Whisky Galore! (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

Whisky Galore! (1949)



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

Whisky Galore! Photos

Movie Info

Originally released in Great Britain as Whisky Galore!, Tight Little Island is a comedy predicated on the notion that all Scotsmen are lushes. The tiny Scots Island of Todday suffers from a wartime whisky shortage. Luck of luck, a ship full of the precious liquid is wrecked on a reef. The islanders conspire to smuggle the whisky off the ship right under the noses of the pesky British revenue officials. Numerous clever comic complications occur before the happy ending--which, we are told by the narrator, was not so happy once all the whisky was consumed. Tight Little Island is regarded by devotees of British comedy as the best and most representative offering from the short-lived Ealing Studios.

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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
Mary McNeil Fenollosa
as Mrs. MacCormac
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 (25) | Top Critics (11)

[A] convivial little classic.

April 7, 2016

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

A classic tale of gentle anti-authoritarianism.

July 29, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Whisky Galore!


It's not vintage Ealing, but it's a fine dram all the same.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer


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
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
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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