Wednesday, August 11

whisky galore

This is one of my yearly reads. Can pick up copies on the 'bay for cheap and I tend to give them as gifts (like giving Fleming's Goldfinger to golfers); fantastic wordplay and cultural humor -huge recommend.

Snap backstory; adapted from Compton Mackenzie's novel of the same name, the British film [almost a social comedy -ed.] Whisky Galore (sometimes called Tight Little Island in the US, or Whisky A Go-Go) follows the WWII inhabitants of Todday island off the west coast of Scotland as they recover from a sudden dearth of whisky by looting a stricken freighter -that had been carrying thousands of cases of the water of life. The hull of the ship was later blown up by a frustrated local customs officer to put the whisky beyond temptation, prompting one anguished islander to exclaim; Dynamiting whisky! You wouldn't think there'd be men in the world so crazy as that!

Novelist Mackenzie was inspired by the real life 1941 grounding of the SS Politician off the Hebridean island of Eriskay, but it was only because Ealing Studios was full that cast and crew made the long trip to shoot on location on Barra.

This bottle of Ballantine's below, from the actual wreck, will be sold next week at Bonham's in Edinburgh. Estimate around $3,000.

Basil Radford as Englishman Captain Paul Wagett
who continually accuses the islanders of being lazy and liquor soaked.
Looking natty as hell I may add.

The fantastic Gordon Jackson (left) plays mild mannered George Campbell
who transforms due to the enabling effects of Whyte&Mackay.

James Robertson Justice (right) does his thing as Dr. Maclaren.
Whole post soon on this stalwart British actor.

Hide it quick. In the gutters, fill the cradle...anywhere.
The setpiece of the customs men looking for the liberated whisky is a big draw.