All hands on deck! Anyone wondering why Marie Dressler was such an extraordinary box-office draw need only to step aboard the tug Narcissus and sail away with Tugboat Annie for a knockabout comedy-drama. Dressler stars as savvy skipper Annie, steering through Pacific Northwest waters and through troubles with her hard-working, adoring son Alec (Robert Young) and her hapless, boozing husband Terry (Wallace Beery, Dressler's costar in Min and Bill). There are plenty of laughs, but also lots of familial strife, until life-threatening danger at sea brings out the best in Terry... and puts everyone's priorities in order.
Marie Dressler plays the title character, tugboat captain Annie Brennan, in this 1933 Hollywood box office hit. Her husband Terry (Wallace Beery) is a lazy, bragging drunk. Robert Young plays their son Alec, who has big ambitions and winds up as captain of a fancy ocean liner. The ocean liner's owner is Red Severn (Willard Robertson), whose daughter Pat (Maureen O'Sullivan) is the object of Alec's longings. Young tries to get his mother to leave his father and join him on the ocean liner, but she refuses out of love for her husband and her tugboat. Terry crashes the tugboat while drunk one night, and it is sold at an auction, then repaired and converted into a garbage boat. Sequels were made in later years, with Marjorie Rambeau and later Jane Darwell in the title role, and it was made into a TV series in the 1950s.
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