Whisky Galore (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

Whisky Galore (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Memorable World War II-era farce about a Scottish island devoid of whisky--until a ship carrying some 50,000 cases of liquor is wrecked off its coast. A massive rescue operation immediately ensues, which in turn leads to a massive cover-up operation as the authorities set out to investigate. (Alternate title: Tight Little Island)more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Compton MacKenzie, Compton MacKenzie, Angus MacPhail
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures


Basil Radford
as Capt. Paul Waggett
Joan Greenwood
as Peggy Macroon
Bruce Seton
as Sgt. Odd
Catherine Lacey
as Mrs. Waggett
Gordon Jackson
as George Campbell
Wylie Watson
as Joseph Macroon
Gabrielle Blunt
as Catriona Macroon
Jean Cadell
as Mrs. Campbell
Morland Graham
as The Biffer
Duncan Macrae
as Angus MacCormac
Compton MacKenzie
as Capt. Buncher
John Gregson
as Sammy MacConrum
James Woodburn
as Roderick MacRuire
James Anderson
as Old Hector
Jameson Clark
as Constable Macrae
Alastair Hunter
as Capt. MacKechnie
Norman Macowan
as Capt. MacPhee
Alistair Hunter
as Capt. MacKechnie
Henry Mollison
as Mr. Farquharson
Frank Webster
as 1st Mate
Finlay Currie
as Narrator
A.E. Matthews
as Col. Linsey-Woolsey
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Critic Reviews for Whisky Galore

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6)

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Top Critic

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 11, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Whisky Galore


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 Collins

Super Reviewer

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 Maples

Super Reviewer

[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 Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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