September 18th, 2009


Scottish Season

BBC4’s Scottish season isn’t all Harris tweed and rants by Jonathan Meades. They’ve been showing films, too and I watched one of my all time favourites, Powell & Pressburger’s I Know Where I’m Going. Ambitious career girl Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) plans to marry a rich industrialist on the Isle of Kiloran, in the Hebrides. Stranded by fog, she meets Torquil MacNeil (Roger Livesey, my mother’s one time heart throb) the laird of Kiloran. In spite of highland hospitality, a wild ceilidh (singing by The Glasgow Orpheus Choir) and Roger Livesey, she’s determined to get over to that island. It’s really a Highland Taming of the Shrew.

This film is full of great lines:
Joan, ‘A little odd, isn’t he?’
Torquil, ‘Isn’t everyone?’
My favourite line is when Torquil says of the islanders, ‘Oh they’re not poor. They just haven’t any money’. Livesey’s crisp, dry, way of speaking is wonderful (see also A Matter of Life and Death.) It’s a very romantic view of Scotland and quite seductive. Great cast and watch out for a precocious Petula Clark.