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Top 20 Scottish films
Richard Mowe, curator of film at the National Museum of
Scotland, selects his top twenty Scottish films.

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Local heroLocal Hero (1983)
Dir. Bill Forsyth
In the great tradition of Ealing comedy yet with an identity all of its own, Forsyth persuaded the late great Burt Lancaster to play the Texan tycoon, tired of corporate stresses, who falls under the spell of the tiny town his ambitious chief exec (Peter Riegert) has been sent to buy. Charming, refreshing, full of unexpected twists and colourful cameos. This is vintage Forsyth.

The Maggie (1953)
Dir. Alexander Mackendrick
Another classic Ealing comedy with Scottish roots from Alexander Mackendrick, with Paul Douglas as an American financier who falls foul of the captain of a leaky boat hired to carry a precious cargo to a remote Scottish island. In the spirit of Whisky Galore.

Mrs Brown (1997)
Dir. John Madden
An intriguing and insightful exploration of the relationship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and John Brown (Billy Connolly), distinguished by fine performances from all and sundry, including Antony Sher as Disraeli, and Geoffrey Palmer as the queen’s private secretary. Handsomely mounted by director John Madden who captures the full flavour of the times.

RegenerationRegeneration (1997)
Dir. Gillies Mackinnon
A meticulously crafted adaptation of Pat Barker’s Booker prize-winner with Jonathan Pryce as the psychiatrist trying to rebuild the confidence of his patients to enable them to return to the horror of the First World War trenches.

Rob Roy (1996)
Dir. Michael Caton-Jones
A stirring historical drama from a sharp script by Alan Sharp, and robustly directed by Michael Caton-Jones in which Liam Neeson’s kilted warrior finds himself locked in emnity with John Hurt’s Montrose. Best of all is Tim Roth’s foppish yet dastardly Cunningham and Jessica Lange’s sensuous Mary in a film that has the sweeping feel of a Western and was unjustly dwarfed by Braveheart.

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