HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Whisky Galore! Hitting The Bottle
Year: 1949
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Basil Radford, Catherine Lacey, Bruce Seaton, Joan Greenwood, Wylie Watson, Gabrielle Blunt, Gordon Jackson, Jean Cadell, James Robertson Justice, Morland Graham, John Gregson, James Woodburn, James Anderson, Jameson Clark, Duncan Macrae, Mary MacNeil
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the year 1943, the world was at war and to make matters worse, supplies were low. This was bad for the residents of one Outer Hebridean island for one reason in particular, apart from the lack of food and other essentials, and that was because a very important part of their community had been deprived. The region was populated by very religious, austere folk who did not bother with such fripperies as going to a dancehall or cinema - there was not one within a hundred miles of Todday, which is where our story takes place. What they took their greatest pleasure in, then, was the Water of Life, which was served in the local public house...

That being whisky as the title suggests (though Americans had the name Tight Little Island forced on the movie since censors prevented any alcohol mentioned in titles), in what was based on a true story of a shipwreck off the coast of the island of Eriskay, though a title card is at pains to point out this is a work of fiction (sure, of course it was). This was an early international hit for Ealing Studios, possibly because it portrayed Scots as rather quaint and obsessed with whisky, much as they were regarded at the time around the world, which offered an interesting tone to the work, as you were given both the outsiders' and insiders' view.

The outsiders were the English who are largely there on Todday on military manoeuvres, with Basil Radford taking the ostensible lead as Captain Waggett, the head of the Home Guard there, but also Customs and Excise men making their presence felt when there is a shipwreck one night. The cargo? Thousands of bottles of whisky, which have the locals salivating at the very idea of that amount of booze in such close proximity to them, so it is that a salvage operation is organised, though not a legal one as the residents want as many bottles as they can carry for their own personal use. Naturally, the authorities are unwillling to let them have their own way, and a battle of wits ensues.

Of course, in 1949 even though the war was over rationing was still very much being felt in the United Kingdom as the nation took so long to recover from the massive expense of the conflict, so the thought of the population getting their hands on an abundance of supplies, especially alcohol, was an undeniably attractive one. As the events play out on the island, we are given a kind of soap opera as there are two marriages planned, one between visiting English soldier Sergeant Odd (Bruce Seaton) and local girl Peggy Macroon (Joan Greenwood) which has overcome any culture clash - er, just about - and then schoolteacher George Campbell (Gordon Jackson) wishes to wed Catriona Macroon (Gabrielle Blunt) against the wishes of his battleaxe mother (Jean Cadell). There's one thing which will surely bring them all together.

And that is in the precarious position of being just about sinking to the bottom of the ocean unless a military-style operation more effective than the actual military is put into play, the distinct anti-authoritarian flavour to the comedy being key to its success. Though even then, there are rules the islanders must abide by, and they nearly lose their chance to secure the booty when the clock on the kirk strikes midnight on Sunday: are we intended to laugh at the conspirators thwarted by their respect of the Sabbath, or with the more religious opinions that God would not tolerate any of this on the day of rest? It's not clear, but perhaps depends on what point of view you took, insider or outsider, the beauty of this being that it was successful either way. That a film with such a sense of fun was such a chore to make, with first time director Alexander Mackendrick threatening suicide as conditions were so bad and the film only really saved by uncredited Charles Crichton in the editing room, was testament to Compton Mackenzie's irresistable story. Music by Ernest Irving (from traditional tunes).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2342 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: