Back in the 1949 Ealing comedy produced a comedy remake of a real life event from 1941 and it featured plenty of whisky, plenty of slapstick fun and took its inspiration from the novel of the same name Whisky Galore by Compton McKenzie. Now it’s back for a remake, in a second attempt after originally being planned for 2004/5.
Whisky Galore! and the novel of the same name were both inspired by a real life shipwreck in 1941. The S.S. Politician was wrecked not far from the isle of Eriskay and the story continued with its cargo of whisky being taken without authority. The plot follows the attempts of the Scottish islanders to take advantage of the windfall that has come their way, even though opposition from the British authorities are a constant barrier. It’s fun, heralded a comedy classic and was in fact the first film directed by Alexander Mackendrick who went onto direct The Ladykillers and many others. The original film also starred Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Gordon Jackson and Bruce Seton. As of June 2015 the new version of the film has been in pre-production.
The film is being produced by Iain Maclean and directed by Gillies Mackinnon known for his work on a wide number of films including Hideous Kinky, The Escapist and Regeneration. The screenplay has been written by BAFTA award winner Peter McDougall and the production is bringing another exciting Scottish project back from the past and to new audiences. The majority of the shooting for the film takes place in Glasgow although a little time will be spent in the Highlands and it is sure to be as hilarious and well-loved as the original film.
At the time the original film was shot there were no whiskies produced on the outer Hebrides which made it even more exciting for the characters in the film to experience their sudden whisky-richness but now things are a little different. These days there is just one exclusive distillery on the Western Isles, the Abhainn Dearg Distillery, or ‘Red River Distillery’. It is the most westerly whisky producer in Scotland and was set up in 2008 with their first legally distilled and distributed whisky produced in 2011, with a limited run of 2,011 bottles. This first bottling was a three-year-old whisky that used a formerly illicit still to prepare it for drinking and enjoyment. Before the Abhainn Dearg Distillery a single malt hadn’t been produced in the Western Isles since 1829.
Browse The Drinks Cabinet’s full selection of Scottish whisky.