Whisky Galore!

Alexander Mackendrick, UK 1949, 82 mins

Set on a remote island in the Hebrides, the audience soon learns to moan with the characters at the terrible, evil, totally immoral rationing of whisky. How can any decent Scot be expected to stand for such depraved and malicious behaviour by those in charge?

We soon find out. A ship full of whisky is wrecked on the coastline, and the deprived islanders soon "salvage" the cargo, only to be told by the local bobby that they must hand it back. Every bottle. So the action begins. The fast-moving characters soon show how resourceful they can be in the use of hiding places: whisky is kept everywhere, from the baby's nappy to the water tank. As the authorities get closer and closer to the main hideout on the beach, an elaborate plot is unveiled to distract them, and allow the islanders a chance to keep their prize.

Do they succeed? I'll not spoil the story for you. Let it only be said that in 1993, fourteen bottles that survived the original wreck were auctioned in Glasgow for over 12,000, and you'll soon see how touching and popular this movie can be. Not a laugh a minute, the comic scenes are carefully planned and set up using the characters - the grown man ruled by his God-fearing mother, the young couple getting married, the bartender ... all the old favourites are there. Come along and see what all the money was spent for, and you won't be sorry!

Hilary Gay
EUFS Programme 1998-99