High and Dry

1954

Action / Comedy

20
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68%
IMDb Rating 7 10 990

Synopsis


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August 27, 2015 at 01:40 PM

Cast

1080p.BLU
1.43 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
24.000 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 3 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by edwagreen 2 / 10

*

Perhaps, one grade level above awful is this 1954 film where Paul Douglas is fooled when he ships cargo on an old freight with quite a motley crew on board.

First problem is that it was practically impossible to understand those Scottish brogues. The men spoke as if they had hot potatoes in their mouths. Ditto for the young lad whose Scottish accent was made even worse by his being rather nasal.

Douglas was not allowed in this part to show how irate he could usually become in motion pictures. We never get the opportunity to see his wife as we only see him on the telephone with her. Evidently, theirs is a troubled marriage, just like the entire film.

Douglas shows some compassion by film's end by the actions he takes to save this broken down ship.

Reviewed by Jakester 8 / 10

Charming and Low-Key Comedy

I'm guessing a fair number of people are coming to IMDb today to read about this film in the wake of its showing last night on TMC (Nov. 30, 2017).

I was charmed by the picture. It's a sweet comedy with a nice story arc. I can't say I actually laughed out loud at the low-key humor but I certainly smiled throughout. The movie has a stick-to-the-ribs quality, like a serving of haggis and a dram.

The main character, the Maggie, is a "puffer" - a type of coastal tramp steamer beloved in Scotland in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, and really, to the present day. The Maggie is a bedraggled little vessel with a loyal crew, including a skipper (played by Alex Mackenzie) who was born on board it, and a boy of about 12 (Tommy Kearins) who has major nautical chops. This laddie is one of the great 12- to 14-year-old boys in fiction. (See also Huckleberry Finn, Harry Potter, Jody Baxter ["The Yearling"], Wart ["The Once and Future King"], Johnny Tremaine, Hugo Cabret, etc. - all of them open to experience, entranced by the glory of the world, discovering their power.)

Paul Douglas is a high-powered American business executive named Marshall who needs a modest cargo moved along the Scottish coast. He's Mr. Rush-Rush-Rush. The skipper of the Maggie is Mr. Let's Have a Drink and Ponder the Mysteries of Life and the Sea. Conflict ensues, needless to say. Douglas is hardly the world's most subtle actor but he gets the job done here. Alex Mackenzie is very good as the skipper.

The film's settings are splendid - we are immersed in Scottish coastal life and get a deep feeling for the importance of the sea to this great people. The glimpses of small-town life are beautiful, including a multi-generational party where, by looking into the stunning eyes of a young lady who wants to dance, we learn something true about life, love, and the boldness of young women.

One of the strengths of "The Maggie" is how it gently reminds us of the value of slowing down. The film anticipates by half a century the "Slow Movement" afoot in the world today, chronicled in such books as "In Praise of Slowness" by Carl Honore. (That said, the film has a nice crisp pace, it never lags.)

By the way, puffers are still around, thanks to preservation efforts by Scottish lovers of nautical history. (See the entry "Clyde puffer" at Wikipedia. Also see "Puffer Steamboat Holidays" at Facebook.) Puffers will live forever thanks to this movie and the writing of Neil Munro, whose collected stories I am ordering immediately.

"The Maggie" seems to be a first cousin to "Local Hero" (1983) starring Peter Rieger and Burt Lancaster, which also has an American business executive rubbing up against Scotland.

Reviewed by Aglaope 9 / 10

Different Pace of Life

Despite its age this was an excellent old film. It can't fail to entertain virtually everyone.

It's about a dying way of life, with different pace and priorities, but a life they love. This old way of life clashes with a newer way of life with a different pace and priorities.

The often drunken and flawed captain and crew drift through life enjoying themselves, but usually on the wrong side of the law. Ironically often looked after by the youngest member of the crew; the wee boy.

As a result of desperation and deviousness they pick up a cargo from an American tycoon, which they hope will save their little ship for another day. The story centres around trying to deliver the cargo and their battles and clashes with the American.

As well as being an excellent film, the social history is excellent also.

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