100 minutes – Drama
Release date: November 12, 1964
Canadian distributor: Crawley Films
Based on the novel by Brian Moore, who also wrote the screenplay, the story is about one James Francis “Ginger” Coffey (Robert Shaw). Ginger is a more than a bit of a dreamer. Delusional would be more accurate. Unable to make a go of it in Ireland he has moved himself his wife, Vera (Mary Ure) and his daughter, Paulie (Libby McClintock) to Canada, specifically to Montréal. Having failed at everything he has tried he remains convinced that he will finally succeed far from home. But his bad luck, or total lack of it, remains and Vera and Paulie begin to lose faith in him. They want to return to Ireland and Vera begins to hide money to buy tickets home. But Ginger takes the money and blows it. When confronted he assures Vera they don’t need to save because any minute now his ship will roll in. Things look up when Ginger lands a job as a proofreader with a newspaper, but Vera and Paulie leave him when his salary doesn’t cover the basics of life. Ginger then takes a second job delivering laundry in an effort to get Paulie back and impress Vera with his selflessness. But Vera does not return. Paulie, however, decides to stick by her father and they get a small apartment together. But it`s right there in the title. Luck, or the lack of it. Just as Ginger turns down a promotion at the laundry, he is fired at the newspaper. In the end he sinks deeper into alcoholism and depression and is arrested for indecent exposure. Explaining his circumstances and disillusionment in court, he is given a break when the magistrate dismisses the charge. Vera, realizing how hard Ginger has been trying, waits to meet up with him outside the courtroom. A US-Canada coproduction between Crawley Films and Continent Productions, The Luck of Ginger Coffey was named Best Canadian Film in 1965.