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Tillie and Gus is a 1933 Americanmarker comedy film directed by Francis Martin. The screenplay by Walter DeLeon is based on a short story by Rupert Hughes entitled Don't Call Me Madame.

Tillie has just lost her waterfront saloon in Shanghai, China in a dice game, and her ex-husband Gus is on trial for murder in Lone Gulch, Alaskamarker, when they each receive word that Tillie's brother has died. Gus escapes and the two reunite in Seattlemarker, then head for Danville to find out about his estate. Local attorney Phineas Pratt claims the man died in debt, but he actually has swindled his daughter Mary Sheridan out of her rightful inheritance, including the family home, forcing her to move with her husband Tom and infant son known as The King to a dilapidated ferry called the Fairy Queen, supposedly all that is left of the estate. Tillie and King, mistaken for missionaries newly returned from Africa by their relatives, plan to sell the boat and split the profits, but they become suspicious when Pratt expresses an inordinate interest in acquiring the seemingly unseaworthy boat, and they decide to help Mary and Tom refurbish it. Pratt, who has just purchased his own boat, the Keystone, tries to eliminate the competition by convincing the state inspection board to deny the Sheridans a ferry franchise. It is decided that the outcome of a Fourth of July boat race will determine who is awarded the franchise. Comic mayhem ensues when Gus does everything in his power to sabotage their rival.

The climactic ferry race in the Paramount Pictures release was filmed on Malibu Lake.

Principal cast



Principal production credits



Critical reception

In his review in the New York Times, Mordaunt Hall described the film as "a cheery absurdity" and added, "Insane as are the doings in this concoction, they succeed in being really funny. It is the sort of thing admirably suited to Mr. Field's peculiar genius."

Time observed, "Part parody of Tugboat Annie, part pure farce, Tillie and Gus is one of the pleasanter chapters in the long and happy career of W. C. Fields's famed unlighted cigar."

Quote

Tom: "That ferryboat race was the world's biggest gamble."
Gus: "Well, don't forget, Lady Godiva put everything she had on a horse!"


References

  1. New York Times review
  2. Time review


External links




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