Margaret's Museum (1995) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In a town where half the men die down the coalpit, Margaret MacNeil is quite happy being single. Until she meets Neil Currie, a charming and sincere bagpipe-playing, Gaelic-speaking dishwasher. But no matter what you do, you can't avoid the spectre of the pit forever.

  • It's the 1940's. Margaret MacNeil lives in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, which is coal mining country. The coal pits have affected her life as they have most of her neighbors: both her father and older brother died in the pits and her grandfather has a respiratory illness which has rendered him speechless from his years working in the pits. The worst sound for those living in the area is a coal pit's emergency whistle, which means someone has been seriously injured or has died. As such, she refuses to date any miner, preferring to be alone. However, her fifteen year old brother, Jimmy MacNeil, is just coming to the age when all he can think about is girls, one in particular that may be a problem in their class directed society. Jimmy aspires to work in the pits to earn some money for what he sees as his future. Into Margaret's life comes bagpipe playing Scotsman Neil Currie, who used to work in the mines but purposefully got fired since the miner's life was not for him. Against her headstrong mother Catherine MacNeil's wishes, Margaret and Neil get married. Catherine doesn't see how someone like Neil can provide a life for himself, let alone Margaret. Although Neil is able to buy a run-down house that requires major repairs before he and Margaret can live there (meaning that they must live with Catherine in the meantime), he loses his dish-washing job, and against Margaret's wishes, he decides to go back into the pits. Eventually, Margaret, inspired by her life with Neil and in tribute to all the miners, decides to open a unique museum in his and their honor, especially in how the mines have affected her life.

  • Margaret MacNiel, a girl living in a Cape Breton coal mining town, finds her life changing when she meets Neil Currie, a cheerful bagpipe-playing dishwasher. Unfortunately, neither of them are able to escape the industry around them.


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