THREE PART SERIES ON THE BEST WHISKY DRINKING MOVIES
By David Becerra
PART TWO, “WHISKY GALORE!”
1948, Ealing Studios
The second film in our whisky drinking film series is a comedy called “Whisky Galore!” Does the title not say it all? The film is an unabashed celebration of whisky, drinking, getting drunk, drinking, the joy and demands of acquiring whisky, the Scotsmen who drink it and a silly Englishman who tries to stop them.
The movie begins with a few black and white shots of Scottish Island life, a narrator explains; “Northwest of Scotland, on the broad expanse of the Atlantic lie the lovely islands of the upper Hebrides, small scattered patches of sand and rock rising out of the ocean. To the west, there is nothing… except America.”
This is our setting, The Island of Todday, circa 1943. And the inhabitants, “they’re happy people, with few and simple pleasures”-said over a shot of nine little kids running out of a single hut.
The narrator continues to set-up the story; “But in 1943 disaster overwhelmed this little island. Not famine or pestilence, not Hitler’s bums or the hoards of an invading army, but something far far worse…"
Cut to an older man with a long face who exclaims, “There is no whisky!”
This is wartime Scotland, and their ration of whisky has run out. A massive, dark, gray cloud of gloom settles over the island. The islanders are depressed and the elders hold a “committee meeting” to find out what to do before people start committing mass suicide or worse, remain sober. Fortunately God intervenes and maroons a cargo ship full of cases and cases of whisky, right off the coast of Todday.
The islanders are able to extract 500 cases before the ship disappears into the sea. The rest of the film deals with the islanders drinking and celebrating while an Englishman tries to have them arrested for lifting the whisky.
This is basically it. All this movie is about is whisky. Please, please do not boast to your friends that you will take a shot every time you hear the word “whisky” or you will find yourself dead before you find out what happens at the end.
Really the best thing to do here is pick out a nice single malt scotch. I recommend something with a robust flavor: Oban, Lagavulin, Laphroaig or Macallan. If you are the kind of person who wrestles wild animals or if you have just finished chopping down a redwood tree with an ax, go ahead a open up a bottle of Talisker.