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October 2018



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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.


Ratbags, I missed that. I love Powell and Pressburger films. They don't get half the attention they deserve.
We get so used to the idea that there's nothing on that we stop looking.
That YouTube clip is French. Perhaps they're appreciated more overseas.
It's strange, it gets sexier the more you watch it. That scene where he translates the Scottish song with the line 'You're the maid for me' for instance.
I know the song but sung differently. As soon as you mention Kathleen Ferrier I can't think of any song except Blow the Wind Southerly! Love the sound of your new old chair.
I love that film! And I have it on DVD so shall watch it again soon. (Wendy Hiller looked awfully like my granny - bet you're thrilled to know that!).
Lucky you! And ha ha! My mum saw a much older Wendy Hiller on television (might have been in All Passion Spent) and said 'She looks just like my gran.' Wendy Hiller, the universal granny. Perhaps it was that slightly Queen Mary look she had.
True enough. I like a good rant.
I do like that film - it's one of my faves too. In the days when a baby ozard dude used to have an afternoon nap before we went to pick the others up from school one of my big treats was a couple of hours with a film like this - they often used to be on BBC2 and Channel 4 after lunch.
Old films seem to be on at odd times these days. I need to record things that are on in the middle of the night.