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The Swingin' Maiden (1963)

The Iron Maiden (original title)
An American airline firm plans to buy a new British passenger plane, but the deal hits trouble when the plane's designer, Jack Hopkins (Michael Craig), and Kathy Fisher (Anne Helm), the ... See full summary »


Gerald Thomas


Harold Brooke (original story), Kay Bannerman (original story) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Craig ... Jack Hopkins
Anne Helm ... Kathy Fisher
Jeff Donnell ... Miriam Fisher
Alan Hale Jr. ... Paul Fisher (as Alan Hale)
Noel Purcell ... Admiral Sir Digby Trevelyan
Cecil Parker ... Sir Giles Thompson
Roland Culver ... Lord Upshott
Joan Sims ... Nellie Carter
John Standing ... Humphrey Gore-Brown
Brian Oulton ... The Vicar
Sam Kydd ... Fred Carter
Judith Furse ... Mrs. Webb
Richard Thorp ... Harry Markham
Jim Dale ... Bill - Thompson's Salesman
George Woodbridge ... Mr. Ludge
Learn more

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An American airline firm plans to buy a new British passenger plane, but the deal hits trouble when the plane's designer, Jack Hopkins (Michael Craig), and Kathy Fisher (Anne Helm), the daughter of the Airline owner, take an instant dislike to each other, after crashing into each other in a quiet country lane. With each blaming the other for the accident, the arrangement looks in trouble, unless nature takes a hand. Written by <mike.wilson6@btinternet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Comedy With a Happy END! See more »




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Did You Know?


The son of Fred Carter (Sam Kydd) was played by Kydd's real-life son Jonathan. See more »


Fred Carter walks down the path of his home, steps on a roller skate and falls. He holds his left leg and says he has broken it. However, he is then helped back into the house, hopping on his left foot and holding his right leg up. See more »


Admiral Sir Digby Trevelyan: Turn on the ejector cock, Vicar, or we'll both be blown to the Devil!
The Vicar: Speak for yourself.
See more »

User Reviews

"...you must be related to those Gor-Blimeys we have heard so much about...."
12 February 2017 | by Brucey_DSee all my reviews

An American airline executive, together with his wife and daughter visit Britain with a view to placing a contract for a new supersonic airliner. However two companies are offering rival products, and between trips to Ascot and Henley, the pretty but wilful daughter wreaks havoc (earning herself a spanking along the way...) whenever she meets one of the aircraft designers, who is also a steam enthusiast. Who will win the contract? Will the daughter find love?.

This Peter Rogers production was a one-off film. It will be compared to other quaint transport-related films (Genevive, Titfield Thunderbolt etc) as well as the 'Carry-On' films. Whilst such comparisons are not unfair, this film is really its own thing.

The cast is OK, with some good cameo performances and minor roles from excellent actors. Some folk will criticise Michael Craig's somewhat stiff performance, but I'm not sure this is entirely justified; he has to play it pretty straight, else he wouldn't be a credible aircraft designer. Could you imagine (say) gurning Jim Dale as an aircraft designer? -thought not...!.

An interesting feature of this film are the steam engines, aircraft, cars etc seen in various locations. We get to see (briefly) the liner 'United States' at Southampton dock, the (very 'Dan Dare' -looking) Handley-Page Victor at the Radlett works, with various 'Heralds' in the background and various cars. An Alvis 3-litre makes an appearance, (as does an Austin Princess I think) and the main cars used (a Cadillac and two Rolls-Royces) are seen in many locations, including several accidental ones; in several shots the Cadillac or the Rolls Royce can be seen 'in the wrong place' in the background.

Other locations used include the A404 (several times), Henley regatta (which would look the same even today), various pubs (which still exist) and Woburn Abbey, (which is used for two different steam rallies). The Duke of Bedford (owner of Woburn Abbey, and a supporter of the steam preservation movement) has a cameo appearance as himself. I think the stream/pond where they fill up with water en route may be the same one as was used in 'Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang' too.

The two main traction engines used in the film still exist, but the aircraft (reputedly XL230) does not; it was later lost (tragically with all crew) in a training accident at RAF Wyton in 1973. A sister aircraft XL231 still exists. Some folk criticise the Victor in this film as not being a credible supersonic airliner; this is right of course, it isn't supersonic and is a smaller and lighter aircraft all round. However it isn't an entirely ridiculous notion; a transport derivative of the Victor was planned, (with seating for 200 troops or 145 airline passengers) in a double-decker cabin.

The script isn't quite first class and there are a few plot holes, but overall this is a very watchable film nonetheless; largely underplayed and with gentle humour, I rather enjoyed it.

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Release Date:

4 February 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Swingin' Maiden See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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