in about 100 words or less
US 58m, B&W
Director: Francis Martin; Cast: W.C. Fields, Alison Skipworth, Baby LeRoy, Julie Bishop, Phillip Trent, Clarence Wilson
As travelling “missionaries” Tillie and Gus Winterbottom are husband and wife with a mutual love for gambling, though not so much for one another. When news of the death of Tillie’s brother reaches them, they travel home looking for their share of an inheritance, only to find that all that remains is a decrepit boat. Barely a feature-length movie, the simple plot turns into an unlikely paddle boat race for the rights to a valuable ferry franchise. A lighthearted comedy, Tillie and Gus is one of Fields’ early sound productions in which he wryly responds to the question whether or not he likes children: “I do if they’re properly cooked” (Klaus Ming February 2015).