Tillie the Toiler (1927 film)

Last updated

Tillie the Toiler
Tillie the Toiler lobby card.jpg
Lobby card
Directed by Hobart Henley
Written by A. P. Younger (screenplay)
Ralph Spence (intertitles)
Story by Agnes Christine Johnston
Edward T. Lowe Jr.
Based on Tillie the Toiler
by Russ Westover
Produced by Marion Davies
Cosmopolitan Productions
StarringMarion Davies
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Edited byDaniel J. Gray
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • May 21, 1927 (1927-05-21)
Running time
7 reels
CountryUnited States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
Budget$505,000 [1]

Tillie the Toiler is a 1927 American silent film comedy produced by Cosmopolitan Productions and released through Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios. It is based on Russ Westover's popular comic strip Tillie the Toiler . The film was directed by Hobart Henley and stars Marion Davies. [2] [3]


Another adaptation of the same title was released in 1941.


Marion Davies, Gertrude Short and Matt Moore in Tillie the Toiler Tillie, the Toiler (SAYRE 14152).jpg
Marion Davies, Gertrude Short and Matt Moore in Tillie the Toiler


In her 24th film, Marion Davies starred as the scatterbrained Tillie Jones, which was based on the famous comic strip. Davies donned a black wig for the part and remembered that she worked on this film while she was also working on The Red Mill. She recalled that for six weeks, she had to sleep on a couch in her bungalow. This was another hit film for Davies. Lucille Ball always claimed she had a bit part as an extra in this film, but was only 16 years old and was still on the East Coast while Tillie the Toiler was shot in Hollywood. Ball always claimed Davies as one of her role models. [4]

Survival Status

The only known print exists at the Eastman House Museum in Rochester, New York.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marion Davies</span> American actress (1897–1961)

Marion Davies was an American actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. Educated in a religious convent, Davies fled the school to pursue a career as a chorus girl. As a teenager, she appeared in several Broadway musicals and one film, Runaway Romany (1917). She soon became a featured performer in the Ziegfeld Follies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matt Moore (actor)</span> American actor

Matt Moore was an Irish-born American actor and director. He appeared in at least 221 motion pictures from 1912 to 1958.

<i>Beverly of Graustark</i> 1926 film by Sidney Franklin

Beverly of Graustark is a 1926 American silent romantic comedy film directed by Sidney Franklin and starring Marion Davies, Antonio Moreno, and Creighton Hale. The film's screenplay was written by Agnes Christine Johnston based on the novel by George Barr McCutcheon, and set in the fictional land of Graustark. The film features a final sequence in Technicolor. It was the first film by Sidney Franklin for MGM.

<i>Show People</i> 1928 film by King Vidor

Show People is a 1928 American silent comedy film directed by King Vidor. The film was a starring vehicle for actress Marion Davies and actor William Haines and included notable cameo appearances by many of the film personalities of the day, including stars Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and John Gilbert, and writer Elinor Glyn. Vidor also appears in a cameo as himself, as does Davies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arthur Hoyt</span> American actor (1874–1953)

Arthur Hoyt was an American film character actor who appeared in more than 275 films in his 34-year film career, about a third of them silent films.

Robert Dana Gustafson was an American cartoonist whose work includes eight years on Tillie the Toiler and a 27-year run on the Beetle Bailey comic books.

<i>Going Hollywood</i> 1933 film

Going Hollywood is a 1933 American pre-Code musical film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Marion Davies and Bing Crosby. It was written by Donald Ogden Stewart and based on a story by Frances Marion. Going Hollywood was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on December 22, 1933.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ann Pennington (actress)</span> American actress, dancer, and singer (1893–1971)

Anna Pennington was an American actress, dancer, and singer who starred on Broadway in the 1910s and 1920s, notably in the Ziegfeld Follies and George White's Scandals.

<i>Tillie the Toiler</i> Comic strip by Russ Westover (1921–1959)

Tillie the Toiler is a newspaper comic strip created by cartoonist Russ Westover who initially worked on his concept of a flapper character in a strip he titled Rose of the Office. With a title change, it sold to King Features Syndicate which carried the strip from January 3, 1921, to March 15, 1959.

<i>Pretty Ladies</i> 1925 film

Pretty Ladies is a 1925 American silent comedy drama film starring ZaSu Pitts and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film is a fictional recreation of the famed Ziegfeld Follies. Directed by Monta Bell, the film was written by Alice D. G. Miller and featured intertitles by Joseph Farnham. Pretty Ladies originally featured musical color sequences, some in two-color Technicolor. However, the color sequences are now considered lost.

<i>The Red Mill</i> (film) 1927 film

The Red Mill is a 1927 American silent comedy film directed by Roscoe Arbuckle that starred Marion Davies and was produced by King Vidor. Although Arbuckle was acquitted in the third trial for the death of Virginia Rappe, he could not obtain work in Hollywood under his own name, so he adopted the pseudonym William Goodrich for directing the comedy shorts he made under his contract with Educational Film Exchanges.

<i>Hearts Divided</i> 1936 film by Frank Borzage

Hearts Divided is a 1936 American musical film about the real-life marriage between American Elizabeth 'Betsy' Patterson and Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon. It stars Marion Davies and Dick Powell as the couple. The film was a remake of the 1928 silent film Glorious Betsy, which was in turn based on the play Glorious Betsy by Rida Johnson Young. In real life, they were married in Baltimore, before sailing for Europe. Napoleon annulled the marriage, in spite of the existence of a child, and forced Jerome to marry the Princess Catharina, making him king of Westphalia. “Luckily, Hollywood treats the lovers Betsy and Jerome with a little more compassion. The couple is even granted a second chance at happiness by Claude Rains' Napoleon.”

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary Forbes</span> British-American actress (1883–1974)

Mary Forbes was a British-American film actress, based in the United States in her latter years, where she died. She appeared in more than 130 films between 1919 and 1958. Forbes was born in Hornsey, England.

<i>The Restless Sex</i> 1920 film by Robert Zigler Leonard

The Restless Sex is a 1920 American silent drama film starring Marion Davies, and Ralph Kellard. It was directed by Leon D'Usseau and Robert Z. Leonard and written by Frances Marion. The film is based upon the 1918 novel of the same name by Robert W. Chambers and was distributed by Paramount Pictures under the Famous Players–Lasky Corporation name.

Russell Channing Westover was a cartoonist best known for his long-run comic strip Tillie the Toiler.

<i>Zander the Great</i> 1925 film

Zander the Great is a 1925 American silent comedy drama film directed by George W. Hill, in his first directing role for MGM. The film stars Marion Davies. The screenplay by Frances Marion is based upon the Edward Salisbury Field 1923 play of the same name.

<i>The Fair Co-Ed</i> 1927 film by Sam Wood

The Fair Co-Ed, also known as The Varsity Girl, is a 1927 American silent film comedy starring Marion Davies and released through MGM. The film was produced by William Randolph Hearst, through Cosmopolitan Productions and directed by Sam Wood.

<i>Mr. Jones at the Ball</i> 1908 film

Mr. Jones at the Ball is a 1908 American silent short comedy film directed by D. W. Griffith.

<i>Tillie the Toiler</i> (1941 film) 1941 US film directed by Sidney Salkow

Tillie the Toiler is a 1941 American comedy film directed by Sidney Salkow and starring Kay Harris, William Tracy, and George Watts. The screenplay was written by Karen DeWolf and Francis Martin, from DeWolf's story, which in turn was based on the comic strip of the same name by Russ Westover. It was the second film based on the comic strip, and the first sound picture, the other being the 1927 silent film also titled Tillie the Toiler.

Tillie the Toiler is a newspaper comic strip created by cartoonist Russ Westover.


  1. Slide, Anthony. Silent Topics: Essays on Undocumented Areas of Silent Film. Scarecrow Press. p. 26
  2. AFI Catalog of Feature Films: Tillie the Toiler
  3. Progressive Silent Film List: Tillie the Toiler at silentera.com
  4. Lorusso, Edward (2017) The Silent Films of Marion Davies, CreateSpace, pp. 131-132.