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The Battle of Culloden (1964)

Culloden (original title)
A reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden, the last battle to take place on British soil, as if modern TV cameras were present.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Tony Cosgrove ...
Lt. Ward / Field Interviewer (uncredited)
Olivier Espitalier-Noel ...
Don Fairservice ...
English Officer (uncredited)
George McBean ...
Alexander McDonald (uncredited)
Robert Oates ...
Pvt. Alexander Laing (uncredited)
Patrick Watkins ...
Crying Baby (uncredited)
Peter Watkins ...
Field Interviewer (uncredited)
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Storyline

A reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden, the last battle to take place on British soil, as if modern TV cameras were present.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Details

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Release Date:

24 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Culloden  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Narrator: They've created a desert and have called it "peace".
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Connections

Featured in Ex-S: Culloden: Making Reel History (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

My Bonnie Moorhen
(trad.)
Sung by Colin Cater
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User Reviews

 
Very dramatic historical reconstruction
2 February 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Enjoying a revival on the art-house circuit, this reconstruction of the famous last battle fought on British soil uses modern documentary-style reporting to convey immediacy. An effective and bloodthirsty film, it covers a landmark period of Scots-Anglo history, showing not only the senseless waste of human life, the total incompetence of the Bonnie Prince Charles as a military leader, but the barbaric excesses of both Scots and English, and the iniquity and the Scottish ‘clan' system. The period opened the way for the ‘clearances' where indigenous people were shipped off and the land used for (more profitable and less troublesome) sheep farming.

It really doesn't have anything very good to say about anyone, English or Scots, but this won't stop many English feeling it is racist and one-sided (just as the English critics as a whole were the only ones in the world to lambaste the magnificently spectacular but historically inaccurate, Braveheart). Watkins may well have had a political agenda – the film was likened to a social commentary on the American involvement in Vietnam (as the gutting of the Gaelic Highlands by the Noble Army was said to parallel the ‘pacification' of the Vietnamese by the U.S. Army). Culloden, however, is not only a key historical massacre but almost part of Scottish folklore. Arguing the details of the battle is still a not uncommon pub conversation, especially to the north and west of the country. My favourite version is by an elderly lady who lives near Culloden (just outside of Inverness) who ‘tells it like she was there'. The movie, although originally made for television, is also a landmark, and riveting stuff, but whether it can justifiably be used to further a pro-Scottish Independence agenda is much shakier, given that it happened a long time ago.


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