Tillie's Tomato Surprise (1915)

Genres - Comedy  |   Countries - USA  |  
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On the strength of her success in the pioneering feature-length comedy Tillie's Punctured Romance, Broadway star Marie Dressler was rushed into a brace of in-name-only sequels, the first of which was Lubin's Tillie's Tomato Surprise. Written by Acton Davies, drama critic for the New York Sun, the film was a hodgepodge of unrelated slapstick sequences. For what it's worth, the plot concerns Tillie's efforts to collect a million-dollar inheritance, said efforts continually sabotaged by her duplicitous cousin Percy (Tom McNaughton). The titular tomato is actually a tomato-shaped pincushion, which figures prominently in the final scenes, wherein Tillie is falsely accused of her wealthy aunt's murder. With Marie Dressler in the cast, it is astounding that the producers felt the need to resort to a trained monkey for additional laughs. It can be said without fear of contradiction that the second follow-up to Tillie's Punctured Romance, 1917's Tillie Wakes Up, was infinitely funnier than Tillie's Tomato Surprise.