peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 04 23 TheMaggie

The 'Maggie' (or High and Dry) (1954)

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Another idle bit of Ealing-comedy completism. Basically materialistic American businessman Paul Douglas is trying to furnish a surprise love nest for his wife and needs to move a pile of expensive stuff up the coast from Glasgow. No ships are available so his inept English agent Hubert Gregg ends up hiring a coal-carting "puffer" that only usually plies the calmer waters. The wily old captain Alex Mackenzie knows his trade very well and stuffs the job up completely. It takes a young lady at a 100th birthday celebration and "the wee boy" Tommy Kearins to wise the American up to the merits of unaspirationalism.

There are a very few funny bits but they aren't that funny. Engineer Abe Barker has some fun sticking it to the captain. Early on much is made about the captain's sister owning the boat, and that the law is out for him, but these are underused and left unresolved.

Bosley Crowther dug it from across the Atlantic.