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WHEN you remake a classic, you should always have something new to bring to the movie.

While the film company made a valiant effort in recapturing the feelgood effect, the only real addition to Whisky Galore! is colour.

An extra new storyline was promised and certainly sounded intriguing. But the tale of the abdicated Edward VIII's love letters to Wallis Simpson being on board the SS Cabinet Minister as well as gallons of whisky was, quite frankly, pitiful.

The story went nowhere and added nothing to Compton MacKenzie's charming tale of island life.

That's not to say the film is a stinker. It is a charming retelling of MacKenzie's tale, which is based on the true story of a ship bound for America with a whisky cargo running aground and sinking off the coast of Eriskay. And it is true to the original with about 80 per cent of the dialogue exactly as delivered in the black and white version.

It is also beautifully shot around Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, capturing Scotland at its best.

Some of the Highland accents were torturous but film lovers from anywhere other than Scotland would probably miss the less-than-subtle differences in twang.

Gregor Fisher was an adorable Joseph Macroon - an old rogue with an underlying sentimentality - and was probably more true to the original written work than Wylie Watson in the first film.

Captain Wagget is a thoroughly odious, officious Englishman tasked with training the home guard on the island of Todday.

But he makes it his business to stamp out the pilfering of the whisky which was heading towards Davy Jones's locker before it was liberated by the islanders. Eddie Izzard showed he could play a bumptious straight man as well as he could avant garde comedy.

One big plus is that the new film has dispensed with the necessity to marry off the desirable Peggy to a man double her age. The romance between Macroon's oldest daughter, Naomi Battrick, and Sean Biggerstaff 's far younger Sergeant Odd is more appealing.

There are also some great comedy performances from the great and the good of Scottish film and television with James Cosmo's minister a fine example of how a small part can be just as memorable as a lead role if the actor is talented enough.

Those who loved the film first time round should similarly love this version but younger audiences may find the pace too slow.



DRAM FINE Haul of whisky is carried up the beach

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 5, 2017
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