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The best Scottish Films?

ScottishFlag.jpgI've just had a great holiday up in the Highlands of Scotland, admiring the wonderful scenery, eating great local food, and drinking some of the best whiskies in the world.

So rather than return to a serious feature I thought it would be fun to find out how many Scottish films we actually know, and just what films make you think of Scotland, whether you're from Scotland or not.

I can think of a fair list of Scottish films, from the obvious to the not so obvious. There are classics such as Whisky Galore! and Brigadoon (a film that might have most Scottish people turning away in embarrassment), epics such as Braveheart, old Scottish stories such as Greyfriars Bobby and modern stories such as Trainspotting and the fantastic The Flying Scotsman (Filmstalker review).

I keep thinking of more titles and surprising myself with just how many there actually are, and what a wide variety has come out of Scotland. I once read one critic who said that Scottish cinema was all just tartan, depression or drug films, yet while I'm thinking about my list there are plenty of titles that don't fit these three columns...well not entirely.

What other films conjure up Scotland for you and why? For me it's usually a film about Scottish people, the early way of life in Scotland, or something which captures the beauty of the Highlands. Those kind of Scottish films are the ones that I'll be drawn to most.

How many Scottish films are there, or what films can you think of that carry strong Scottish connections? Is it all tartan, drugs and depression in your list? I'll save my favourite Scottish films for later on, and give you readers the chance to list off first.



Films that come to mind are the original wicker man, rob roy and one of my top 10 films....dogsoldiers.

Local Hero (1983) - directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Peter Reigert and Burt Lancaster. Basically a whimsical 'culture-clash' comedy about a group of quirky Scottish and American characters, which manages to be beautiful and haunting rather than silly and annoying. One of my favourite films growing up and it remains so today. Fantastic score by Mark Knopfler which adds tremendously to the atmosphere. Definitely worth seeing.

Rugged Island: A Shetland Lyric, directed by Jenny Gilbertson, released in 1934, made in 1931. It's a beautiful film.

easiest choice ever... although directed by an american, you wouldn't know :

'restless natives' - fantastic film, great soundtrack album / e.p's too. there's a fine R2 UK DVD of this out there you should find quite cheaply now...

Gregory's Girl and the less successful Gregory's Girl 2. We seemed to do a lot more in the 80s than we do now.

I Know Where I'm Going by the fabulous Powell and Pressburger - all about a Scottish woman from the Highlands. In fact a few of their films are sure to be Scottish as I think Powell either was Scottish or had Scottish links.

Erm - Loch Ness with Ted Danson.

Oh - and the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie filmed right here in Edinburgh. The 39 Steps - filmed on the Forth Rail Bridge and in and around Killin - either the Robert Donat version or the second one but not the third version.

I've only had mnimal exposure, braveheart/trainspotting and some bits of the terrrible Loch Ness.

Richard, you have now given me a list of scottish films to watch including the flying scotsman so thanks for that.

Actually, thinking about it now, I haven't watched that many, with Braveheart being my favorite especially after having visited the Highlands with my sister quite recently. Our amiable and very witty Rabbie's tour guide Andrew mentioned a technical background story behind the Loch Ness film wherein Ted Danson, didn't quite feel that Loch Ness was very Loch Ness, so they shot the film in another loch instead. Bah!

I have since added Rob Roy and Mrs. Brown (more so because of Gerry Butler's brief involvement in this film) to my rental queue but I am so looking forward to see Hallam Foe in August (based on Ram's review!), and perhaps The Flying Scotsman sometime soon. So keep this list growing you guys!

Just a suggestion in the future, maybe we can have a sub-feature to this, what about the best Scottish actors? :D

Totally with logboy on the Restless Natives. Only I was looking for it before the DVD came out and ended up forking out 26 quid for an ex-rental VHS only a few years ago on eBay.

It totally works as a Scottish double act - Jeckyll & Hyde, Burke & Hare, Clown & Wolfman.

Gregory's Girl; Whisky Galore; Trainspotting (which I did down at Leith Central, c. 1983!); Local Hero; in fact, there are loads. I must get to see Red Road, too - that sounds like it would fit the bill.

Dog Soldiers! Although it wasn't actually filmed in Scotland, only the helicopter shots were. Still, the sentiment is there.

I'm all for the 39 Steps, Local Hero, Gregory's Girl, Restless Natives, Whisky Galore all excellent choices.

Louise F - You mean the Kenneth Moore version and not the Robert Powell version? I have to say I don't hate that version as much as my father does. The Moore version is my favourite though.

I'm not going to agree with Loch Ness though!! I refuse!

Oh, and at danger of labouring the point - The Flying Scotsman!

I'm not going to agree with Loch Ness though!! I refuse!

You can say that again! Have you seen it by the way?

Has anyone ever had the pleasure of atching Comfort and Joy? Bill Patterson at his finest chasing ice cream bandits..anyone for an ice cream fritter? Also a little known pleasure called Girl in the picture, Gordon John Sinclair as the photgrapher who's girlfriend leaves him for an ageing uni professor, an early introduction to Rab C nesbit aka Gregor Fisher.


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