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Scottish films - what are your favourites?

spootsspoots Member ✭✭
edited February 19 in Arts and Culture
Scotland has inspired filmmakers for many, many years - from the sweeping golden strand of Gairloch, recently used in the film What We Did on Our Holiday, to Princes Street in Edinburgh which was the scene of Renton and Spud's epic dash in Trainspotting, people have been pointing cameras at Scotland's landscapes for decades.

Famous Scottish actors include Kelly MacDonald, David Tennant, James McAvoy, Ewan McGregor, Karen Gillan, Alastair Sim, Robbie Coltrane, Phyllida Law, Sean Connery, Peter Capaldi, and the incomparable Billy Connolly.

But what are your favourite Scottish films?  Here are three of my favourites:

3:  THE HARRY POTTER MOVIES


All right, so I know that this is cheating.  But the movies were set in Scotland - or at least partly filmed there.  Remember the Hogwarts Express?



That is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, on the railway from Fort William to Mallaig.  You may have known that much...but did you know that the viaduct is made entirely out of concrete?  Robert 'Concrete Bob' McAlpine masterminded its construction, and the viaduct was opened in 1901.  Nowadays, the viaduct has achieved fame for its appearance in the Harry Potter films.  To ride over it, catch the train from Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig (https://www.scotrail.co.uk/scotland-by-rail/great-scenic-rail-journeys/west-highland-line-glasgow-oban-and-fort-williammallaig) - or you can even get on The Jacobite steam train from Fort William (http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/jacobite-steam-train-details.cfm).  A journey on the West Highland Line to Mallaig is one of life's great railway journeys - and it's one of the best in the world, although there are plenty of competitors even within Scotland!

2:  WHISKY GALORE! (1949)


Whisky Galore! is a classic Scottish film, produced by Ealing Studios and starring Basil Radford and Joan Greenwood.  The story was based on a real-life incident when a tanker full of whisky ran aground off Eriskay, in the Outer Hebrides, in 1945.  The film was shot in Barra - and it makes for very good viewing.  It's still very funny, and his even inspired a recent remake starring Eddie Izzard (though the original movie is much better).  The film is full of Scottish heart and it remains a favourite of mine.



1:  LOCAL HERO


This film was written and directed by Bill Forsyth, who was also behind the Scottish classics Gregory's Girl, Comfort and Joy and That Sinking FeelingLocal Hero may well be my favourite movie of all.

Featuring a stellar cast - Burt Lancaster, Denis Lawson (Wedge Antilles from Star Wars), Fulton Mackay and Peter Capaldi all feature - the film stars Peter Riegert as an American oil executive, Mac, sent by his boss (Lancaster) to the coastal village of Ferness on the west coast in order to replace it with an oil refinery.  Mac soon finds himself falling for the fishing village, although the villagers themselves hope to move away from their hard life in Ferness.



Ferness itself does not exist.  The village scenes were filmed at Pennan, in Aberdeenshire, and you can go and look around the village.  The scenes on the beach were shot on the long sweeping Silver Sands of Morar, near Mallaig, with other coastal scenes shot in the West Highlands.
You can get to Morar by train from Glasgow Queen Street and Fort William via the scenic West Highland Line, crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
On Saturdays, there are two buses per day in each direction from Banff to Fraserburgh via MacDuff and Pennan; this is the only way to reach Pennan via public transport.

The whole movie is exquisitely observed, and studded with gems of gentle humour whilst retaining the unique atmosphere of a Scottish fishing village.  For me, this film is incredibly nostalgic.  It features a great soundtrack by Mark Knopfler (the Glaswegian frontman of Dire Straits) and also has a very real heart and soul.  A lovely film.

But what are your favourite Scottish films?

Comments

  • FullStopNextChapterFullStopNextChapter VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    Oooo this is a good question....

    In no particular order:

    The Angel's Share 
    What we did on our holiday - makes me cry every single time
    Highlander (but only for the scenery and soundtrack)

    There are so many to choose from.
    Join in my new chapter over on the blog. Discovering all things that make Scotland the place everyone wants to visit. 

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  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I love this thread!

    Am I allowed to put Outlander in the mix or is that cheating too since it's a tv series? (And if I'm allowed Outlander than I'd like to include Still Game too)
    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
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  • FullStopNextChapterFullStopNextChapter VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    Ooooooo @VisitScotlandAmanda, YES! Outlander.
    Join in my new chapter over on the blog. Discovering all things that make Scotland the place everyone wants to visit. 

    Website
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  • spootsspoots Member ✭✭
    I love this thread!

    Am I allowed to put Outlander in the mix or is that cheating too since it's a tv series? (And if I'm allowed Outlander than I'd like to include Still Game too)
    You can do Outlander :)
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Great topic, I love all of the above films but please may I add a childhood favourite of mine:
    The Clown & The Wolf-Man
    Best regards
    fishypro
  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    The best Scottish movies, for me, are most definitely the original Trainspotting and NEDS.  Both are really hard-hitting watches that we should really be proud of creating!
    Lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist for The Bright SkiesTwitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube.
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 22
    Ooh so many to choose from, but Local Hero and Restless Natives are big favourites of mine.

    Love the original Whisky Galore too and the remake is watchable.   It’s such a great story.  I was in Eriskay last year and saw some of the whisky from the SS Politician. 

    I also love an oldie from the 1940s called ‘I know where I’m going!’ which was set on Mull.  The island still looks the same today. 

    I love snapping filming locations from movies on my travels too.  So here’s an iconic red telephone box in Pennan and The Wee White Dug on one of the beaches near Mallaig that Local Hero was shot on. 


    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @fishypro is that a horror film? it looks terrifying!
    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
    Instagram
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    @VisitScotlandAmanda, it is the best film ever, more comedy than anything else. It is like a modern day Robin hood on a motorbike. You really support the Clown & The Wolfman!
    Best regards
    fishypro
  • spootsspoots Member ✭✭
    edited February 23
    Ooh so many to choose from, but Local Hero and Restless Natives are big favourites of mine.

    Love the original Whisky Galore too and the remake is watchable.   It’s such a great story.  I was in Eriskay last year and saw some of the whisky from the SS Politician. 

    I also love an oldie from the 1940s called ‘I know where I’m going!’ which was set on Mull.  The island still looks the same today. 

    I love snapping filming locations from movies on my travels too.  So here’s an iconic red telephone box in Pennan and The Wee White Dug on one of the beaches near Mallaig that Local Hero was shot on. 


    Awesome!  It's always great to see the Wee White Dug on these pages...  :)
  • mustseescotlandmustseescotland VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    edited March 1
    Totally agree with @spoots about the film  " I Know Where I'm Going" - there is even a dedicated IKWIG website! There is a poster for the film in the Western Isles Hotel in Tobermory ( one of the key locations for the film) - I took a snap of it! 


    The independent online guide to Scotland, written by Gilbert and Johanna Summers - lifetime Scottish tourism experts, so you get the best vacation. must-see-scotland.com



  • spootsspoots Member ✭✭
    Wow @mustseescotland - a great poster!  I definitely agree with you, that film is fantastic.
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