Tugboat Annie is a 1933 American Pre-Code film 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 the bittersweet Min and Bill (1930) together, for which Dressler won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
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. 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.
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 tugboat used for the film is called the Arthur Foss. It is being preserved and restored in South Lake Union in Seattle next to the Museum of History and Industry. It is the oldest tugboat in the U.S.