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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
Ginger Coffey (Robert Shaw) moves with his wife, Vera (Mary Ure, Shaw's real-life wife) from Dublin to Montreal, to make a new life for them and their daughter, Paulie (Libby McClintock). This film chronicles their struggle to gain acceptance, in a New World which doesn't immediately recognise Ginger's potential and leaves him to work at menial jobs to support his family.
Mary Ure made very few films during her short life, mainly working in the theatre, but here she is excellent as the worried wife who wants only the best for her family. As Ginger, Robert Shaw is excellent and fairly restrained when you compare this film with his later work which became something of self-parody. Montreal is also represented in an honest way within this film - it is a New World which has hope and opportunity, even as its immigrant population face their own problems and overcome them.
Little-seen these days, this black and white sixties gem is underrated and deserves wider exposure.
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