Whisky Galore!

Critics Consensus

A raucous caper with a dash of rebellious subtext, Whisky Galore! is a smooth comedic gem that audiences can enjoy on the rocks.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 25

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,172

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Movie Info

During World War II, the tiny Scottish island of Todday runs out of whisky. When the freighter S.S. Cabinet Minister runs aground nearby during a heavy fog, the islanders are delighted to learn that its cargo consists of 50,000 cases of whisky. When officious English commanding officer Captain Waggett (Basil Radford) demands return of the liquor, shopkeeper Joseph Macroon (Wylie Watson) and his daughters Peggy (Joan Greenwood) and Catriona (Gabrielle Blunt) spearhead an island rebellion.

Cast & Crew

Basil Radford
Captain Paul Waggett
Joan Greenwood
Peggy Macroon
Gordon Jackson
George Campbell
Catherine Lacy
Mrs. Waggett
Bruce Seton
Sergeant Odd
Wylie Watson
Joseph Macroon
Gabrielle Blunt
Catriona Macroon
Jean Cadell
Mrs. Campbell
John Gregson
Sammy MacCodrun
Monja Danischewsky
Associate Producer
Ernest Irving
Original Music
Gerald Gibbs
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for Whisky Galore!

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (1)

  • [A] convivial little classic.

    April 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • One of three Ealing comedies released in 1949 (the others were Passport to Pimlico and Kind Hearts and Coronets), and remains by far the sharpest, freshest and most resonant.

    December 27, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Catherine Lacey and Gordon Jackson are among the players who got fed up with drinking cold tea and pretending it was the hard stuff.

    July 29, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • Beguiling, subversive and a complete joy.

    July 28, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Out of this excellent idea, which less skilled hands might have reduced to farce, the British moviemakers have spun a tight little comedy of pure gold.

    April 4, 2011 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • The film hangs on a superb sense of community -- both in the story and in its making.

    April 4, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Whisky Galore!

  • May 28, 2016
    It's not vintage Ealing, but it's a fine dram all the same.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2011
    Delightful post-war British comedy illustrating for the umpteenth time the fighting spirit of the "ordinary Joe" (or in this case Jock) when set against the pomposity of the would-be ruling classes. Capt Waggett (Basil Radford) is the real star here as the middle class representative of stiff upper lippery. Surely Jimmy Perry and David Croft must have drawn on him when they were dreaming up the Capt Mainwaring character for the long-running BBC TV sit-com "Dad's Army". Even one of Waggett's lines ("I was waiting to see when you'd spot that", a comment usually made when Mainwaring had just uttered some piece of logistical nonsense) made an appearance. Unmissable example of British comedy rooted in the style that made Ealing so succesful
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2010
    [Warning: Some might say this review contains spoilers, though I personally wouldn't have minded reading any of these comments beforehand.] I love many of those little British comedies of the '50s and early '60s, and I know this is regarded as a classic and one of the first of its breed. But this film really frustrated me. The premise of an isolated, unhappily "dry" island suddenly finding itself with a motherlode of contraband alcohol is so wonderful, but the execution just doesn't pay off like it should. I envisioned a plot about the amusing repercussions of sitting on this bounty. Some people will get too drunk. Other people will do unwise things while drunk. Other people will covet others' stashes, resulting in a comic series of thefts and quarrels. Great fun. But instead, a large chunk of the film is devoted to simply *getting* the whisky and setting the story in motion. And once the town has its booze, not much happens beyond the authorities trying to claim it back. Very little in the way of human comedy results -- just car chases and action scenes. Furthermore, the final *minute* or so suddenly adds a buzzkill conclusion which comes off like something hastily inserted after the temperance board protested an early screening. What a drag!
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2009
    A very accessible comedy thriller for a 1940s black & white movie. Full of Dad's Army, home guard humour and George Formby type characters. Explains a lot about the conservative ways of Scottish island live nowadays too...
    Ross C Super Reviewer

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