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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Tight Little Island" or "Whisky a Go Go")

 

directed by Alexander Mackendrick
United Kingdom 1949

 

In 1943 disaster struck the little island of Todday. A disaster worse than Nazi-bombs. The island was denied whisky. A state of devastation sat in. Fishermen contemplated drowning themselves, because what was life without whisky. But then a cargo ship carrying 50,000 cases of whisky struck a reef. And no sooner than the Sabbath was over, one minute past midnight Monday morning, the cargo was looted. Whisky galore!

Based on a true event, “Whisky Galore!” stands today, 60 years after its making, as one of the not just most popular British comedies ever made, but also one of the best British films ever.

It was almost dropped from production. First time director Alexander Mackendrick went 20,000 over budget and Ealing seriously considered pulling the plugs. But they decided to finish the film and it became one of their biggest successes, making Mackendrick one of their most prominent names, who would go on making great films like “The Man in the White Suit”, “The Maggie” and “The Ladykillers”, and then later the seminal “Sweet Smell of Success”.

Written by Compton MacKenzie, who plays the captain of the ship in the film, and Angus McPhail, featuring great performances by Basil Radford and Joan Greenwood, “Whisky Galore!” is a triumph of Ealing comedy.

 

Henrik Sylow

***

It is 1943 and the tiny remote Hebridean island of Todday is plunged into the depths of despair. Everyone is affected. Spirits are at zero - for Todday is without whisky. Then a ship founders on the rocks, and the islanders guide the crew to safety. The ship's captain and mate reveal that they had on board a cargo of 50,000 cases of whisky bound for America. Held up for a day because it is the Sabbath, the islanders eventually succeed in removing a considerable amount of the cargo and the dawn breaks with a rosy glow on a brighter, happier island. But the whisky does not last forever... Inspired by a true story.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 16th, 1949

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

Both films are available individually on Blu-ray in the UK:

   

Distribution Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:19:58 (4% PAL speedup)  Whiskey Galore!: 1:23:46.020 / The Maggie: 1:32:15.529
Video 1.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.21 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Whiskey Galore!:

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,890,390,840 bytes

Feature: 26,132,772,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

The Maggie:

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 29,058,522,421 bytes

Feature: 28,451,653,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary on Whiskey Galore:

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.30:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by John Ellis
• Introduction by George Perry (5:06)
• Ealing Poster Gallery
• Other releases

Disc 2:
• Distilling Whisky Galore (52:05 / 4:3)
• The real Whisky Galore with Angus Campbell (19:46 / 4:3)
• Hilery MacKendrick in conversation with Anthony Slide (36:55 / 4:3)
• 64 page book comprising extracts from Faber's Alexander Mackendrick on Film-making

DVD Release Date: October 10, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 8

Release Information:
Studio:
Film Movement

 

Whiskey Galore!:

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,890,390,840 bytes

Feature: 26,132,772,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

The Maggie:

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 29,058,522,421 bytes

Feature: 28,451,653,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Film commentary on Whiskey Galore! by British film expert John Ellis
Distilling Whisky Galore! (54:18)
The Real Whisky Galore! featurette (20:36)
Booklet with new essay written by film scholar Ronald Bergen


Blu-ray Release Date:
March 10th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case i

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Film Movement Blu-ray (March 2020): Film Movement have transferred two Alexander Mackendrick directed, Ealing comedy, films; Whisky Galore! and The Maggie (aka 'High and Dry'), to separate Blu-rays. in the same package. Both have been released separately in the UK in 2011 and 2015. Of the two, Whisky Galore! looks a little worse for wear with more marks, speckles, light scratches etc.  It is a shade clunky and I would presume the same source (D1) as the UK Optimum but more robustly transferred with a max'ed out bitrate on a dual-layered disc. Either it is horizontally stretched or the DVD was a bit vertically squished. It looks more like the latter, but may be a bit of both. The aspect ratio supports the Blu-rays with a 1.37:1 for both films. The Maggie looks superior - also dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate - sharper, better contrast, more depth... quite pleasing in-motion.

On their Blu-ray, Film Movement use linear PCM mono tracks (24-bit) in the original English language - for both films. It sounds authentically flat also tight and  bit tinny with a score by Ernest Irving (Kind Hearts and Coronets) on Whisky Galore! and John Addison (Cockleshell Heroes, Tom Jones, Guns at Batasi, The Man Between, A Taste of Honey, The Honey Pot, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Smashing Time, Strange Invaders) on The Maggie both sounding deep with consistent dialogue. Film Movement offer no subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-rays.

The Film Movement Blu-ray has no new extras and includes the same commentary on Whisky Galore! by British film expert John Ellis, the 1991, hour-long, TV movie Distilling Whisky Galore!, the 20-minute Real Whisky Galore! featurette interview with islander Angus Campbell and there is an included booklet with new essay written by film scholar Ronald Bergen.

Alexander Mackendrick made two real gems here for fans of Ealing Studios. It's a positive for Region 'A'ers to have them both in one Blu-ray package. Fun films that never seem to age.

Gary Tooze

ON THE Whisky Galore! DVD: Presented in the 1.30:1 format, this newly digitally restored version of "Whisky Galore!" is simply stunning. While few scenes display W&T, and few are very grainy due to poor source, the general transfer, newly digitally restored and remastered, is impressive to say the least. Strong details, solid blacks and basically flawless. One very beautiful transfer.

Sound is the original mono track.

The extras are equally impressive. With the DVD comes a 64 page book about Mackendrick as filmmaker. The film is introduced by film critic George Perry, and is supported by a historical audio commentary by historian John Ellis. It is a highly informative commentary, full of anecdotes and historical details, similar to those by Bruce Eder or Rudy Behlmer.

Disc two has three amazing features. The first is the 1991 documentary about "Whisky Galore" and the real event by John Ellis. Very BBC-ish in its presentation, but very informative and with interviews by Mackendrick and crew. The second is a 20 minute personal reflection of the real event by islander Angus Campbell. The third and final is an interview of Alexander Mackendrick's wife, Hilary Mackendrick, by film historian Anthony Slide.

Considering the beautiful transfer and the overwhelming additional material, this is one of the best DVD releases of the year.

 - Henrik Sylow

 


Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL

 

Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

directed by Alexander Mackendrick


United Kingdom 19
54

 

'Maggie' is one of the fifty-odd puffer boats which chug among the Western Isles of Scotland. Squat, unprepossessing, and badly in need of paint, she is destined for the scrap yard unless her skipper can get her repaired. This seems a forlorn hope - until Mr. Pusey makes his mistake. Mr. Pusey works for the high-pressure American businessman, Calvin B. Marshall, who has a valuable cargo to be shipped to one of the isles. And Mr. Pusey's disastrous error is in allowing, through a misunderstanding, the cargo to be entrusted to the humble 'Maggie' with her crew of four. Originally released in the US as High and Dry.
 
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Box Cover

Both films are available individually on Blu-ray in the UK:

   

Distribution Optimum (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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