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The Maggie

Some of the forum members and myself had an interesting discussion about video material of Islay's distilleries and the film The Maggie was mentioned as well. The Maggie is a film from 1954 and tells the story of a tugboat skipper who tricks a wealthy American into entrusting him to ship valuable cargo. Once he realises what has happened the crew of The Maggie must outwit the American in order to keep the contract. Several scenes were filmed on Islay, one of them at Bowmore Harbour where the Imperial Hotel in the film is now the Harbour Inn. Other scenes are filmed at Loch Gruinart, Port Charlotte and the final scenes were filmed in Port Askaig. Interesting detail: The bar scenes were filmed in the building which is now the gallery of Islay Studios in Bruichladdich. They walk out of the bar (the gallery) and up from the shore which was filmed at Port Charlotte and then the two takes were cut together merging Bruichladdich with Port Charlotte. The film can still be bought at amazon and other stores as a single DVD or in a DVD boxset containing Champagne Charlie, The Maggie, It Always Rains On Sunday and Whisky Galore. Below two reviews from Amazon:

This gentle comedy is filmed around the Crinan canal on Scotland's West coast, Glasgow and on the island of Islay, centred around the crew of a little Clyde puffer called "The Maggie". A real "must" for anyone who wants to see a snip of 1950's Scotland. MacTaggart (the puffer's skipper is a Parahandy figure... and there's the clue... if you recognise the name "Parahandy" from Neil Munro's books (and the later TV series) then you NEED to buy this film. Funny, heartwarming with a real sense of a Scotland which has, sadly, been all but lost. It's not all tartan and shortbread either, Glasgow is shown as she was: a dirty but thriving port, full of life and larger-than-life characters. Island life is also shown for what it was: hard, often lonely, with few luxuries but a strong sense of community.

A simple tale of the seemingly bumbling, laid back life of the captain and crew of the Maggie, an old steam puffer working the West Coast of Scotand, coming up against the modern world and progress, as personified by Calvin B Marshall, an American in a hurry. If "The Maggie" is the parent, then many years later "Local Hero" is the child. Beautifully photographed on location in Western Scotland. If you enjoyed Local Hero, Whisky Galore, Waking Ned and Full Monty, then you'll like this.

Tag: video history

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