Top 10 tugboats in movies?

I came across a nice thread on the Wooden Boat magazine forum about the top 10 sailboats in movies and it got me thinking – what are the top ten tugboats in movies? Here are a few that would definitely be on my list:

Funny Girl – Barbra Streisand hops on a waiting New York Central No. 24 to catch her love departing on a cruise liner that has left the dock in the big finale:

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This was shot by Nelson Tyler and is considered one of the greatest helicopter shots of all time.

Billy Bathgate – This movie starring Bruce Willis, Nicole Kidman and Dustin Hoffman was filmed on New York Central No. 13 !! The first fifteen minutes of the movie is filmed onboard and again a bit at the end. Doing a Google image search for stills from the movie, I see that Nicole Kidman appeared naked in this movie, so its hard to find any shots other than of her. Did I just think that – “Too many tits – not enough boat shots”. What a dork. Lol! Maybe if she was naked on the boat then all my wishes would be fulfilled!

I did find a lone picture of Bruce Willis getting fitted with cement shoes in the galley of NYC No. 13.


I happened to catch a bit of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on a recent flight. It has a fictional tugboat named Chelsea in the film that has on the stack “MBT”. I guess that might be Moran Brother Towing, but the boat is yellow and not red as Moran tugs are usually painted.


Anyone have any movies to add to the list?

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  1. Posted January 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
    • Posted January 7, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Hi Kellie – I wasn’t aware of that film, but it looks like a good one. I read your post on it – glad to see I will be able to find it.

  2. Dave Boone
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    The movie “25th Hour” with Edward Norton has a scene on the East River where a Koznac tug passes close to the seawall as Norton thinks how cool it would have been to work on a tug.

  3. dustin
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    The boat in “The curious case of Benjamin Button” is not a Moran boat. It is the “Captain Albert” owned by EN Bisso based out of port of new Orleans. I am currently employed by said company the boat was built in 1931 and was altered only slightly by CGI for the movie. Pictures can be found at

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