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Tillie and Gus (1933)

Passed | | Comedy | 13 October 1933 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »


Francis Martin


Walter DeLeon (screen play), Francis Martin (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
W.C. Fields ... Augustus Winterbottom
Alison Skipworth ... Tillie Winterbottom
Baby LeRoy ... The 'King'
Julie Bishop ... Mary Sheridan (as Jacqueline Wells)
Phillip Trent ... Tom Sheridan (as Clifford Jones)
Clarence Wilson ... Phineas Pratt
George Barbier ... Captain Fogg
Barton MacLane ... Commissioner McLennan
Edgar Kennedy ... Judge
Robert McKenzie ... Defense Attorney
Ivan Linow ... The Swede


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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A PAIR OF SCOUNDRELS YOU'LL LOVE! (Print Ad- Ogdensburg Advance-News, ((Ogdensburg NY)) 5 December 1933)




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


W.C. Fields wrote nearly all of his own dialogue to this film as well as several entire sequences in which he appeared, despite frequent objections from the director. After the success of this film, an exhibitor at Paramount announced that the comedian would be permitted full creative control to his following productions. See more »


Mary Sheridan: You two are angels straight from heaven!
Augustus Q. Winterbottom: [coughs] We detoured slightly on the way.
See more »


Referenced in The Great Man: W.C. Fields (2005) See more »


Long, Long Ago
(1883) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Haynes Bayley
Played by an unidentified pianist in Tillie's bar in Shanghai
See more »

User Reviews

The One Attempt at Pairing in Fields' Talkie Career
22 September 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

TILLIE AND GUS was one of three films (four with the "all star" ALICE IN WONDERLAND) where he appeared with Alison Skipworth. It was the only time in his talking films where Fields was actually built into a co-starring situation with a partner. The only similar situation he faced were in those now obscure silent comedies he made in the late 1920s co-starring Chester Conklin. But here, in SIX OF A KIND (where pairs of male/female partners were enhanced by Burns and Allen and Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland), and IF I HAD A MILLION (in the "road hog" sequence) the chemistry and balance between "Uncle Claude" and "Skippy" was amply demonstrated. Skipworth was nobody's fool in her comic roles, and here she fully demonstrates that she is capable of confronting her thoroughly untrustworthy partner, and even (occasionally) controlling him.

Fields and Skipworth are married relatives of a young woman (Julie Bishop) who has inherited some property, including an old ferry boat. Unfortunately, the estate is in the hands of a crooked lawyer (Clarence Wilson), who is trying to gain legal ownership by every trick he knows. Fields and Skipworth return to assist their niece, her husband (Philip Trent) and their baby son (Baby Leroy - his first film with Fields). Despite Fields' grumblings, his own dislike for Wilson makes him stick it out to assist the young people.

The film is funny, but in episodes. At the beginning we see Fields, before he returns to the town where Bishop is) facing a trial in another jurisdiction. His repartee with the Judge (the great Edgar Kennedy) is a marvel. Another high spot (in a bit that other comedians have used - like Lou Costello on his television show), is when Fields is trying to repair part of the ferry boat, listening to instructions on the radio, but in leaving the room misses an important piece of information that the radio repairman is now discussing another thing to repair, and so Fields gets hopelessly befuddled trying to understand the logic of what he is accomplishing by these instructions.

Skipworth had a nice moment or two also. Wilson has purchased a modern ferry boat to drive the old one out of business. George Barbier is it's captain. Skipworth goes at night to spy out the new craft, and possibly find some way to damage it. Barbier, also on the watch sees her, and goes down to confront this interloper.

Barbier: "Do you know who I am?" Skipworth: "No! Isn't there somebody around to tell you?" Barbier hesitates - he did not anticipate that answer. He continues. Barbier: "I'm the Captain of the "Keystone"." Skipworth (looking him over): "Then what are you worried about?!" Barbier, slightly confused about the way the conversation has gone, but deciding to try once more. Barbier: "You don't understand...." Skipworth (without missing a beat): "I'm not the one who is lost!"

TILLY AND GUS is truly a very amusing movie to watch

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Release Date:

13 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esperto Contra Sabido See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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