🎥 Whisky Galore – 1956
The Story …
The inhabitants of the isolated Scottish island of Todday in the Outer Hebrides are largely unaffected by wartime rationing until 1943, when the supply of whisky runs out.
As a result, gloom descends on the disconsolate islanders. In the midst of this catastrophe, Sergeant Odd returns on leave from the army to court Peggy, the daughter of the local shopkeeper, Joseph Macroon.
Odd had previously assisted with setting up the island’s Home Guard unit. Meanwhile, Macroon’s other daughter, Catriona, has just become engaged to a meek schoolteacher, George Campbell, although Campbell’s stern, domineering mother refuses to give her approval …
During a night-time fog, the freighter SS Cabinet Minister runs aground near Todday in heavy fog and begins to sink. Two local inhabitants, the Biffer and Sammy MacCodrun, row out to lend assistance, and learn from its departing crew that the cargo consists of 50,000 cases of whisky. They quickly spread the news.
Captain Waggett, the stuffy English commander of the local Home Guard, orders Odd to guard the cargo, but Macroon casually remarks that, by long-standing custom, a man cannot marry without hosting a rèiteach a Scottish betrothal ceremony in which whisky must be served. Taking the hint, the sergeant allows himself to be overpowered, and the locals manage to offload many cases before the ship goes down.
Campbell, sent to his room by his mother for a prior transgression, is persuaded to leave through the window and assist with the salvage by MacCodrun. This proves fortunate, as Campbell rescues the Biffer when he is trapped in the sinking freighter. The whisky also gives the previously teetotal Campbell the courage to stand up to his mother and insist that he will marry Catriona.
A battle of wits ensues between Waggett, who wants to confiscate the salvaged cargo, and the islanders. Waggett brings in Macroon’s old Customs and Excise nemesis, Mr Farquharson, and his men to search for the whisky.
Forewarned, islanders manage to hide the bottles in ingenious places, including the ammunition cases that Waggett ships off the island. When the whisky is discovered in the cases, Waggett is recalled by his superiors on the mainland to explain himself, leaving the locals triumphant.
- Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
- Written by Compton Mackenzie and Angus MacPhail
- Based on Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie
- Produced by Michael Balcon
- Cinematography Gerald Gibbs
- Edited by Joseph Sterling
- Music by Ernest Irving
- Production Company : Ealing Studios
- Distributed by General Film Distributors (UK)
- Release Date : 16 June 1949
- Basil Radford as Captain Paul Waggett
- Joan Greenwood as Peggy Macroon
- James Robertson Justice as Dr Maclaren
- Gordon Jackson as George Campbell
- Wylie Watson as Joseph Macroon
- Catherine Lacey as Mrs Waggett
- Jean Cadell as Mrs Campbell
- Bruce Seton as Sergeant Odd
- Henry Mollison as Mr Farquharson
- Morland Graham as the Biffer
- John Gregson as Sammy MacCodrun
- Gabrielle Blunt as Catriona Macroon
- Duncan Macrae as Angus MacCormac
- Compton Mackenzie as Captain Buncher
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