Laxdale Hall is a 1953 British romantic comedy film directed by John Eldridge and starring Ronald Squire, Kathleen Ryan, Raymond Huntley and Sebastian Shaw, with Prunella Scales and Fulton Mackay in early roles. Released in the U.S. as Scotch on the Rocks, it was adapted from the 1951 novel Laxdale Hall by Eric Linklater.
|Directed by||John Eldridge|
|Produced by||Alfred Shaughnessy|
|Written by||Alfred Shaughnessy|
|Based on||novel Laxdale Hall by Eric Linklater|
|Music by||Frank Spencer|
|Cinematography||Arthur Grant |
|Edited by||Bernard Gribble|
|Distributed by||Associated British-Pathé (UK)|
The few car owners of Laxdale, a remote village near the Isle of Skye at Applecross, refuse to pay their Road Fund taxes, in protest against the poor state of the only road. Summonses sent out via the local police mysteriously 'disappear'. The government sends a delegation to investigate. It is led by Samuel Pettigrew, a pompous politician and industrialist, whose Mother was born in Laxdale. He is accompanied by another MP, Hugh Marvell, and Andrew Flett from the Scottish Office.
Pettigrew suggests abandoning the village and setting up a New Town, Brumley Dumps, 100 miles away. But the villagers are highly unimpressed.
The villagers see everything differently. In the middle of torrential rain, the local poacher chats casually with the undertaker saying "ach, there's a bit of mist on the hill". The hearse is used to transport his poached stag. Later, in the pouring rain, they hold an open air production of MacBeth. The play is abandoned when news arrives that there are poachers from Glasgow on the estate (local poachers are tolerated). They ambush the poachers and the police arrest them.
By the time the delegation is ready to leave, Pettigrew has accepted the viewpoint of the villagers; they must have a new road.
- Ronald Squire as General Matheson
- Kathleen Ryan as Catriona Matheson
- Raymond Huntley as Samuel Pettigrew, M.P.
- Sebastian Shaw as Hugh Marvell, M.P.
- Fulton Mackay as Andrew Flett of the Scottish Office
- Jean Colin as Lucy Pettigrew
- Jameson Clark as Roderick McLeod the local poacher
- Grace Gavin as Mrs. McLeod
- Keith Faulkner as Peter McLeod
- Prunella Scales as Morag McLeod
- Kynaston Reeves as Reverend Ian Macaulay
- Andrew Keir as McKellaig
- Nell Ballantyne as Nurse Connachy
- Roddy McMillan as Willie John Watt
- Rikki Fulton as First Poacher
- Eric Woodburn as Gamlie, leader of the Poachers
- Archie Duncan as Police Sergeant at Kyle of Lochalsh
- Ian MacNaughton as Police Constable
- Howard Connell as the postman
The Radio Times wrote, "The huge success of director Alexander Mackendrick's Whisky Galore! meant it was inevitable that film-makers would cast around for more stories of wily Scots running rings around the stiff-necked English. However, lightning didn't strike twice and this tale of the battle between Whitehall and a tiny Hebridean island, whose inhabitants won't pay a hated road tax, lacks the magic sparkle of Mackendrick's classic"; whereas TV Guide wrote, "The humor is subtle and gentle, but often very funny, in much the same way as that in Bill Forsyth's pictures (Local Hero, Comfort and Joy) three decades later."