Min and Bill

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Min and Bill
Min and bill 1930 poster.jpg
1962 re-release poster
Directed by George W. Hill
Produced by George W. Hill
Written by Frances Marion
Marion Jackson
Based on Dark Star 
by Lorna Moon
Starring Marie Dressler
Wallace Beery
Cinematography Harold Wenstrom
Edited by Basil Wrangell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
November 29, 1930 (1930)
Running time
66 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2 million[1]

Min and Bill is a 1930 American comedy-drama film starring Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery and based on Lorna Moon's novel Dark Star, adapted by Frances Marion and Marion Jackson.

The movie tells the story of dockside innkeeper Min's tribulations as she tries to protect the innocence of her adopted daughter Nancy, all while loving and fighting with boozy fisherman Bill, who resides at the inn.

Min and Bill stars Marie Dressler (Min), Wallace Beery (Bill), Dorothy Jordan (Nancy), and Marjorie Rambeau (Bella, Nancy's ill-reputed mother), and was directed by George W. Hill. Dressler won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1931 for her performance in this film.

This film was such a runaway hit that it and its near-sequel Tugboat Annie, which reteamed Dressler and Beery in similar roles, boosted both to superstar status. Dressler topped Quigley Publications' annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll of movie exhibitors in 1933, and the two pairings with Dressler were primarily responsible for Beery becoming MGM's highest paid actor in the early 1930s, before Clark Gable took over that crown; Beery had a clause in his 1932 contract that he be paid a dollar per year more than any other actor on the lot.

From the original 1930 M-G-M trailer
Min, Bill and Nancy, the cobbled-together family that snared Marie Dressler an Oscar


In popular culture[edit]

Jack Kerouac, in On the Road, has his protagonist-narrator Sal Paradise compare Dean Moriarity and his second wife Camille to Min and Bill. Kerouac does not explain the reference, but it would be understood by contemporary readers[citation needed] that he was signaling that the couple had a contentious but affectionate relationship, with Dean the weak, ne'er-do-well and Camille the heart and soul of the relationship.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, homage to Min and Bill is paid in the form of a counter service restaurant. Min and Bill's Dockside Diner is in the shape of Bill's fishing trawler, and "floats" in Echo Lake near the center of the park.


The film made a profit of $731,000.[2]


  1. ^ "WHICH CINEMA FILMS HAVE EARNED THE MOST MONEY SINCE 1914?.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 4 March 1944. p. 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 191

External links[edit]