviews in total|
An entertaining if inconsequential picture, worth seeing for a
performance by one of the unappreciated greats, Marjorie Rambeau. This was
not the type of role for which she was noted previously. In addition, she
was playing a character originated on screen by the wonderful Marie
Dressler. Like the latter, but in her own distinctive way, Marjorie
convincingly evokes contrasting character traits: toughness and
sentimentality, spunk and empathy, sassiness and gentleness.
Made the same year as "Primrose Path," and reminiscent of "Min and Bill," it includes, as those pictures do, a first-rate performance by an absolutely first-rate actress.
Marjorie Rambeau, an excellent character actress twice nominated for
the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, has the unenviable task of having to
attempt to fill the shoes of the legendary Marie Dressler in one of her
most famous and popular roles in this quasi-sequel to TUGBOAT ANNIE.
Ms. Rambeau has her work cut out for her saddled with an uneven script,
a modest B production, and a aging makeup job that at best makes her
look like a worn Ethel Barrymore and at worst (most of the picture)
like a slightly feminine Lon Chaney. Add it a heavy, unnecessary Irish
accent for the character and dialogue with episodes loaded with lame
malapropisms and it's a tribute to Ms. Rambeau's talent that this boat
manages to float at all.
Tugboat Annie and rival tugboat captain Alan Hale (playing a character named Bullwinkle, which I first thought was merely a slam of a moniker given him by Annie) clash as they vie for jobs at sea. Hale is not above dirty tricks to try to come out on top. Annie and her small crew (which include Chill Wills and Victor Kilian in early roles) however are seldom bested but circumstances come about where Annie's job is in jeopardy and one rich customer wants her replaced by a man. Meanwhile the millionaire's daughter (played by a gorgeous young blonde Jane Wyman) has a crush on one of Annie's young assistants (Ronald Reagan) and stowaway on one rough trip to Alaska. The Wyman-Reagan semi-romance is so prominent in the early scenes it's a shock that their storyline is pretty much dropped in the last third of the film.
The story loses what interest it has somewhere midway in the picture but recovers nicely toward the end with one genuinely hilarious scene at a beauty salon as the now unemployed Annie attempts to relax and be a conventional female but can't help but talk old shop talk about tugboats, unbeknownst to the society woman who sits near her who is horrified at Annie's tale of a "tramp" (boat) ruined by a worthless man, some surprisingly strong double entendres in Annie's story for a studio film of the period.
Thank you for broadcast this movie last night! With all the different
styles and types of movie now a days, I fine it a pleasure to still be
able to watch classic movies like this.
I know I may sound old even though I am in my middle 50's, but how can you beat a movie like this.
This movie was made before airplanes were important and even the BROOM of cruise-lines hitting the seas. I truly learned a lot in this movie about the forgotten tug industry which is as important today as it was then.
Especially the part of the movie where Annie saved the freighter from being aground. I truly understood her theory of the lifting the ship from the sand bank.
Now a days you are worried about the grade given to a movie and it's contents, this was entertaining and funny.
WOW to see our past president (Ronald) and Father Knows Best (Jane) was interesting and special.
Once again, thank you TCM for broadcasting this movie last night. Please broadcast the other Tugboat Annie movies! ess
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