Whisky Galore!

thing and film

Aged 75

Whisky Galore! is a 1949 British comedy film produced by Ealing Studios, starring Basil Radford, Bruce Seton, Joan Greenwood and Gordon Jackson. It was the directorial debut of Alexander Mackendrick; the screenplay was by Compton Mackenzie, an adaptation of his 1947 novel Whisky Galore, and Angus MacPhail. The story—based on a true event—concerns a shipwreck off a fictional Scottish island, the inhabitants of which have run out of whisky because of wartime rationing. The islanders find out the ship is carrying 50,000 cases of whisky, some of which they salvage, against the opposition of the local Customs and Excise men. It was filmed on the island of Barra; the weather was so poor that the production over-ran its 10-week schedule by five weeks, and the film went £20,000 over budget. Michael Balcon, the head of the studio, was unimpressed by the initial cut of the film, and one of Ealing's directors, Charles Crichton, added footage and re-edited the film before its release. Like other Ealing comedies, Whisky Galore! explores the actions of a small insular group facing and overcoming a more powerful opponent. An unspoken sense of community runs through the film, and the story reflects a time when the British Empire was weakening. Whisky Galore! was well received on release. It came out in the same year as Passport to Pimlico and Kind Hearts and Coronets, leading to 1949 being remembered as one of the peak years of the Ealing comedies. In the US, where Whisky Galore! was renamed Tight Little Island, the film became the first from the studios to achieve box office success. It was followed by a sequel, Rockets Galore!. Whisky Galore! has since been adapted for the stage, and a remake was released in 2016.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Centenary Of Cinema 1996 #014

Alexander "Sandy" Mackendrick (1912-1993) film director who made Whisky Galore! here on Barra

Pier Road, Barra, United Kingdom where it was filmed