Whisky Galore! (1949)

  • Comedy, Crime
  • 1h 20m

Adapted for the screen by Crompton MacKenzie (from his own novel, in turn based on a true story) and directed by Alexander Mackendrick (who would go on to direct the rather more savage one-two of The Lady Killers followed by The Sweet Smell of Success), Whisky Galore! is one of the funniest, most anarchic entries in the glittering filmography of Ealing Studios.

We all know the plot: the alcohol-starved inhabitants of the fictional island of Todday (in real life, the island of Barra) are feeling hard done by after years of wartime rationing when a ship full of whisky is wrecked off the coast of their home. The locals are determined not to let their delicious plunder fall into the hands of the authorities. What distinguishes the film is Mackendrick and MacKenzie’s keen understanding of the way a community works and their sense of humour, which is sharp but never cruel. It’s not too much to call this film a Scottish national treasure.


English, Scottish Gaelic



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