The Adventures of Tugboat Annie
|The Adventures of Tugboat Annie|
|Country of origin||Canada
|No. of episodes||39|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original run||1957 – 1958|
The Adventures of Tugboat Annie is a 1957 Canadian-filmed television series starring Minerva Urecal as Annie Brennan, the widowed captain of the tugboat "Narcissus," and Walter Sande as Horatio J. Bullwinkle, the captain of the "Salamander." The syndicated series lasted for 39 episodes.
Norman Reilly Raine's stories of the salty tugboat captain Annie Brennan, a character based on the life of Thea Foss, first appeared in prose form in the weekly US journal Saturday Evening Post in the late 1920s. She was soon developed into a movie character, depicted in three films and portrayed by a different actress in each (Marie Dressler in Tugboat Annie, 1933; Marjorie Rambeau in Tugboat Annie Sails Again, 1940; and Jane Darwell in Captain Tugboat Annie, 1945).
Finally, in 1954, a television series was commissioned by the independent American production company TPA. The pilot took two whole years to complete, at a then-record cost of $129,000. Elsa Lanchester, Jay C. Flippen, and Chill Wills were all in line for major roles at one point or another at this early stage. The series was filmed in Toronto harbor and was first shown in Canada, having attracted ratings good enough to interest American television stations. What had succeeded in Canada proved a disappointment in the United States, where the viewing audiences had presumably become accustomed to greater sophistication than the simplistic humor of this series.
Annie Brennan and Horatio J. Bullwinkle carried on an arch-rivalry in the series, trading insults and battling each other through thirty-nine episodes, all of which thereafter crossed the Atlantic for consumption by ITV viewers.
- Minerva Urecal as Annie Brennan
- Walter Sande as Horatio J. Bullwinkle
- Eric Clavering as Shiftless, Annie’s deckhand
- Don Orlando as Pinto, Annie’s cook