West misses out on Whisky Ga­lore!

The Oban Times - - News -

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.

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