One wonders if William Wyler ever gave Her First Mate a second thought when he was busy directing such subsequent films as The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver,The Best Years of Our Lives and Ben-Hur. This early Wyler efforts stars Slim Summerville and ZaSu Pitts as John and Mary Horner; he's a peanut vendor on the Albany night boat, while she's trying to scrimp together enough money to buy John his own ferryboat. Along the way, the Horners get mixed up with comic bootlegger Socrates (Henry Armetta) and a pair of doltish lovebirds named Hattie (Una Merkel) and Percy (Warren Hymer). The story comes to a climax with a slapstick ferry wreck, easily the best scene in the picture. Her First Mate was based on Salt Water, a play by Dan Jarrett, Frank Craven and John Golden; among the screenwriters was H. M. "Beanie" Walker, an alumnus of the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang two-reelers.
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