Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick
Written By: Angus MacPhail, Compton Mackenzie, from novel by Compton Mackenzie
Main Cast: Basil Radford, Catherine Lacey, Bruce Seton, Joan Greenwood, Wylie Watson
MACKENDRICK HAT TRICK: PART TWO OF THREE
I've had "Whisky Galore!" sitting here at the house for most of the week now and with my wife off at work today, I figured I'd hunker down in the bed and give it a look. To be honest, I actually had to take a respite about half way through and catch "forty winks", which is sad considering the short running time of this film.
The plot is pretty simple, so I'll try to keep this synopsis short and sweet. The film takes place on the small, isolated Scottish island of Todday, where wartime rationing leads to a dry spell on the island. By "dry", I mean that the whisky has ran out and gloom descends upon the natives of the island, who have learned to go about their daily lives, only if their bellies are filled with the drink. The islanders go about their lives, with their heads hung low, speaking in monotone voices, unable to snap out of their depression over the loss of their beloved whisky. By chance, a boat carrying 50,000 cases of whisky and headed for America, runs aground and the crew are forced to abandon ship and leave it for the sea to swallow. When the natives get wind of what the precious cargo was, they plan to steal it and when the clock strikes midnight signaling the end of the sabbath day, they commence with their plans. The cast of characters are headed up by the brilliant Basil Radford (one of the few brilliant things about "Whisky Galore!) who plays Captain Paul Waggett, the English head of the Home Guard, who, with nothing better to do assigns his men to keep watch over the sinking ship, until it is well under the sea. When the natives succeed in capturing the cargo, Captain Waggett makes it his duty to find the culprits necessary and bring them to justice.
I really need to get out of Britain as far as my movies choices are concerned. I don't have anything against the Brits but their films are just to prim and proper and for my tastes, I should have spread them out and watched them sparsely. Now don't get me wrong, I've really liked some of the British films that I've been watching, but I think it's just too much and we need to make a detour and get into some other period or some other country. I just flat out didn't enjoy this movie and aside from a few short scenes and small elements, there was almost nothing about it I found appealing. Basil Radford was good and provided all of my laugh out loud moments in the film, but even those were reduced to small chuckles. I just didn't find anything funny or amusing about an island that is cleared of whisky and the inhabitants who go into a grand funk over the loss of it. Other than that, I really can't put my finger on why I disliked "Whisky Galore!" so much, I can say, however, that this is a prime example of a movie that really makes me scratch my head and wonder, "How in the hell did this make it into the book, when so many other, great films weren't included." This is NOT, by any means, something that one MUST SEE before they die and I'd say unless you're a fan of classic Britcom films, then it's a must to avoid.
RATING: 3/10 That's a generous rating as far as I'm concerned. "The Lavender Hill Mob" still holds up as the best Ealing Studios comedy thus far. Really need something stellar to come along as I've seemed to have hit a slump of bad - average films.
MOVIES WATCHED: 233
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 768
March 19, 2011 6:20pm