Tugboat Annie

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For the 1957 syndicated television series, see The Adventures of Tugboat Annie.
Tugboat Annie
Poster - Tugboat Annie 01.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Produced by Irving Thalberg (uncredited)
Written by Norman Reilly Raine
Zelda Sears
Eve Greene
Starring Marie Dressler
Wallace Beery
Robert Young
Maureen O'Sullivan
Music by Paul Marquardt (uncredited)
Cinematography Gregg Toland
Edited by Blanche Sewell
Distributed by MGM
Release dates
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Tugboat Annie is a 1933 movie starring Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery as a comically quarrelsome middle-aged couple who operate a tugboat. Dressler and Beery were MGM's most popular screen team at that time, having recently made Min and Bill (1930) together, for which Dressler had won an Oscar.

The boisterous Tugboat Annie character first appeared in a series of stories in the Saturday Evening Post written by the author Norman Reilly Raine which were based on the life of Thea Foss of Tacoma, Washington.[1] There is also a theory that her character is loosely based on Kate A. Sutton, secretary and dispatcher for the Providence Steamboat Company during the 1920s.[2]

Tugboat Annie also features Robert Young and Maureen O'Sullivan as the requisite pair of young lovers. The movie was written by Norman Reilly Raine and Zelda Sears, and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Capt. Clarance Howden piloted the boat which was owned by Foss Tug And Barge of Tacoma. His son Richard Howden is seen rolling rope during the credits.



The film made a profit of $1.1 million.[3]


A sequel called Tugboat Annie Sails Again was released in 1940 starring Marjorie Rambeau, Alan Hale, Jane Wyman, and Ronald Reagan, and another called Captain Tugboat Annie in 1945 starring Jane Darwell and Edgar Kennedy.

A Canadian-filmed television series appeared in 1957, The Adventures of Tugboat Annie, starring Minerva Urecal.

References in other media[edit]

In The Railway Series book, The Twin Engines, Gordon the Big Engine references Tugboat Annie when he teases Donald and Douglas about their deep-tone whistles.

Mentioned in the AA “Big Book” in the personal story of Dr.Bob, one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.

1990s indie rock band Tugboat Annie was named for the character.


  1. ^ Tugboat Annie
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 191

External links[edit]