The skipper of a tatty coastal 'puffer' boat cons an American into letting "The Maggie" carry a cargo to a Scottish island. The American soon realises he's been conned but can he stop them ? Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
Tommy Kearins, who plays Dougie, was selected for the role after being spotted in a Scouts "Gang Show", working backstage. After being interviewed by Ealing, he spent 3 months filming on Islay. He was paid 3 times what his father made in the Clyde shipyards. See more »
Mactaggart, the skipper:
[to prosperous merchantmen in a pub]
You're very smug with your gold braid and your conventions and your five days a week, but you're no better than hirelings standing like wee bairns in front of Mr. Campbell's big Tess down yonder. You havwn't the freedom of operations that I have. You haven't the dignity of your own command. Less than my boat, there's not a finer vessel in the coastal trade! There's not a finer vessel anywhere!
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I have loved the Ealing Studios comedies for years. They have been clever and charming without exception until I saw "The Maggie"--and, oddly, I felt amazingly indifferent about this film. While well acted and occasionally interesting, it sure felt like one of their lesser films.
The Maggie is a tiny old boat that is nearly ready for the scrap heap. Yet, inexplicably, the owner and his crew are amazingly attached to this craft and are scrambling to find a way to keep their failing business afloat (as well as the boat). In a last-ditch effort to come up with funds, they agree to transport some items for an American industrialist (Paul Douglas)--even though they are woefully equipped to do this. The boat is too small, too slow and 100% wrong for the job. Once Douglas realizes he's been had, the Maggie's crew absconds with his cargo--making the run anyway. Douglas is infuriated and spends much of the film looking for these men to get his goods back and send the items on a REAL ship. When he does find the Maggie, it's too late to arrange for another ship, so he joins the crew--all the while mad that he's stuck on a slug-like craft that has long outlasted her usefulness.
While this plot is reasonably diverting, what happens towards the end of the film makes zero sense--NONE whatsoever. In fact, it comes so far out of left field that it made me mad about seeing the film. The end, simply put, was overly sentimental and formulaic--something I never expected from Ealing. This 'happily ever after' ending is something more like you might find in Hollywood--but even then, the ending seemed very, very strained.
I see a lot of people reviewing the film liked it. I assume they could accept the way this film ended...I just know I couldn't.
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