News and Views from Scotland

Whisky Galore! Remake Uncorked in June

It has taken twelve years to bring the remake of Whisky Galore! to the screen. The film, which received its premiere on 26 June, builds on the true story of SS Politician which foundered in 1941 on the uninhabited island of Calvay.

The boat's cargo was 22,000 quart bottles of whisky. The thirsty islanders of nearby Eriskay (picture here of Eriskay beach © Kenny Davidson via Wikimedia Commons) and South Uist then had a running battle with customs officers who were regarded as party poopers of the first order.

Compton Mackenzie took some liberties with the facts in his novel which was turned into a film released in 1949 by the Ealing Studios.

The Ealing film was directed by Alexander Mackendrick who went on to direct a string of hits. The film starred Basil Radford as Captain Waggett of the local Home Guard and featured a clutch of Scottish distinguished Scottish actors. James Robertson Justice, Gordon Jackson, Duncan Macrae, Finlay Clark and Jameson Currie all went on to becoming much loved character actors. The portrayal by Gordon Jackson (pictured here) as Hudson the buttoned up butler in Upstairs Downstairs brought him international renown.

The earlier film was in black and white and the use of colour is part of the justification for the remake.

Iain Maclean, the producer, said:

"There will always be people who say, 'Why are you touching this jewel in the crown?' On the contrary, I think we are polishing it, bringing the jewel back to life. Audiences have changed since 1949, they expect different things of a movie now than they did then. People are after a bit more and we've delivered that."

The 2016 film stars Eddie Izzard as the Home Guard Captain and the wonderful Gregor Fisher, whose credits include Love Actually, as Macroon, the islander's leader.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via


Return to News and Views Index

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line