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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
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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