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Classic Scottish Films
Brigadoon - 1954. A musical which moved from Broadway stage to screen. The film tells of two young Americans holidaying in the Highlands. They get lost and chance upon Brigadoon, a village that emerges from the mists once in a hundred years. American Tommy (Gene Kelly) falls in love with a girl from the village, but decides to return to his homeland rather than stay with her. Watch the film to find out what happens – a charming, mystical love story with a great soundtrack.
Gregory’s Girl - 1981. Gentle romantic comedy in which gangly teenager Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) and Susan (Clare Grogan) eventually come together with a lot of help from her friends... Glaswegian Grogan was part of the band Altered Images , famous for the song Happy Birthday. Grogan went on to marry a band member and, after six miscarriages and several IVF treatments, adopted her daughter, Lucia. The film Gregory’s 2 Girls, also starring Sinclair – this time as a middle-aged teacher – was released in 1999, but it seems to have had far less impact than the original film.
Local Hero - 1983. Directed by Bill Forsyth who also directed Gregory’s Girl. An American oil tycoon (played by Burt Lancaster) decides he wants to buy up Scottish land - and the buildings and people housed there - so that he can access their liquid gold. This is a story of discovery and transformation – as the Americans gradually come to understand the values, respect for land and pace of life that are the warp and weft of Scottish life. By the end of the film very different people have found ways to live and work together whilst preserving that which matters most to all of them.
Ring of Bright Water - 1969. Based on Gavin Maxwell’s book the film tells the story of a man, an otter and their deepening relationship on the remote west coast of Scotland. The film stars Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, the stars of the highly successful movie Born Free. If, as I do, you remember the childrens’ book of the same name you may find yourself yearning for more of the description and detail of the book.
Whisky Galore! - 1949. Based on the true story of the ship S S Politician - which in the film becomes S S Cabinet Minister - which ran to ground near Eriskay, this film tells of fortunate Scottish islanders who benefit from the wreck of a ship full of whisky, aiming to rescue as much liquor as they can and confound Captain Waggett – the voice of authority and reason (?) who tries to rescue an unsalvageable cargo from the arms of the Scots...
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