|Index||7 reviews in total|
I saw this at the 2004 Stony Brook Film Festival in NY and it was very
warmly received. In this pre-WW2 film, a pair of German rocket
scientists are working on the Scottish Isle of Scarp as war looms on
the horizon. The characters encountered on the island are priceless in
their creation and their portrayal. Shauna MacDonald is particularly
After getting up to speed on the "Scootish" accents, the viewer feel right at home with these folk who watch with amusement as the Germans work to link their isle with the mainland via a rocket-based mail delivery. As implausible as it seems, this film was based on an actual story.
All in all, a memorable film that will stay with you for some time thanks to its casting, its story or its scenery.
A wonderfully thoughtful and involving movie that leaves an imprint well beyond it's initial liftoff. Based on a true story , one of the many "small" stories prior to WW II , that lend an understanding to the mindsets of the majority of common man cultures, impacted by others perceived as former enemies and perhaps future foes, with the darkening of war clouds on the horizon. Viewed at the Stony Brook Film festival, the film was enthusiastically received . Well written and expertly cast. The characters were most believable and drew one in to experience their trials and tribulations.
An excellent film for those who simply need to switch off and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Scotland. Based on fact, the film takes you on a journey of love amidst spectacular scenery. The cast are 'dressed down' for the parts they play, so no glamorous costumes or coiffured hair in this film where acting is superb, gritty and down to earth.Each character is believable giving a convincing portrayal of island life, beliefs and culture of the time A definite for those who have even the tiniest drop of Scottish blood..... as it will tug at the heart strings and stir the soul. Something that can be shared with the family and watched time and time again..................a real classic, one that I am sure will walk alongside some of the great films that never die.
This is the kind of film they used to make, amusing, heart-warming, troubling, authentic, with convincing performances by people without nose jobs, boob jobs, eye jobs, in other words real people. Shauna Macdonald plays the female love interest, and she is so real you want to give her a cuddle at the very least. Imagine that, a real girl in a movie, whatever next? Hollywood would hate her, because her freshness is a sharp rebuke to every false starlet in Tinseltown. This story has the same hilarious feel as Sandy Mackendrick's classic 'Whisky Galore', with the gnomic humour of remote Scottish islanders puncturing the pretensions of intruders from outside and enjoying a wee dram from time to time (the actual intervals between those times often being rather short). Director Stephen Whittaker displays a rare skill in pulling this off just right, and it is shocking to discover that he died before his film's release, aged only 56, which was clearly a substantial loss to the screen. Ulrich Thomsen does very well at playing a German rocket scientist who in the late 1930s goes to Scarp in the Isle of Harris to build a small rocket to carry postal packets between the islands. There he falls in love with the alluring Macdonald lass, and she reciprocates the affection. Some wonderfully colourful local characters decorate the tale, and the film is pure delight. There is of course the threat of imminent war with Hitler, and we learn that Hitler executed 1000 rocket scientists who refused to build weapons of war, which is a shocking statistic. Tragic love is never far from view, but lips must remain sealed in a review as to what happens in the end. This film is a magnificent example of just the kind of films which people in Britain should be making. But are they being properly released? In a nation whose tastes have been so corrupted by reality TV shows, where repulsive nonentities have become the national heroes, is there even a market anymore for a film like this? After all, there is no grunting sex, there are no close-ups of suppurating wounds or of anyone's genitals, there are no drugs taken, there are no mindless celebrities prancing around wanting to be looked at, and so one wonders whether there is anything to interest a public which has become so decadent and jaded that only the most extreme sensations can briefly alleviate the tedium of their pointless existence. Anyone who is looking for an antidote to the vacuity of contemporary Britain can take refuge in this refreshing and honest film.
This film is about a German rocket scientist going to a remote Scottish
island to help develop a rocket for improving the postal service.
As others have already commented, the scenery is breathtaking. Blue skies, white sand, green pastures and authentic cottages are just the few features of the film. However, I feel that the film heavily relies on the scenery to make it watchable. The pacing is incredibly slow, which is probably to mirror the way of life in the villages. The story is somewhat predictable, but still fresh in the sense of its rural setting. The ending is touching, both from Gerhard's plot and the villagers' story. I liked the soundtrack, which abundantly uses traditional folk music. It gives the film a touch of authenticity. It is a refreshing tale that I am glad to have watched.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Set just before the Second World War, this is a touching and
understated romantic story that is loosely based on a real event.
It concerns a German rocket scientist Gerhart Zucher (Ulrich Thomsen) working in Britain in the advent of the Second World War. Fearing Hitler may recall him to Germany to assist him preparing for war, Zucher and his slippery assistant Heinz (Eddie Marsan) are evacuated by the British authorities to a remote Scottish island. They are given the task of building a rocket post box that will enable the islanders to communicate with the mainland.
Mocked and bullied by the islanders, they set up home with local girl Catherine Mackay (the stunning Shauna MacDonald), with whom Thomsen begins an affair but complications arise when Germany comes calling...
The central romance between Zucher and Catherine is subtle and sincerely played and the supporting cast is a colourful bunch with an array of respected Scottish character actors including Gary Lewis and Clive Russell.
Fine cinematography and a brilliant central theme song sung in the local dialect round out this movie.
Intelligent but undemanding, it is good for a quiet evening in.
Mainly set on a remote island off the coast of Harris, called Scarp,
the "The Rocket Post" is a well made, acted and plotted film, slightly
based on truth. It follows themes of: mail rockets, which were being
designed and tested just before WWII; of romance; and of life on many
of the Scottish Islands. The film may not mean much for people who are
not familiar with Scottish landscapes or pre-war history and political
ideas in Europe in the 1930's, but those who do know Scottish
landscapes and something of the period of this film, hopefully, will
find the film entertaining, intriguing and emotional.
I particularly warmed to the main characters, the Rocket Scientist Gerhard Zucher and Catriona Mackay, who will soon leave the island on which she has grown up to study at St Andrews. The relationship between the two is sweet, if a little predictable, but to just wait and watch them throughout the film makes it more exciting and beautiful. The scenery of the island and the depiction of life around croft farming is well done and give the viewer an idea of the hardiness and traditions that have almost gone from Scotland and its Isles, but which I'm sure many from those parts of Britain would like to keep.
I recommend this film to those who know something about Scotland and Nazi Germany before the War, and for those who wish to watch a moving, partly romantic story.
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