The Outer Hebrides could be in for a welcome bump next year after featuring in a new VisitScotland movie locations brochure being promoted internationally.
The movies shot on location or based on the islands include Brave (2012), Limbo (2021); The Road Dance (2022); 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); and Whisky Galore! (1949).
In the foreword to Set in Scotland - A journey through big screen locations, Hollywood movie legend James Cosmo MBE writes that Scottish films have formed connections throughout his life. These included The Maggie, a movie set on the Crinan Canal in Argyll that featured his father, James Copeland, as the ship’s mate.
The director of that 1954 British comedy was Ealing Studios filmmaker Alexander Mackendrick. He had already filmed much of the classic comedy Whisky Galore! on Barra several years earlier. And James Cosmo would later land a part in the 2016 remake.
Commented Cosmo: “The neighbouring island of South Uist was the location of one of my early short films – The Duna Bull (1972) – directed by Laurence Henson and photographed by Edward McConnell, under their Films of Scotland banner. It was a lovely light-hearted comedy about islanders faced with having to replace their only bull.”
The Pixar animation Brave used a fictionalised version of the Callanish Stones as a backdrop to the movie’s dramatic climax, while the 2021 comedy-drama Limbo was shot in Uist.
The Gearrannan black house village in Lewis was the setting of this year’s movie The Road Dance, while famed director Stanley Kubrick used Loch Airigh in Harris as a stand-in for the planet Jupiter in the 1968 hit movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Meanwhile, the 1949 Ealing comedy Whisky Galore! was filmed on Barra after the director decided Eriskay’s one road and solitary street were too small for their requirements.