British Comedy Guide

The Maggie. Image shows from L to R: The Skipper (Captain Peter MacTaggart) (Alex Mackenzie), The Engineman (McGregor) (Abe Barker), The Mate (Hamish) (James Copeland). Copyright: Studio Canal / Ealing Studios.

The Maggie

1954 British comedy film about a cargo boat. Stars Paul Douglas, Alex Mackenzie, James Copeland, Abe Barker, Tommy Kearins and others.

The Maggie. Image shows from L to R: Pusey (Hubert Gregg), The Skipper (Captain Peter MacTaggart) (Alex Mackenzie), The Wee Boy (Dougie) (Tommy Kearins), The Engineman (McGregor) (Abe Barker), The Mate (Hamish) (James Copeland). Copyright: Studio Canal / Ealing Studios.

The Maggie

Ealing comedy depicting a clash of cultures between a hard-nosed American businessman and a crafty Scottish sea captain

Genre
Film
Released
1954
Starring
Paul Douglas, Alex Mackenzie, James Copeland, Abe Barker, Tommy Kearins, Hubert Gregg, Geoffrey Keen, Dorothy Alison and others
Writer
William Rose
Director
Alexander Mackendrick
Producers
Michael Truman and Michael Balcon

The crew of an ageing Glasgow-based puffer named Maggie are equally bemused and delighted when an overworked shipping clerk agrees to contract them to deliver a valuable cargo between the city and the remote port of Kiltarra, apparently mistaking another, grander, newer vessel for their own modest but beloved boat.

The Maggie - normally a transporter of coal - dutifully loads up and sets sail, but runs aground whilst still in Glasgow, on the shallow-sunk top of a subway tunnel, before eventually making headway at the next high tide. When his clerk's oversight is realised by the owner of the shipment, American airline owner Mr Marshall, he resolves that he will retrieve his goods and have them transported by the calibre of vessel originally envisaged - but the crew of SS Maggie are faithfully devoted to their old puffer and her abilities, and resolute in not wanting to lose the contract!

Marshall personally soon begins to give chase, by car, boat, taxi, and plane, but as the Maggie makes steady progress on the route they were originally contracted to go, it looks increasingly like the small puffer will have its day over the moneyed American.

Production data

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