James Francis "Ginger" Coffey has no luck finding a job in his native Ireland and him being a dreamer, he decides the place to find a job is Canada. He moves his wife, Vera, and 14-year old daughter, Paulie, to Montreal in hopes of a better life. After six months nothing has changed and his family despise their new surroundings. The Coffey's do have one thing in their favor: a rich friend named Tom who lands Ginger a job at a Newspaper. It's a dream come true for Ginger who always fancied himself a journalist and he waltzes in expecting a reporting gig and a by-line on his first day. The blow to his pride is almost too much for him when he discovers the job is as a proofreader but he accepts it begrudgingly. The job does not pay enough and Ginger is forced to take a second job as a delivery man for a diaper-laundering service. Just when things are going well, Ginger's pigheadedness and unfounded self-importance cause him to make poor choices and his life begins to spiral downward ... Written by
As the title character, Robert Shaw delivers one of the most affecting performances in his accomplished career. Best known for his scene-stealing in Jaws, ("So, eleven hundred men went into the water. Three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the twenty-ninth, nineteen-forty five...), Shaw gives his heart and soul as Ginger Coffey, a Irish immigrant who comes Montreal in search of his pot of gold. Easily the best depiction of the cold winter streets of urban Canada, the pie-eyed idealism of Coffey both infuriates the audience and endears the character to them. A rare find, if you get the chance to see this gem, don't let it pass you by. This film makes us dream about an albeit mythical time where "...all men had reached the top of the hill; there were no dull jobs, no humiliating interviews, no turndowns; no man was saddled with ungrateful daughters, there were unlimited funds to spend..you were free."
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