Barnacle Bill (1941)

90 or 92 mins | Comedy-drama | 4 July 1941

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writer:

Hugo Butler

Producer:

Milton H. Bren

Cinematographer:

Clyde De Vinna

Editor:

Frank E. Hull

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Lazybones . According to news items in HR , this film was at one time intended as a vehicle for child actress Shirley Temple, who had recently left Twentieth Century-Fox and was put under contract to M-G-M. Temple was replaced by Virginia Weidler and did not make her M-G-M debut until Nov 1941, with the release of Kathleen (see below). A HR news item on 1 Apr 1941 noted that actor Charles Ruggles was to appear in the film if he completed his role in Paramount's The Parson of Panamint on time (see below). Ruggles may have been intended for the role taken over by Donald Meek, "Pop" Cavendish.
       News items also note that portions of the film were shot on location in San Pedro Harbor and Fish Harbor, in Southern California, as well as other, unnamed locations on the "lower California coast." According to a 22 Apr 1941 HR news item, the Luckenbach freighter Stacy Day was used for three days while the crew was shooting in San Pedro Harbor. Wallace Beery and Marjorie Main recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 1 Apr 1946. The program co-starred Beery's daughter Carole Ann in the role of ... More Less

The working title of this film was Lazybones . According to news items in HR , this film was at one time intended as a vehicle for child actress Shirley Temple, who had recently left Twentieth Century-Fox and was put under contract to M-G-M. Temple was replaced by Virginia Weidler and did not make her M-G-M debut until Nov 1941, with the release of Kathleen (see below). A HR news item on 1 Apr 1941 noted that actor Charles Ruggles was to appear in the film if he completed his role in Paramount's The Parson of Panamint on time (see below). Ruggles may have been intended for the role taken over by Donald Meek, "Pop" Cavendish.
       News items also note that portions of the film were shot on location in San Pedro Harbor and Fish Harbor, in Southern California, as well as other, unnamed locations on the "lower California coast." According to a 22 Apr 1941 HR news item, the Luckenbach freighter Stacy Day was used for three days while the crew was shooting in San Pedro Harbor. Wallace Beery and Marjorie Main recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 1 Apr 1946. The program co-starred Beery's daughter Carole Ann in the role of "Virginia." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Jul 1941.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1941.
---
Film Daily
2 Jul 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 41
p. 6, 9
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 41
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Apr 41
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 41
pp. 2-3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Jul 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Jun 41
p. 160.
New York Times
25 Jul 41
p. 12.
Variety
2 Jul 41
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on an orig story by
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Loc mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Bringing in the Sheaves," words by Knowles Shaw, music by George A. Minor
"That's How I Need You," words by Joseph McCarthy and Joe Goodwin, music by Al Piantadosi.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Lazybones
Release Date:
4 July 1941
Production Date:
mid April--29 May 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 July 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10574
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90 or 92
Length(in feet):
8,292
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
7441
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Perpetually broke skipper Bill Johansen docks his small craft in San Pedro, agitating ship's store owner "Pop" Cavendish and his daughter Marge, who is fond of Bill, even though he has owed them money for years. Pop tries to have Bill's boat attached, but cannot because Bill has registered the boat in the name of his daughter Virginia, whom he has not seen since infancy. Meanwhile, refrigerator boat-owner John Kelly intimidates local fishermen into accepting only five cents a pound for tuna. Marge thinks Bill is just the man to fight Kelly, but Bill would rather fish for swordfish with his friend, Pico Rodriguez. On the same day that Bill loses his swordfish money to saloon girl Mamie, twelve-year-old Virginia, whose mother is dead, arrives from Gloucester, Massachusetts with her aunt, Letty Breckenridge. Virginia asks to stay with Bill, even though Letty thinks he is an unfit father. Bill likes Virginia, but doesn't want the responsibility of a child, so he convinces Marge to let her live on shore with her. Virginia and the kindhearted Marge then decide to start to "work" on Bill. On Sunday, Bill goes to church with them, but later shows up drunk for supper. Virginia then talks to Bill and tells him about the death of her maternal grandfather, a well-known Gloucester captain, and Bill decides to get a job. Bill and Pico sail on Joe Petillo's tuna boat, and a month later, Bill happily returns to find that Virginia and Marge have fixed his ramshackle boat. When Bill goes to collect his pay, however, he gets much less than expected and Petillo suspects ... +


Perpetually broke skipper Bill Johansen docks his small craft in San Pedro, agitating ship's store owner "Pop" Cavendish and his daughter Marge, who is fond of Bill, even though he has owed them money for years. Pop tries to have Bill's boat attached, but cannot because Bill has registered the boat in the name of his daughter Virginia, whom he has not seen since infancy. Meanwhile, refrigerator boat-owner John Kelly intimidates local fishermen into accepting only five cents a pound for tuna. Marge thinks Bill is just the man to fight Kelly, but Bill would rather fish for swordfish with his friend, Pico Rodriguez. On the same day that Bill loses his swordfish money to saloon girl Mamie, twelve-year-old Virginia, whose mother is dead, arrives from Gloucester, Massachusetts with her aunt, Letty Breckenridge. Virginia asks to stay with Bill, even though Letty thinks he is an unfit father. Bill likes Virginia, but doesn't want the responsibility of a child, so he convinces Marge to let her live on shore with her. Virginia and the kindhearted Marge then decide to start to "work" on Bill. On Sunday, Bill goes to church with them, but later shows up drunk for supper. Virginia then talks to Bill and tells him about the death of her maternal grandfather, a well-known Gloucester captain, and Bill decides to get a job. Bill and Pico sail on Joe Petillo's tuna boat, and a month later, Bill happily returns to find that Virginia and Marge have fixed his ramshackle boat. When Bill goes to collect his pay, however, he gets much less than expected and Petillo suspects that Kelly has been improperly weighing the catch. Bill then confronts Kelly's man Dixon, who offers Bill $150 to keep his "big mouth" shut. Bill is happy to take the money until Virginia proudly leads the other men to see his confrontation and Bill must refuse the money and fight Dixon to save face. Now a hero, Bill gets drunk in celebration and wakes up just before the sinking of his boat, which secretly had its seacocks opened by Kelly's men. As he and Pico are working to raise the boat, Virginia sees that their "dream" schooner is on the auction block and offers the highest bid at a fraction of the boat's actual worth. Bill uses his fishing money for a deposit and has ten days to pay off the $2,500 balance. Bill, who wants to sail with Pico to the South Seas, sweet-talks Marge into giving him the money by intimating that he might be interested in getting married. Although Bill almost loses the money to Mamie again, Marge jealousy fights her and throws him out of the saloon. The next day, Petillo and other fishermen suggest that they help finance Bill so that he can turn the schooner into a refrigerator boat. Bill pretends to love the idea, but secretly accepts bribe money from Kelly not to compete and has South Seas provisions delivered that night. When Virginia sees what is happening, she is disillusioned and calls Aunt Letty to take her home. When Marge finds out, she tells Bill, and he decides to go through with Petillo's idea. Pop, Pico and stowaway Marge then sail with Bill, who gives Kelly his money back. The voyage goes smoothly until one night, when Kelly and his men sneak aboard and open the seacocks to sink the boat. Bill's "crew" successfully fight Kelly and soon dock in San Pedro after successfully navigating a bad storm. Virginia is happily waiting and Bill and the suddenly bashful Marge marry. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.