West misses out on Whisky Galore!
A NEW map promoting all the film locations in the Whisky Galore! remake has been published for tourists by VisitScotland, but the Hebrides – the scene of the original film, novel and event it is based on – does not feature at all.
Only one Argyll and Bute location makes it in: Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond.
Based on the real-life sinking of the SS Politician off the coast of Eriskay in 1941, and the subsequent seizing of thousands of bottles of whisky by islanders, Whisky Galore! is a celebration of a nation’s love for the ‘ water of life’.
How many of the cargo ship’s 28,000 cases of malt whisky were taken by the sea or ‘salvaged’ by the islanders of Eriskay, Barra, the Uists and Lewis will perhaps never be known.
Compton Mackenzie’s popular 1947 novel inspired an Ealing comedy directed by Alexander Mackendrick in 1949, which was shot almost entirely on location in the Outer Hebrides. Barra stood in for the fictional Outer Hebridean islands of Great Todday and Little Todday.
The film details the islanders’ gloom as their wartime rationing of whisky runs out, their joy as the laden cargo ship SS Cabinet Minister runs aground, and their tricks to evade the buffoonish Home Guard commander Captain Waggett.
The film was released in the US as Tight Little Island and in France as Whisky A Go Go.
But Gillies MacKinnon’s new version makes use of locations elsewhere in Scotland, including the Borders, Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, Glasgow and Fife but only one in Argyll and Bute: Luss Village Hall.
Gregor Fisher, who plays postmaster Macroon, said: ‘I’ve been in this business for 40 years and I can honestly say this was one of the nicest, if not the nicest, jobs I’ve ever had. There were no negatives about it. On a seven-and-a-half-week shoot in Portsoy, it rained for half a day max, and even then it was very light drizzle. Half the community is in the film. It was a joy.’
The film was released in Scotland on May 5 and will be out in the rest of the UK on May 19.
The new version of Whisky Galore! stars Ellie Kendrick, Eddie Izzard and Gregor Fisher but ignores the West Coast where it all happened.