Sunshine on Leith

By Ann Shayne
March 31, 2019
Singing along is one of the great things we all get to do

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  • Local Hero. My favourite movie of all time!

    • YES. Local Hero for the win! (My favorite movie too!)

      • Definitely Local Hero. It’s my favourite film too. And my husband’s. So much so, that when we got married, we had The Mist Covered Mountains as our first dance…

        • Oh yes, Local Hero!

    • mine too 🙂

    • Oh, one of the all-time bests!

    • Local Hero! Absolutely. Also my favorite movie of all time. When I was in Scotland years ago I made a pilgrimage to many of the sites in the film — my favorite being the telephone box. Its now a national historic site 🙂

  • Not a movie, but a book series by Alexander McCall Smith about a lady philosopher, her husband, her child, set in Edinburgh. On the side, she resolves mysteries. Lovely, gentle books.

    • Oh yes, I second that series – Isabel Dalhousie series. The Quiet Side of Passion is the first.

      • live this!!

  • ‘I Know Where I’m Going’, the 1940s Powell & Pressburger film starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesay.

    • Seconded! This is a beauty of a film.

      • Thirded!

  • I second Local Hero. It doesn’t get much more Scottish. And there is the added bonus of Peter Capaldi way before Doctor Who.

    • I love Lair of the White worm for the Capaldi and Hugh Grant double.

  • Hi Ann. Another classic Scottish movie is Whiskey Galore. It highlights the fortitude of the Scottish people when it comes to their whiskey! A story based on true events from 1941.

    • Another whiskey-focused movie is Angel’s Share. I haven’t seen One Day but here it is good and available on Amazon in the US

  • When you’re back in Edinburgh, you should also watch Comfort and Joy, which is also only available at Such a lovely movie, some Dire Straits music, and set in Glasgow. Like Local Hero, but urban.

    (Do not be fooled by the 2003 Hallmark movie with the same name.)

    • I remember this well. Sad we can’t get it in the US.

    • Comfort & Joy! Fabulous movie, best watched around Christmastime. Made by same director (Bill Forsyth) as Local Hero. Also by him: Gregory’s Girl.

  • HI, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a good one.

    • Fabulous film!

  • Stone of Destiny which tells the story of a group of young Scots who stole the Stone Of Scone from Westminster Abbey. Available on Amazon Prime. Very good! And to be obvious, the early seasons of Outlander on Starz.

    • Yes to Stone of Destiny!

  • This doesn’t solve the problem of not being able to stream the movie in the US, but….

    Here’s the cast and crew of Doctor Who performing Walk 500 Miles.

    • Ok, THAT was a hoot!! Kept looking for Tom Baker to stick his head in though….

    • That was great!

    • Oh that was LOVELY!

    • Thank you for that clip. Made my day, and will surely be played often to cheer me up.

  • Oh, try Dear Frankie. It’s from 2004, stars Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler, and I loved it.

    • Absolutely agree with this. It’s so moving. I forgot it was set in Scotland.

  • If you still have a DVD player, you can check to see if films are available through your local library system. Many systems also offer streaming services, which often have less common movies.
    For views of Edinburgh, Trainspotting is great.
    One of my all time favorite Scottish films is Gregory’s Girl. Takes you back to adolescence and the power of a crush. It’s directed by Bill Forsyth, who also directed Comfort and Joy and Local Hero. I have not seen a bad film by him! Here’s his imdb page.

    • I haven’t thought of Gregory’s Girl in years, but that and Local Hero are among my favorite movies!

    • Thank you for the reminder to check the library streaming service. Comfort and Joy is available on Hoopla!

  • Not a movie, but a wonderful TV series by the BBC, “Shetland.” Based on the book series by Ann Cleeves and set on the stunning Shetland Islands. I watched on either Netflix or Amazon Prime .

    • Shetland—yes!

  • Quirky but fun – Hamish McBeth; I think some of it is on Prime, and some/all on Acorn

  • I watched the trailer multiple times as I sipped coffee in bed. Now I MUST find a way to watch the entire film. Pure unadulterated joy!!

    • I agree that the movie looks great, and I hope to be able to watch it some day. But when I think “unadulterated joy,” my mind goes to something like Mama Mia. I think that the war scenes and double amputation will adulterate the joy of Sunshine on Leith for me. (But I don’t object to a dose of reality, even in a musical.)

  • I second the Shetland tv series. It’s really good.

  • Ann, only 50 weeks to go till we see Sunshine on Leith! The musical version of Local Hero which we saw on stage in Edinburgh was (I know this is heresy) even better than the 1983 movie. I’m hoping THAT will somehow come to the U.S

  • Local Hero. Also my favorite movie from way back …..

  • The tv series Case Histories, and possibly Rebus. (I haven’t watched that one yet)

  • two others: That Sinking Feeling (Bill Forsythe’s first movie) and
    The Wicker Man ( which some find a bit disturbing, but has a definite sense of the outer islands mythology)

  • Gregory’s Girl. A lovely rites of passage film. Very Scottish teens.

  • Not Scottish, but English setting. Have you read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows? Set during World War II and the German occupation of the isle of Guernsey, it is a tribute to the bravery, ingenuity, humor and determination to survive of a people cut off from the rest of the world and how they work together to survive.

    • It’s a wonderful book! Highly recommend !!

  • An early Danny Boyle film, Shallow Grave, is set in Scotland and has a very young Ewen MacGregor as one of the stars. It’s billed as a Hichkockian-style thriller. Would recommend.

  • I’ll be in the UK this autumn visiting a daughter doing her semester abroad. It’s on my list – can’t wait!

  • Comfort and Joy.

    • How about The 39 Steps?

  • My son was the bass player in the function band. They are a band in their own right Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire.

  • One Day! I loved the book and the movie, the movie perhaps slightly more!

  • Not Scottish but, “Brassed Off”… Pete Postelwaite, “young Obi Wan” and others and great music.

  • Monarch of the Glen

  • Restless natives is definitely good fun. Also recommend Dog Soldiers, Doomsday and Centurion all by Neil Marshall (director of the new Hellboy film) are also a good watch.

  • Oh and ‘Filth’ for some James MacAvoy grim crime fun.

  • Back again to recommend ‘Burnistoun’ which is a comedy show filled with the best caricatures of Scots life.

    The Debt Collector with Billy Connelly and Ken Stott is awesome.

    Don’t forget Monty Python and the Holy Grail for some lovely scenic buffoonery.

    Also Red Road set in the old tower block area in Glasgow is a great thriller.

    The Illusionist is a delightful animation recommended to all. Set in Edinburgh and the Highlands and gorgeous.

  • Barney Thomson–starring and directed by Robert Carlyle. A bit dark and gritty, but also with a sense of humor. It is available on Amazon to watch.

  • Actually I think you can watch this in the US. Now that Ann has brought this wonderful movie to our attention, we have ordered a used copy for $4 coming from Amazon with $4 shipping. It is coming from the UK probably on a slow boat because it is taking about 2 weeks to get here. The catch is the DVD player. You have to have a “region-free” one. Because my husband watches wacky Japanese and Chinese horror movies we have had one of these players for years. The players aren’t expensive.

  • How did you do it? I’m here in Europe and it’s telling me I need an Amazon UK account and can’t watch it with my US account