On March 10th, Film Movement Classics is releasing two digitally restored Ealing Studios films from the “golden age of British cinema” in one Blu-ray release, namely Whisky Galore! and The Maggie, available for $44.95. Both films were directed by Alexander MacKendrick, and are available on Blu-ray for the first time in North America. Included in the release is a host of bonus features, a 16-page booklet and audio commentary on Whisky Galore.
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.
Information direct from Film Movement is below:
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)
Type: Blu-ray (New Digital Restorations)
Running Time: 175 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio