Ealing Studios' output from the 1940s and 1950s not only helped define what was arguably the golden age of British cinema but also fostered the emergence of talented directors such as ALEXANDER MACKENDRICK (The Ladykillers, The Man in the White Suit). This March, Film Movement Classics celebrates the iconic director with a special double bill featuring two unforgettable Mackendrick comedies - WHISKY GALORE! & THE MAGGIE - along with a host of specially produced bonus features.
Named one of the BFI's Best British Films of the 20th Century and shot entirely on location, Mackendrick's 1949 directorial debut WHISKY GALORE! is a "tight little comedy of pure gold" (TIME) about a Scottish island deprived of its most essential libation. Mackendrick returned to his Scottish roots once again for 1954's THE MAGGIE. Described by the Radio Times as a "cross between Whisky Galore! and The Titfield Thunderbolt," this often "underestimated" Ealing comedy gem, which follows the exploits of a wily puffer boat captain, was nominated for three BAFTA Awards. Mackendrick
Mackendrick, who expressed his love affair with the backwoods of Scotland in both WHISKY GALORE! and THE MAGGIE, was actually born in Boston, his parents having emigrated from Glasgow in 1911. However, he spent a great deal of his life in Great Britain, nine years of which at Ealing where he helped form their particular comedy style with other films such 1951's The Man in the White Suit (for which he received a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination) and 1955's The Lady Killers. After the BBC bought out Ealing, Mackendrick left the UK for Hollywood where he would go on to direct Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success (1957), a box office failure that would negatively impact the rest of his career, even though it is today considered among the greatest films ever made.
Whisky Galore! (1949)
Inspired by a true story. It is 1943 and the tiny Hebridean island of Todday is plunged into the depths of despair. Spirits are low - for Todday is without whisky! Then one night during heavy fog, a freighter runs aground which happens to hold a cargo of 50,000 cases of whisky bound for America. Soon a battle of wits ensues between the local Home Guard commander (Basil Radford) and the islanders as both attempt to seize the salvaged treasure.
The Maggie (1954)
The "Maggie" is one of the fifty-odd puffer boats which chug among the Western Isles of Scotland. The aging vessel is destined for the scrap yard unless her wily skipper, MacTaggart (Alex Mackenzie), can
get her repaired. This seems a forlorn hope until he concocts a scheme for the humble "Maggie" and her crew of four to be entrusted to transport the valuable cargo of wealthy American industrialist Calvin B. Marshall (Paul Douglas).
- Whisky Galore! audio commentary by John Ellis
- Distilling Whisky Galore! documentary
- The Real Whisky Galore! featurette
- 16-page booklet with notes by film scholar Ronald Bergen (Blu-ray only)
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vU6dal
* Trailer: youtube.com
* Website: filmmovement.com