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100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ealing Gem
'The Maggie' is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. The film has tended to be overshadowed by the likes of 'Whisky Galore', 'The Man in the White Suit', Kind Hearts and Coronets', 'The Ladykillers', and other such films from this studio. It is however a 'gem' in the true sense of the word. The film has everything..Humour, tragedy,anger, pathos, romance.The lot! A...
Published on 6 May 2007 by DoDo Fan

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film....but no sub-titles.
The sort of film much loved by the older generation.....inexplicably there are no sub-titles for the hard of hearing. None of these StudioCanal Ealing films have sub-titles. I just find that lazy on the part of StudioCanal. It's obviously a money making venture for them to release these films and they haven't put the work in to making them as user friendly as they should...
Published 15 months ago by Dr.Crabfingers


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100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ealing Gem, 6 May 2007
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
'The Maggie' is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. The film has tended to be overshadowed by the likes of 'Whisky Galore', 'The Man in the White Suit', Kind Hearts and Coronets', 'The Ladykillers', and other such films from this studio. It is however a 'gem' in the true sense of the word. The film has everything..Humour, tragedy,anger, pathos, romance.The lot! A wily old skipper of a Western Isles 'Puffer' and his motley crew lead all who come into contact with them a fine old time! It leaves one wondering if their way of doing business was not 'de rigeur' for the time! The story is about how Captain Mactaggart,the Skipper of a clyde 'puffer' - small coastal all purpose freighters- who , through an 'admin.' error takes on a cargo for a wealthy American businessman. The story that follows is all about the American chasing the Puffer around the western isles of Scotland trying to get his cargo back.I first saw this film when it came out in the early 1950s and have watched it over the years what by now must be hundreds of times and never fail to spot something new and never cease to enjoy it. The production costs of this basically simple film entertainment would probably not cover the wages of the tea boy working on todays blockbusters. This is a wonderful, warm movie,a real 'comfort film' and if I had to rush and save a single movie from my extensive DVD collection this would be the one! It is certainly my desert island movie ! You'll be hard pressed to find a better 90 minutes worth of entertainment!

Post Script to my review: There is one moment early on in the film where
the 'Maggie' is stuck on the subway in the Clyde. The skipper is standing on the stern, several degrees off the horizontal, and a large crowd is observing his plight from a bridge over the river. A voice calls out 'Are ye hanging on Captain Carlsen? Now this comment will probably be lost on newcomers to this movie but possibly not to those over a certain age. What this comment refers to is an incident in the South West approaches in December 1950 into January 1951 when a cargo ship, the 'Flying Enterprise' foundered. The crew were lifted off the stricken vessel but her Danish skipper, Captain Carlsen,insisted on staying with his ship. He remained with her for some two weeks in perilous conditions but was eventually recovered just before the ship finally sank. At the time the incident was a huge media item. The Captain hung on to his ship. Hence the comment in the movie 'Maggie' which was made not too long afterwards. Like 'Gone with the wind', 'Casablanca' 'Genievieve' et al, you could not have a sequel. Rest assured there will never be a 'Maggie 2' !
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Ealing comedy?, 29 April 2008
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
Until recently I had never heard of The Maggie, and so was not expecting the film to be a match for Passport to Pimlico, The Ladykillers, Whisky Galore and so many others. Now that I have seen it, I am at a loss as to why it is not universally regarded as one of the Ealing all-time greats.

The story concerns a wealthy American, Calvin B Marshall, played by Paul Douglas, who is trying to get his costly furniture and fittings transported from Glasgow to his new holiday home on the remote Western Isle of Kiltarra. Inadvertently, the contract is given to the most devious and dishonest captain in the coastal trade, MacTaggart, master of a barely seaworthy rustbucked of a puffer called the Maggie, which looks as if it will be lucky to make it out of the Clyde. As a result, Mr Marshall spends the rest of the film endeavouring to get his cargo back, in a battle of wills against a crew determined to fulfil the contract or sink in the trying. As Marshall says at one point, "if there's such a thing as a triple bluff, I bet MacTaggart invented it". Needless to say, of course, MacTaggart is way ahead of the game and calmly pulls a quadruple bluff on him!

The acting is quite simply superb. You can feel nothing but sympathy for the cargo's owner, who is an honest, reasonable man - in fact a highly successful businessman, but one who has never faced anything remotely comparable with MacTaggart. And Alex MacKenzie as the captain is simply superb. He barely utters a single honest word from start to finish, but you cannot help sympathizing with him just as much as with Mr Marshall. There is a brief moment when Marshall corners the crew in a pub, and the expression on the captain's face is simply priceless. And for those who think that child actors are nothing short of a disaster should look out for Tommy Kearins as the puffer's "wee boy", Dougie. He gives an outstanding performance.

I think I have seen most of the Ealing comedies, and have loved almost every one of them, but for me this one beats them all.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sound bottom, 12 Aug. 2011
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WSH (NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
Unlike the eponymous "puffer", the "Maggie", this Ealing gem has a perfectly sound bottom. Something like a cross between Local Hero and The African Queen, it is better than both, for my money. The humour is delicious, but never overdone, the cast of skipper and crew just terrific, especially MacTaggart and the Wee Boy. Paul Douglas does the American tycoon just right -- not the send-up that these roles often are in such "clash of cultures" films, then and now. The locations are great to see and the local colour never looked more sparkling in black and white. A genuine sleeper.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the maggie, 9 July 2009
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James Mcnair - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
a forgotten classic . like all ealing films good family movies with old fashioned morals and values
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, for times past ..., 15 Oct. 2010
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Mrs. Rp Meinke "Rachel" (Guernsey, Channel Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
Such delight, this story of a little Scottish Coaster chugging on its way. I first saw this years ago as a very young person and yearned for it for ages.
What a different era! But the story is timeless, even if times have got noisier and more nerve-wracking.
It is beautiful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars vintage film, 21 Aug. 2013
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Julie Roberts "julie roberts" (cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this DVD as a present for my steps as , he kept telling me how he had watched years ago and how he would like to see it again, when I took the film round to him, he was thrilled and has watched it several times, one very happy old man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming, Poignant, Hilarious – Typical Ealing, 26 Jan. 2015
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Keith M - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
I would have to concur with IMDB’s assessment of writer-director Alexander Mackendrick as being one of the most distinguished (and overlooked) film-makers to emerge from the British film industry (Mackendrick being, of course, American by birth). I did wonder whether anyone (in fact) could match Mackendrick’s initial run of directing credits – the first six films he made including the outstanding Sweet Smell Of Success and four great Ealing comedies, Whisky Galore!, The Man In The White Suit, The Ladykillers and this 1954 film, in which Alex Mackenzie’s ‘degenerate’, apologist, ‘puffer’ skipper, Captain Peter MacTaggart, tries to outwit Paul Douglas’ officious American businessman, Calvin B Marshall, into carrying a valuable industrial cargo down the West coast of Scotland in order to raise funds in order to repair his condemned craft, the 'Maggie’.

The Maggie’s themes are not particularly original – essentially, the (supposed) underdog struggling to overcome the 'powers that be’, coupled with the battle of traditional values against modernity – but Mackendrick (and screenwriter William Rose) here get the balance just right, between conniving duplicity, parody of the powerful, elements of farce and (latterly) moments of poignant self-reflection, delivering 90 minutes of highly engaging (and increasingly ‘serious’) entertainment. Mackendrick’s cast is uniformly impressive - Mackenzie as the 'innocent’ schemer, ‘leading’ a ramshackle, argumentative crew of three, among whom Tommy Kearins’ quick-witted, feisty 'wee boy’, Dougie, plays a pivotal role on key plot points. Douglas is also impressive as the increasingly agitated (and reflective) businessman (and hen-pecked husband), whilst Hubert Gregg is superb as the bowler hat-wearing, umbrella-brandishing Pusey, whose supercilious gullibility is exploited to hilarious effect. The film is full of great comedy snippets and a favourite of mine is the sequence where MacTaggart and Marshall try to second- (and even third-) guess each other’s intentions as the latter tries to catch up with former to recover his cargo.

Of course, for those with an interest in such matters, the film is also notable for its location shooting (courtesy of cinematographer Gordon Dines) – I thought that looked rather like Bowmore ‘high street’ (on Islay) and was pleased to find I was right. The Maggie comes highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Maggie, 27 July 2013
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
The guile and craftiness of the Maggie's crew were too much for an American tycoon A memorable Ealing classic which has not faded with time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puffers and film-making!, 21 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
This film is pure nostalgia of a different age of Puffers and film-making. Having spent many holidays in the Scottish holidays and learning about the work of puffers carrying building materials to remote loch-side sites, carrying anything at all to the Hebridean islands and home again, I found this comedy amusing and informative. Loved it, though hope that not all Puffer skippers were as devious as this one....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENTAL / OUTSTANDING / QUAINT / COMEDY/, 13 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The Maggie [DVD] (DVD)
This Eling comedy is the best not only that i would place it in the best 100 - films of alltime . Watch out for the scene were Mr marshall is invited in to old MCdougall's 100 birday party / it's a battle of wit's btween MCtaggart and Mr marshall and wee Dougie (GOOD LUCK) .
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The Maggie [DVD]
The Maggie [DVD] by Alexander MacKendrick (DVD - 2006)
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