I came across a documentary about one of my favourite films this morning and spent a happy half hour watching it. It dawned on me as I did so that I had seen it before but I enjoyed watching it nevertheless.
In the film, Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) takes a trip to Scotland to marry her rich fiancé on the fictional Hebridean island of Kiloran. Bad weather prevents her from making the final crossing to the island. Waiting to make the trip she is forced to spend time with Torquil MacNiel (Roger Livesey) and his friends. As a result, Joan discovers that she’d rather catch her salmon in a river than buy it in a tin.
Not only does the film tell a gripping story – it’s also peppered with the quirky details that make Powell-Pressburger films so enjoyable. There are a couple in that well-chosen, two and a half minute clip above. Most famously, perhaps, there’s a roadside telephone box at the foot of a waterfall. It was built in the Summer. No-one realised that the waterfall was so loud the rest of the year that no-one using the box would be able to make themselves heard. The box actually exists – on Mull. Powell-Pressburger fans make pilgrimages to the island to see it.