The Stone of Destiny retells the fascinating and true story of four young Glaswegian students who, in 1951, outwitted the British authorities in their successful attempt to take back the Stone of Scone - a beloved symbol of Scottish pride, back to its country of origin. Written by
Robert Carlyle, who played John McCormick in this film, also starred in Hamish Macbeth (1995), a show whose final episode also dealt with a theft of the Stone of Destiny. See more »
The two-tone police sirens shown both in Scotland and London did not come into use until later. Police cars in the UK in the early 1950s had bells. See more »
It was only a rock, a big lump of sandstone, you might pass right by it, but to us, it was symbol of our freedom, of our independence. We all knew about it of course, we learned as children how it was the Scottish stone of kings, but they took it from us. And as a nation is suppose we'd forgotten about it. Time does that. It was history.
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Scotland 1950. Student Ian Hamilton, frustrated by what appears to be a lack of spirit in the people of Scotland, hatches a plan to steal the Stone Of Destiny from Westminster Abbey, and bring it home....
The movie is based on a book written by Hamilton himself. Now, I've not read it, so I'm not sure what the author will think of the finished movie, but I enjoyed it. Written for the screen and directed by Charles Martin Smith, this is Scotland as portrayed by Americans. It's a romantic, sweeping place, full of downtrodden Scots. It's a view of Scotland that you only ever see in the movies. However, it fits the mood of the piece, as this movie does have an old-fashioned feel about it. It recalls the Ealing movies of the '50s, with the whole thing if not played out for laughs, then certainly with a lot of humour in the drama.
The robbers, as portrayed by Charlie Cox, Kate Mara, Ciaron Kelly and Stephen McCole, come over as enthusiastic, if bumbling students who manage to steal the Stone through luck as much as anything else. The movie definitely sides with them.
The cast which also includes Robert Carlyle, Peter Mullan and Billy Boyd are very good indeed, even if some of the accents don't convince.
I'm not sure how historically accurate the movie is, but as a movie, while it does have an old-fashioned feel, it is enjoyable and good natured, and like Braveheart before it, make you proud to be Scottish!
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