* Obviously, spoilers *
Based on a true story, this ‘Whisky Galore’ is the remake of the 1949 Ealing classic, and stars James Cosmo, Eddie Izzard and John Sessions.
The story revolves around a small Scottish island during the Second World War. The community is small and tightly bound, and then they run out of whisky. Completely. Not a drop on the island.
There is a terrible fog, which shrouds the island and hides it from view and lo and behold, a ship – (in the film the ship is called The Cabinet Minister, in real life it was SS Politician) runs aground and its precious cargo of whisky, bound for New York, lies unguarded and thus far un-sunk.
However, it’s the Sabbath, and no-one is prepared to risk the wrath of god for stealing on a Sunday.
(Sunday always feels like the maiden aunt of the week, a mite too big, too long, and entirely too tedious to deal with. I speak as a maiden aunt, so I understand the limitations.)
Thankfully, Monday swings around with the passing of midnight, and the islanders navigate their way past the officious sergeant major-type (Izzard) and his motley crew of semi-trained Home Guard recruits, and a dozen small boats make their way out of the harbour and to the wreck.
There’s a piano suspended from the ceiling and they have a fine old, if brief, time aboard the ship, ferrying case after case of whisky onto their small boats.
There’s an official looking case containing the romantic correspondence sent between the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson.
In the film, there are 50,000 cases of whisky, and this box of letters. In the real story, there were 24,000 cases of whisky and 290,000 ten shilling notes – this would equate to several million pounds in today’s currency. Not all of it was recovered, and understandably so.
Thus ensues a chase around the island with the locals secreting their fiery booty in hot water bottles and water tanks, in gaps in walls and the false bases of grandfather clocks.
The Customs and Excise have been contacted by the officious soldier. He looks more and more foolish as even the local pub only has its quota of the creature.
I’m pretty sure my Movie Nighters will love this film. We are blessed in the village to have more than a couple of Scotsmen, so no-one’s going to struggle with the accent. If you are not fortunate enough to have a Scotsman in your life, I recommend them, but in the meantime, you may need subtitles.
For myself, I love this film. There’s something about a true story, but especially when it’s a comedy, the humour shines through more vividly when there’s some truth there.
I have nothing but time for Eddie Izzard, although I’ll say myself, he’s starting to look more like a middle aged lesbian every day. In short, I like him probably because he reminds me of myself.
However, at the end of the credits is the immortal line: “No whisky was consumed during the making of this film”.
Dear lord, I hope that’s not true.