Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

Writers:

Compton MacKenzie (novel) (as Compton Mackenzie), 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 ... Captain Paul Waggett
Catherine Lacey ... Mrs. Waggett
Bruce Seton ... Sergeant Odd
Joan Greenwood ... Peggy Macroon
Wylie Watson ... Joseph Macroon
Gabrielle Blunt Gabrielle Blunt ... Catriona Macroon
Gordon Jackson ... George Campbell
Jean Cadell ... Mrs. Campbell
James Robertson Justice ... Dr. Maclaren
Morland Graham Morland Graham ... The Biffer
John Gregson ... Sammy MacCodrun
James Woodburn James Woodburn ... Roderick MacRurie
James Anderson James Anderson ... Old Hector
Jameson Clark Jameson Clark ... Constable Macrae
Duncan Macrae ... Angus MacCormac
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Highland fling on a tight little island See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The doctor mentions hearing the ship in The Minch. The Minch, is a strait in north-west Scotland, separating the north-west Highlands and the northern Inner Hebrides from Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. See more »

Goofs

During the very long chase near the end, the light is not consistent with the passing night hours - the chase starts off at night, reaches dawn when some crates fall from the truck, is then even early daylight briefly as seen from the car following behind, but then it is suddenly very dark at night again when the chasing car is finally halted by the barb-wire trap. See more »

Quotes

Dr Maclaren: And how are you feeling today?
Old Hector: [weakly] Oh, I'm not feeling anything at all. Just bones, that's all.
Dr Maclaren: I brought you some tobacco.
Old Hector: Thank you doctor. But my pipe is gone-- fell to pieces on me-- and not a pipe to be bought. And John MacLeod says he doesn't know when he'll be having another... I, I, I don't believe the world has been in such a terrible mess since the Flood.
Dr Maclaren: Well, we can't have you giving up smoking as well as everything else. Here's a pipe of mine.
Old Hector: I couldn't be robbing you of your own ...
[...]
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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 »


Soundtracks

The MacaPhee song
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played at the engagement party
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User Reviews

 
Art and Entertainment Galore
9 April 2006 | by SpondonmanSee 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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Scottish Gaelic

Release Date:

25 December 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Whisky Galore See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,444
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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