Whisky Galore! and The Maggie by Colin McArthur
Alexander Mackendrick's first feature film "Whisky Galore!" (1949), based on the novel by Compton Mackenzie, pits the crafty islanders of Todday against the Customs and Excise men trying to halt their illegal consumption of whisky. His film "The Maggie", the adventures of a decrepit River Clyde cargo boat, was released in 1953. Both films offer distinctive representations of Scotland and the Scots, a theme that Colin McArthur pursues in this lively guide to the two films. He explores the wider context of a Britain experiencing and emerging from post-war austerity, as well as the role of Ealing Studios, for which Mackendrick made both films. McArthur examines the tastes and perceptions of reviewers and audiences, both British and American, at the time of the films' release, as well as changed contemporary perspectives. He pays particular attention to the career of Alexander Mackendrick and offers the controversial argument that while their representations of "Scottishness" may be suspect, the films themselves are of great artistic integrity and accomplishment.