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Trouble in the Glen

Trouble in the Glen is a 1954 British comedy film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles, Forrest Tucker and Victor McLaglen.[1] It is loosely based on Maurice Walsh's 1950 novel of the same name. It was filmed in Trucolor for Republic Pictures.

Trouble in the Glen
"Trouble in the Glen" (1954).jpg
theatrical poster
Directed byHerbert Wilcox
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Written byFrank S. Nugent
story by Maurice Walsh
StarringMargaret Lockwood
Orson Welles
Forrest Tucker
Victor McLaglen
Music byVictor Young
CinematographyMax Greene
Everest Pictures
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • December 3, 1954 (1954-12-03) (United States)
Running time
91 mins
CountryUnited Kingdom


Plot summaryEdit

After moving from South America to the Scottish Highlands, millionaire Sanin Cejador y Mengues (Welles) reassumes the title of laird of Glen Easan, which he inherited from his grandfather, Sandy Menzies. Obstinate in nature, Mengues soon finds the climate inhospitable, and the language and customs of the Highland people exasperating. While fishing on the loch with his equally stubborn, distantly related cousin Angus, who works as a fishing or hunting guide for the estate, Mengues hooks and then loses a large trout, and the confrontation escalates from Gaelic epithets and an overturned boat to Mengues firing Angus. When the locals then refuse to work for him and his cattle roam unmanaged over the glen, Mengues, advised by Oliver Dukes (Archie Duncan), his factor from Glasgow whom the villagers distrust, closes a heavily used road that leads through his property.

By the time American widower, Major Jim "Lance" Lansing (Tucker), a former Air Force pilot who was stationed in Scotland during World War II, returns there, the disgruntled villagers are burning the laird in effigy. After a quick drink at the pub, where he befriends tinker and former paratrooper Malcolm MacFie (John McCallum), Lance reunites with his old friends the Carnochs, who act as guardians of Lance's young daughter Alsuin (Margaret McCourt), who adores Lance but is unaware that he is her father. Stricken with polio, the bedridden Alsuin is hard-hit by the closing of the road, which inspires her made-up fairy tales and provides people to call to her as they pass.

At her request, Lance, whom Alsuin calls "Sir Lancelot", proceeds to the Mengues estate to talk to the laird about the road. Finding the gate locked, he climbs the fence, but before approaching the castle, detours to the loch and takes a swim. Mengues' feisty daughter Marissa (Lockwood) spots him trespassing and steals his trousers while he is in the loch. Later, dressed in the clothes he has left, Lance shows up at the castle and manages to meet Mengues, who will only advise him, as a fellow foreigner, to "leave Scotland."

Lansing, however, rallies the people of the glen and eventually, they prevail upon Mengues to restore peace, but not before a brief and unconvincing fistfight between Lansing and Dukes. Mengues apologizes to all by explaining that he has recently learned the difference between a lord and a laird. A lord, he says, takes care of the people and land belonging to him, while a laird belongs to the land and the people.

With peace restored, the road re-opens, and during the wedding festivities of Lance and Marissa, Mengues, dressed in a kilt, promises Alsuin, who knows now that Lance is her father, that they both will be dancing within six months. Tinker chieftain Parlan (McLaglen) and Malcolm enjoy the party from the window, until they realize it is an excellent night for poaching.



The film was based on a novel by the writer of The Quiet Man. Republic hoped that John Wayne would co-star with Margaret Lockwood. Frank Nugent said the film wasn't a sequel to Quiet Man "but we're hoping to recapture the same flavour and warmth."[2][3] The film was one of a series of movies that Wilcox and Republic intended to make together.[4] Wilcox tried to get Cary Grant to do the film, then Mel Ferrer.[5][6]

It was Orson Welles' fifth British movie in six months.[7]

Filming started 15 December 1953.[8]

Critical receptionEdit

The film received very poor reviews.[9]

  • The New York Times wrote, "The evident desire of its producer director, Herbert Wilcox, was to get a flavorsome regional entertainment about characters in the Scottish hills, comparable to the amiable treatise on the Irish that was attained in "The Quiet Man...But something went wrong in the fulfillment—something that smacks suspiciously of a dismal lack of humor in the characters, and a heavy directorial hand...Some pretty color shots of the Scottish country are dropped in and supposed to blend with some almost grotesque studio scenery. Synthetic—that's 'Trouble in the Glen'."[10]
  • On, Richard Luck summarised, "Orson Welles' career was in pretty poor shape by 1954. Broke after self-financing Othello, the former wunderkind was obliged to take on any work that came his way...Far from Orson's finest day at the office."[11]
  • TV Guide wrote, "No one but Welles seems to take any real interest in what he's doing, and Welles, though he hams it up endearingly, sits under a bouffant hairdo that could make anyone look ridiculous."[12]
  • Allmovie wrote, "the scenes involving Tucker's polio-crippled daughter (Margaret McCourt) run the risk of sloppy sentiment, but are deftly handled by producer-director Wilcox."[13]


  1. ^ "Trouble in the Glen (1954) | BFI". Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  2. ^ NOTED ON THE LOCAL SCREEN SCENE By HOWARD THOMPSON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 23 Aug 1953: X5.
  3. ^ "FROM HOLLYWOOD". The Mail (Adelaide). 43, (2, 158). South Australia. 17 October 1953. p. 60. Retrieved 19 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ LEAD IN NEW FILM TO RITA HAYWORTH: Star Cast as an Adventuress in 'Valentina,' to Be Produced in Fall by Her Company Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]14 July 1953: 18.
  5. ^ INDEPENDENTS VIE FOR MELVILLE TALE: Film Producers Attracted to 'Typee,' a South Seas Story -- Fox Gets Seimel Novel By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]15 Oct 1953: 41
  6. ^ WARNERS WILL DO LIFE OF GEN. PATTON: Studio Obtains Rights, Plans to Start Film New Year in Wide Screen and Color By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]05 Oct 1953: 33.
  7. ^ "Stars Invade U.K." The Newcastle Sun (11, 212). New South Wales, Australia. 20 May 1954. p. 22. Retrieved 1 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ Welles to Europe Again for 'Trouble in Glen'; Sombrero Premiere Set Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]24 Nov 1953: A7.
  9. ^ "Orson Welles film rejected". The Sun (13, 890) (LATE FINAL EXTRA ed.). Sydney. 19 August 1954. p. 55. Retrieved 1 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ B. C. (1955-04-11). "Movie Review – Trouble in the Glen – At the Baronet". Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  11. ^ Luck, Richard (2010-01-05). "Trouble In The Glen". Film4. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  12. ^ "Trouble In The Glen Review". 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  13. ^ "Trouble in the Glen (1954) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 2014-07-27.

External linksEdit