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High and Dry (1954)
"The 'Maggie'" (original title)

Passed  -  Comedy  -  February 1954 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 526 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 critic

An American businessman in Scotland is conned into shipping a valuable load of cargo to a Scottish island via a coal powered boat.


(screenplay), (original story)
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Title: High and Dry (1954)

High and Dry (1954) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
the American / Marshall
Alex Mackenzie ...
The Skipper
James Copeland ...
The Mate
Abe Barker ...
The Engineer
Tommy Kearins ...
The Wee Boy
Hubert Gregg ...
Geoffrey Keen ...
Dorothy Alison ...
Miss Peters
Andrew Keir ...
The Reporter
Meg Buchanan ...
Mark Dignam ...
The Laird
Jameson Clark ...
Dirty Dan
Moultrie Kelsall ...
C.S.S. Skipper
Fiona Clyne ...
Sheila Shand Gibbs ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cargo | boat | vessel | scotland | ship | See more »


It's a New High in Hilarity...When a Scotch Typhoon Meets a Yankee Tycoon and Leaves Him HIGH AND DRY See more »




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

February 1954 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

High and Dry  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as R.C.A. Sound System)| (G.B.-Kalee Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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!
See more »


Featured in Best of British: Ealing Comedies (1993) See more »


Wife She Brewed It
Arranged by Dock Mathieson
See more »

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User Reviews

I felt strangely indifferent about this film...
18 November 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

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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