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Whisky Galore (1949)

Whisky Galore! (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 25 December 1949 (USA)
Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

Writers:

(novel) (as Compton Mackenzie), (screenplay) (as Compton Mackenzie) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Basil Radford ...
Catherine Lacey ...
Bruce Seton ...
...
Peggy Macroon
...
Joseph Macroon
Gabrielle Blunt ...
...
Jean Cadell ...
...
Dr. Maclaren
Morland Graham ...
The Biffer
John Gregson ...
Sammy Mac Codrun
James Woodburn ...
James Anderson ...
Old Hector
Jameson Clark ...
Duncan Macrae ...
Angus Mac Cormac
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Storyline

Based on a true story. The name of the real ship, that sunk Feb 5 1941 - during WWII - was S/S Politician. Having left Liverpool two days earlier, heading for Jamaica, it sank outside Eriskay, The Outer Hebrides, Scotland, in bad weather, containing 250,000 bottles of whisky. The locals gathered as many bottles as they could, before the proper authorities arrived, and even today, bottles are found in the sand or in the sea every other year. Written by Jörg Ausfelt <joerg.ausfelt@telia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Highland fling on a tight little island See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tight Little Island  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Mackendrick insisted on making the film entirely on location, an unusual move for Ealing Studios. See more »

Goofs

Had there really been whisky (or really about anything except air) in those wooden crates piled as high as a person on the rowboats the villagers use to loot the cargo ship, those boats would have capsized or sunk by the sheer weight of the crates. See more »

Quotes

Captain Paul Waggett: [Speaking about the islanders] They're so unsporting. They don't do things for the sake of doing them like the English. We play the game for the sake of the game. Other nations play the game for the sake of winning it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: By a strange coincidence the S.S. Cabinet Minister was wrecked off the Island of Todday [in the movie] two years after the S.S. Politician, with a similar cargo, was wrecked [in real life] off the Island of Eriskay. But the coincidence stops there, for our story and the characters in it are pure fiction. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Unforgettable Gordon Jackson (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The MacaPhee song
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played at the engagement party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Art and Entertainment Galore
9 April 2006 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

Along with classical music Compton Mackenzie certainly knew his stuff when he wrote Whisky Galore, basing it on true events that happened in 1941. I always preferred the film. The quality of the video I made from UK BBC2 on 28th Dec 1988 was excellent, but there are budget editions out there so if interested best be careful. This is one of Ealing's handful of timeless first class classics, one that is always shown on TV and has passed into British movie folklore. Its depiction of the Sabbath-keeping Scottish islanders is only just passing into history as the inhabitants of the Outer Hebrides are only gradually establishing Sunday communications with the mainland.

Insular isolated island runs out of whisky but a cargo ship with 50,000 cases of the muck runs aground nearby. Happy times return, against all the efforts of Basil Radford as the local snooty (English) Home Guard Captain. Bruce Seton was actually a rather weather-beaten 40 to Joan Greenwood's 28 but they surely made a splendid non whisky drinking couple especially at the dance. Favourite bits: The church clock striking for the arrival of Monday morning and the consequent sudden activity; The group of men singing lustily and making hay with their first drink for ages; Hiding the muck from the Excise men, and so much more to watch and savour over and over again.

Ealing Studios went to Barra in summer 1948 and filmed this in 3 months for £80,000 - over-budget, too! When I think of the enormous pleasure that it's given me and so many others over the decades I would think that it was money very well spent, unlike any that might be spent on a pointless remake.


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