Tight Little Island

Authority, and not the Germans, is the enemy in this Ealing comedy. During WW II an island community in the Outer Hebrides finds its whiskey stock has evaporated. Fate intervenes, stranding a cargo ship laden with the sought-after commodity just off shore. But water isn't the only thing keeping the islanders from the booze; the local Home Guard, commanded...read more

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Authority, and not the Germans, is the enemy in this Ealing comedy. During WW II an island community in the Outer Hebrides finds its whiskey stock has evaporated. Fate intervenes, stranding a cargo ship laden with the sought-after commodity just off shore. But water isn't the only thing

keeping the islanders from the booze; the local Home Guard, commanded by priggish Englishman Radford, presents a much more bothersome obstacle. And because this treasure ship has arrived on the sabbath, the "pious" island folk must also wait 24 hours before undertaking to liberate the ship's hold.

In the finest Ealing tradition of circumventing authority while satirically poking holes in it, the thirsty Scotsmen outwit the Home Guard and get their hands on the much-desired cargo. Novelist and coscreenwriter Mackenzie found the inspiration for the book on which the film is based in the

real-life wreck of a cargo ship (which contained some 50,000 cases of whiskey) off the Isle of Eriskay in 1941, and the "rescue" efforts by locals. This was the first feature directed by Mackendrick, who had worked for the studio as a screenwriter. The original title, WHISKY GALORE, was reputedly

changed for US distribution because of objections to the inclusion of the word "whisky" in the title.