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  • This wonderfully charming film from the Powell and Pressburger team is probably their most underrated great work: the most recent "Sight and Sound Critics Poll" of British films didn't even include this gem in the top 100. If it means anything, "Trainspotting" was in the top 10.

    What elevates the film beyond other light-hearted romances is chiefly the impeccable acting and tight screenplay by Emeric Pressburger, probably the greatest English screenwriter to have ever lived. This might be generic laudation to any film, but by no means is Wendy Hiller's performance generic. As the young gold-digger-type woman, Hiller is slightly bewildered at being sidetracked to the Scottish natives, but she is much more fluxed when she realizes she is falling for a common Scotsman, and not the rich lord she envisioned. So what is the reaction to this bafflement? A fierce sense of panic that is very honest in its depiction of desperation. It might be puzzling to the viewer why our heroine should seek royalty so vehemently, but because of Hiller's expert frenzied facial tics, we see her slowly realize her ridiculousness herself. In an age where critics desire constant plausibility and "believability" in romances, Pressburger reminds us that attraction is something that can largely be out of our control. Hiller's character, an obsessive control freak, is the perfect example of one who cannot comprehend this fact.

    The perfect foil for Hiller's hysteria, of course, is Rover Livesey's soft-spoken Torquil Macneil. Before Ashton Kucher-like effete twigs came to dominate on-screen masculinity (or Vin Diesel-like muscle-studded goons on the other extreme), the quiet dignity and charisma of a man like Livesey could light up a screen without any histrionics or wrestling moves. Those still looking for romantic realism will recognize that like Hiller's character, Livesey is just as strong-willed, and more importantly, is a match in wits and a counterbalance in earnest, world-weary personality. Their mutual attraction is perfectly played out in the strangely electric silences as much as the dialogue.

    But the performances enhance what is already a remarkable script. The very basic premise of the love story can be read by many other astute reviewers on this website who also see the merits of this film. Powell and Pressburger have always been smart enough to embed their love stories with some heavy ideas: in "The Red Shoes," it was love vs. art; in "I Know Where I'm Going!" it is love vs. money. Sounds simple enough, but unlike other romances, these filmmakers can glean insights on the definition of poverty. While primitive (the one phone in town is at the post office) and poor (the staff in charge there can't break change for a pound), the villagers are portrayed affectionately with class, dignity, and culture, especially in a wonderful dance scene that seems to affectionately embody both a small community's close familiarity with one another, as well as the drunken festival spirit. Like Livesey's character says at one point in the film, "They aren't poor, they just haven't got any money." It's a succinct but revealing statement about the human condition in a time where money did not necessarily determine one's social class because of many other admirable factors. Contrast this cultural milieu with a film like "8 Mile," in which the characters are "real" if they are from the "streets" or living with trailer trash parents, and "phony" if they have an education from a private school, and you can see how our self-important attitudes are progressing.

    Lastly, I must mention that this is one of the most exquisitely photographed black and white films I have ever seen, and the Criterion remastering does the film ample justice. I have been harping on the merits of the high-mindedness of Pressburger, but the appropriate plaudits must be dealt for Powell's emotionally expressive vistas that equal his achievements in "The Edge of the World." From the craggy peaks of the highest cliffs or the frothy waves of every bank, the film's mystic sense of ambiance is drawn by a foggy mist that pervades most scenes. For once, grand scenery doesn't dwarf the characters; every picturesque shot either captures the characters in the beauty of the element, or is intended as a complement to the characters' emotions. It's a great film.
  • marcslope26 December 2000
    It's really "It Happened One Night" -- spoiled girl, on the way to wed her rich fiance, is escorted by a younger man and falls in love with him -- but it's so much more. Powell's and Pressburger's imaginations are boundless. They create characters who are lovable eccentrics, but believable. They shift tone effortlessly from comedy to thriller to travelogue to romance and back again. They employ every resource of cinema, without being showy about it: watch the camera tricks in the first ten minutes alone. They fill the movie with diversions that have little to do with the plot but create a beautifully picaresque atmosphere.

    I don't know of any other movie that is so inconsequential on the face of it, yet packs such an enormous emotional wallop. Ostensibly an assembly-line romantic comedy, it's really about spiritual growth, opening yourself to all sorts of new experiences and learning to see things from others' points of view. It's whimsical, but not thin. With its moody photography, wonderful musical score, and numerous coups de cinema, it lingers in your memory months after you've seen it. And the ending is one of the most satisfying in all the movies.

    One minor complaint: Hiller is a tad too steely in the beginning, too crisp, too calculating-actress-playing-calculating-character. As she succumbs to the charms of her surroundings and her leading man, though, she's bewitching. And Livesey has one of the most beautiful speaking voices you'll ever hear. Their chemistry is terrific. And when he recites a Celtic poem ending in, "you're the one for me," and looks right at her, it's quite sexy.

    There's no other movie quite like it. And I defy anyone to see it on a date and not fall in love with his/her vis-a-vis.
  • I love it that this page is as full as a cornucopia with praise from fans of "I Know Where I'm Going."

    In the same way that it is delightful for a movie fan to discover this little-known, black-and-white, Powell and Pressburger romance, it is also delightful to encounter other fans of the movie here.

    "I Know Where I'm Going" is a quiet and adorable movie. It gives you a Scotland that really exists; if you aren't lucky enough to visit someday, you can visit by slipping into your jammies, brewing up some tea, putting out all the lights, and watching this movie.

    Star Wendy Hiller was memorable, when she was younger, for her Eliza Doolittle, opposite Leslie Howard's Henry Higgins. When she was a bit older, she played Paul Scofield's / St. Thomas More's wife in "A Man for All Seasons."

    Here Hiller plays Joan, a driven golddigger who is given pause for thought by a less-than-wealthy but highly noble Scottish Laird, Roger Livesy, whom she can't escape from when a gale postpones her marriage, which was scheduled to occur on an isolated island.

    Joan's groom was to be a nouveau riche industrialist, who is renting the island, and who happens to be old enough to be her father. As Joan's scandalized father himself points out.

    The DVD notes tell you what this movie had to say about war-time Britain, about Winston Churchill's being kicked out of office, about rationing and the loss of empire.

    But ... enough of all that. This is a love story, the love story of the characters on the screen, and the love of its fans for this movie. Watching "I Know Where I'm Going" induces an atmosphere of coziness, tradition, mystery, tartan wool and fierce storms, of both the meteorological *and* cardiac varieties.

    Enjoy the love story, the Scottish burrs, the rafter folklore, the golden eagle, the lead couple's first kiss, the wolfhounds silhouetted against the mist.

    My only regret is that this film is so short ... I wish I could recommend another film as a double feature to fill in the afterglow this film induces... but what? "Brigadoon," a Hollywood musical about a mystical Scottish village, is too heavy-handed in comparison. Disney's "Thomasina" is sweet, but maybe too sweet.

    Let's face it ... they don't make enough movies like "I Know Where I'm Going." Sweet but dry as scotch; scratchy as thistle. Mystical as an ancestral curse but clear-eyed as the first clear day after a storm breaks. How many romantic comedies ask you if you know how to skin a rabbit, and then show you a golden eagle eating one, quite graphically, on camera?

    Sigh. All I can say is, I envy those who haven't seen this movie yet. You have a real pleasure ahead of you.
  • I take this down once a year and watch it as it delights me on so many different levels.

    I love the character portrayed by Wendy Hiller, an independent woman, confident of the direction of her life, the wealthy husband she has selected, the wedding just around the corner.

    Then her plans start to unravel as an impoverished laird walks into her life and it is never the same again. Roger Livesey is wonderful in this also and the location shooting in Scotland, even though B & W, is breathtaking. The music, particularly "My Nut Brown Maiden" is beautifully done along with the old ceilidh dancing.

    Some wonderful bit parts also. Loved Petula Clark as an eccentric child. Trivia lovers: I had read that Roger and Wendy were not physically together throughout the making of this movie. In all of the shots of them together, body doubles and reaction shots were used. I have viewed it in the light of this knowledge and it could be true.

    Also, for those of you from across the pond and of an older vintage, Roger Livesey played Doctor Dale for years in the BBC's "Mrs. Dale's Diary".

    I gave it a 9 out of 10. Certain movies are just "Satisfying" and this is one of them.
  • Two things, though, you should watch for:

    (1) Our first glimpse of Scotland comes as part of the heroine's queer dream on the train: we see a series of friendly rounded hills, all made out of tartan. It's a lovely image. It's also our first hint that our heroine has even the tiniest bit of romanticism about her. It later takes every force of man and nature in the real Scotland to bring it out.

    (2) The locals she stays with are a nice bunch. They're not cloyingly sweet; but Powell and Pressburger don't present us with insularity and narrow-mindedness as if such traits are meant to be endearing, in the way that so many hymns of praise to small communities do. Anyway: watch for the cameo given to Petula Clark, that young girl with glasses. She only gets a few lines, but it's a great part.

    This is only the second Powell/Pressburger film I've seen (and only the fourth film of Powell's). I'm impressed. Are they all this good?
  • Ron Oliver12 January 2000
    It's a shame that so few people have seen this gem of a movie during the last half century, as it is a little masterpiece, perfectly honed and crafted, without an unnecessary scene or line of dialogue. This is the kind of neglected film you dream about discovering, but so rarely do. Of all the celebrated productions given the world by the multi-talented team of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, this is the one that should stand as their monument.

    The story, in its very bare bones is this: a stubborn & headstrong young woman of Manchester travels to Scotland's Inner Hebrides to marry her very rich fiancé on the remote island he's rented. Foul weather strands her on the Isle of Mull where she meets a rather dashing, if somewhat penniless, laird.'ll have to see the rest for yourself. Suffice it to say that the plot includes a ruined castle, an ancient curse, and the terrifying whirlpool of Corryvreckan...

    Dame Wendy Hiller & Roger Livesey are perfect as the main characters. The excellent supporting cast includes Walter Hudd as a highly efficient private secretary, Finlay Currie as a craggy old fisherman, Capt. C. W. R. Knight, F.Z.S. as an eccentric English colonel with a passion for raptors, Pamela Brown as a no-nonsense Islander, gentle Jean Cadell as the Tobermory postmistress, Catherine Lacey & Valentine Dyall as a slightly boorish English couple tenanting a large castle, young Petula Clark as their serious little daughter, Nancy Price as an elderly aristocratic Scotswoman with wonderful memories & John Laurie as a boisterous soldier celebrating his parents' Diamond Anniversary.

    The splendid Glasgow Orpheus Choir appears as performers at the Campbell Céilidh. The production is greatly enhanced by location filming on Mull, and Erwin Hillier's special photographic effects.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I can only agree with the other fans of IKWIG here in praising this movie. A few corrections: Joan Webster, the heroine, does *not* have a private income, she got to know her fiancé because he's the owner of Consolidated Chemical Industries, where she works. It's not clear from the film, but apparently Powell and Pressburger said she is supposed to be a chemist (not a receptionist) at CCI. Also, the money her father gives her is not an allowance from him, but her own savings - she's cleaning out her bank account. The reason he has the money is because he's a bank manager, and presumably her account is with his bank.

    Also, her fiancé, Sir Robert Belinger, a rich industrialist, was probably knighted for "services to the crown", but I don't think he's a lord, and I don't think that Torquil MacNeil, the hero, is "descended from royalty", just the local aristocracy.

    Somebody mentioned a "witch's curse". A family curse certainly is part of the story, but the woman who started it was not a witch, and no one ever had a better reason for cursing someone than she did (and in the end, of course, it turns out not to be a curse at all)!

    I read a review saying that the film is great, but Wendy Hiller is too unsympathetic as Joan. Where??? If I had to decide what I love best about this film (after the whole atmosphere), it would be Wendy Hiller's performance. She starts out as a sophisticated, slightly brittle city girl, but as the story unfolds, you can just feel the vulnerability and deep emotions under the brittle shell, as if it were happening to you. Now, that's acting!

    I always look forward to the scene at Port Erraig, when Joan arrives expecting the boat that will take her to Kiloran, and the islands start to cast their "spell" on us. In the fog, all you can see is the mysterious outlines of the people waiting there, and the music fits the scene. I especially love the "seals singing" - I wonder if seals really do "sing" like that? The Gaelic contributes to the atmosphere, too - I'd love to ask someone who knows Gaelic if they're speaking the real thing, and if the accents of the actors are right!

    Other favorites: Pamela Brown's luminous performance as Catriona MacLean, the eagle-training Colonel, the chemistry between the two leads, the on-location filming, Roger Livesey's voice (especially in the scene at Moy Castle where he begins "I'd better introduce myself" - I'm a sucker for that one!), and the underlying message of the film. Others have mentioned Petula Clark's small but notable performance as Cheryl. I think Powell and Pressburger did a fine job of showing Cheryl as a real child here, not as a sickeningly sweet Hollywood child. Cheryl is different from her affectionate but oblivious parents, and different again from Joan.

    Has anybody else noticed that the timing is off in this film? The story works both dramatically and emotionally, but the timing *is* wrong! The most obvious slip is that Torquil announces at least twice that he has eight days' leave from the navy. On the second full day (at Achnacroish), he says that he has six more days, which is about right, but the next day they attempt to cross to Kiloran, and the day after that he's headed back to his ship, which leaves at least three days unaccounted for! A small thing: at Catriona's house, Torquil tells Joan that he's known the island of Kiloran for 29 years, and she replies "I shouldn't have thought you as old as that". I'm sorry, Roger Livesey looks good, but he looks his age (late 30s, early 40s - I believe he was 39 when he made the movie), not under 29!

    Anyway, this is a quiet but wonderful movie. Watch it, more than once if necessary, and give it a chance to work its magic on you - you'll be glad you did!
  • If I could take only one movie with me to a desert island, this would be it. Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey are so vibrant and every scene is a joy to watch.

    Part of the chemistry is that Hiller is assertive and on top of everything and Livesey is more vulnerable and searching -- she resists him and he reaches out to her -- I think of Virginia Woolf's line about how the sexiest thing is if a woman is "man-womanly" and a man is "woman-manly."

    My favorite moment comes early on, when Hiller says, about the eccentric colonel, "He's an odd one, isn't he," and Livesey responds, "Who isn't." There's so much feeling and humanity in how he says this -- so much depth -- I fall in love with his character and this movie every time.
  • Whenever I am asked what my favorite movie of all time is, I laugh and say it's an impossible question, but if pressed, I usually say it's I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING. I never, ever tire of watching this movie. It is a beautiful picture in every way. On the one hand, it is perfectly crafted with extraordinary visuals ("a new visual trick every minute," said Powell), and on the other, the story is a gem of romanticism.

    The movie is ultimately about Wendy Hiller's character coming to terms with her emotions, with her romanticism, with the idea that love is something one cannot and should not control, and that the greatest thing about love is allowing it to wash over you and transform you. Hiller is transformed, and the process is a miraculous sight to behold. You will be transformed, too. The movie gets you to experience the process of falling in love, and it does so through a magnificent story and acting, and directing choices which especially use the Hebrides landscape to sort of cast a spell on the characters and on you. The landscape is one of the most special elements of this picture. See how carefully Hiller's train journey is presented..... it's like she's being transported to another world, a powerful world of romanticism and emotion.

    On the surface, there is not much "plot" to this picture. But underneath, there is so much going on that the movie is tremendously engaging on an emotional level. It also contains what I think is the greatest, most joyous movie wedding of all time!
  • The title, "I Know Where I'm Going," refers to a declaration made by the film's heroine, Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller), a middle-class English girl who's determined to get to the top of the social rung by any means legal. Thus, at the story's outset, we learn she has just become engaged to Sir Robert Bellinger, one of the richest industrialists in Britain. She knows where she's going all right: To the Scottish isle of Killoran, by train and by boat, where her future as Lady Bellinger is to be confirmed in matrimony.

    Yet as far as Joan is concerned, Killoran may as well be a distant planet, for either thick fog or a high wind makes it impossible for her to ferry across to Gretna Green. It's as if the atmosphere, something in the climate, or perhaps the old legends and superstitions that proliferate the Highlands are conspiring to keep her from obtaining everything she's ever wanted from the time she was a child.

    It's obvious to the Scottish locals that the island of Killoran is highly suspect as the key to Joan's future happiness. Yet she is stubborn, even bribing a boy to pilot a small boat to Killoran in the midst of a huge squall – a move that proves nearly fatal. She's determined to get "where she is going," but she's turned away -- by the elements as well as by a slow realization that she has become emotionally attached to a naval officer on leave (Roger Livesey) who she has just encountered.

    Michael Powell, the director, keeps things moving at an agreeable pace. There isn't a single wasted motion in this modest little film. The minor characters are memorable: Pamela Brown, as Catriona, who is introduced silhouetted against the gray Northern sky, her hand tethered to a leash restraining dogs as they make their way up a brae; Finley Curray, whose weather-beaten face says more about his salty character than the terse, excellent dialogue he is given; and there's a cameo by a pre-teen Petula Clark.
  • Perhaps the most charming movie I have ever seen. So beautifully filmed and mirthfully realized. Wendy Hiller & Roger Livesey are both brilliant and irrepressible. The Scot spirit is most beautifully realized. From start to finish, one of the most enjoyable viewings I've ever had.
  • Superlatives cannot suffice to give justice, or homage, to 'I Know Where I'm Going'. This is, simply, one of the most delightful and enchanting films. Ever. Expect it to remain so.

    On screen Wendy Hiller is always luminous, and her acting superb. Here, in Roger Livesey's brilliantly understated company - which all of today's leading men (with the exceptions of Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman) would do well to study and emulate, Hiller devotes an unforgettable performance. But I most loved Pamela Brown's glowing effort as Catroina Potts, whom Emeric Pressburger mistook to think ugly: for Brown is one of the loveliest, most entrancing women ever to have graced the screen; in fact, I feel she's in a class by herself, a class never to be entered by another. As radiantly and a sun, a moon, a star, a galaxy, Brown's face and eyes are sheer, transfixing magic.

    The location filming yielded an exemplar of black & white cinematography, and the editing in 'I Know Where I'm Going' is its happy equal. The supporting cast, the marvleous special effects, and the whimsical inventiveness of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger all conspired congenially to bait and hook me forever: when I die I hope the afterlife, if there is one, will be of their black & white splendor. I shall watch again and again this dear, splendid film and always appreciate and enjoy its goodness.

    Never mind the plot, my dears, just do not miss this cinema jewel. Let 'I Know Where I'm Going' steal your breath away, and then swell your breast with fresh, heady gales of atmosphere. Be enchanted.
  • This is an enchanting film which stays with you long after viewing.

    Some of the special effects in this film are outstanding for the time. The scene at Corrievreckan by Fingal's Cave is visually convincing.

    Also the use of Gaelic is an enjoyable addition for any Gaelic speaker. The addition of Gaelic helps to make this film more authentic and roots it in the culture of Gaelic Scotland.
  • Powell and Pressburger's romance of the Scottish isles has Wendy Hiller as Joan Webster, seeking money and a marriage of advantage to the (unseen) Sir Robert, out on the mysterious isle of Killoran.

    Of course, the Scottish climate makes sure she breaks her journey, which is where the dashing laird Torquil (Roger Livesey) comes in, with falcons, fog-bound locations, and sinister family curses.

    Perhaps the best scene of all is at the Campbell's wedding anniversary ceildh, where Torquil translates a Gaelic ballad for Joan. This is a black and white vision of a heavenly Scotland which probably never existed, but in Powell's expert direction that doesn't matter. Lovely.
  • Underneath its frothy 40's dialogue and old fashioned manners lies a seething mass of sexual tension symbolized by the natural elements within the film. The sea, the wind, animals and magic are all used to turn a traditional romance into something far more intriguing. Animals are regularly seen in human situations, dogs are found in armchairs and an eagle gouges a fox in a sitting room. The weather constantly interferes with communication the whole story is a journey halted by weather, even the one telephone in the village is positioned next to a deafening waterfall. For many reasons its a natural precursor to Black Narcissus and its wild howling wind reflecting female sexual frustration.

    A really beautiful and individual film.
  • Wendy Hiller is one of the great unsung British actresses of the stage and Cinema, and along with Pygmalion, Major Barbara, and Separate Tables, this is one of her signature performances. A classic Romantic comedy, IKWIG magnificently blends wry wit, terrific chemistry between Livesey and Hiller, breathtaking photography, and the inimitably whimisical and special directorial touches of Powell/Pressburger. A must-see for philanthropes of all ages.
  • square-peg1 October 2005
    Made while waiting for the Technicolour cameras they needed to make 'A Matter of Life and Death' to become available, this film remains my favourite among Powell and Pressburger's impressive list of accomplishments. There is no nudity (except for Roger Livesey's knees glimpsed beneath the hem of his kilt), no violence except for the implacable hostility of the weather towards Wendy Hiller's plans for getting to the island of Kiloran in order to marry her rich man, no sex scenes. And yet this is a sexy film. The silences and looks exchanged between the patient islander, Torquil MacNeil and the frantic city girl, Joan Webster as she begins to succumb to the charm of the location and the young laird are very potent. Hiller's character is played to perfection, outward sophistication and purpose hiding a loving and romantic heart and Roger Livesey is more than a match, bringing vigour, humour and passion to his performance. This has a simple story line and yet it says a lot about the people who made money from the Second World War and those who did the fighting; about the value of the things money can't buy against the simple acquisition of wealth; and about the joy of being different, eccentric and free. Beautful to look at, it has powerful charm and warms my blood far more than any overtly romantic movie since has ever managed.
  • The British Isles are not the first destination to which one might turn in a search for unforgettable movie romances. But in 1945, with the tide of war at long last turned in their favor, all that native sentiment, generally kept pressed between the pages of a dictionary like faded blossoms, came gushing out exuberantly. That year saw David Lean's Brief Encounter, the evergreen weeper in which Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard chance to meet in a railway tea room and change their parched lives. Even finer, because ultimately less guilt-ridden and more affirming, is the Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger I Know Where I'm Going.

    Wendy Hiller (later of course to become a Dame of the British Empire) is the lass who, from infancy, knew her destination. (Or, rather, thought she did.) A headstrong, modern Englishwoman with a private income, she meets her father in a chic London café for an advance on her allowance and to show off a splashy rock. In a few hours, she tells him, she'll take the night train to Glasgow and thence to the Outer Hebrides to marry a rich industrialist. (`Isn't he almost my age?,' he inquires, gently. There follows a succulent pause of about two beats while this sinks in. `And what's the matter with you, darling?,' she finally rallies.)

    In her sleeping compartment on the train, she dreams a whimsical dream of a Scotland where all the braes are clad in tartans. But a fog so thick that you couldn't see `even with six pairs of spectacles' truncates her journey. The mystical island of Kiloran, where she's to wed, looms through the mist, or beckons mischievously from wall-hung maps. But she can't cross over, and must bide her time with an assortment of wry highlanders, chief among them Roger Livesey – who, as fate would ordain it, is truly the Laird of Kiloran (her rich fiancé only rents the ancestral pile).

    I Know Where I'm Going revives the richly romantic storybook Scotland that made Sir Walter Scott's novels all the rage in early-19th-century Europe. From a castle hung with curses to a trial by devouring whirlpool, the details of Hiller's journey start to resemble a legendary quest. At a brilliant ceildh, held for the diamond anniversary of a local couple (and where the men `are more splendid than the women'), fate intervenes, reminding Hiller that, while her destiny may indeed be Kiloran, it will not be in quite the manner she so resolutely planned....

    Under all the pea-soupers and lowering skies, I Know Where I'm Going stands among the sunniest movies ever made. But it's thoroughly adult in tone, never stooping to mawkishness or sugary cliché. Every inhabitant of its fantasy world emerges as a credible character, however briefly sketched out (the young Petula Clark plays one of the rare children in the movie). A radiant performance by Hiller helps make I Know Where I'm Going one of the brilliant highlights of British cinema.
  • This film truly displays Powell and Pressberger's mastery of cinematography that was far above their contemporaries in the British film industry. The scenery of the Western Isles is used to full effect. On both the location shots and the indoor scenes, the photography is so wonderful that a still taken from virtually every scene would make a work of art as a photograph. The plot is predictable but still very enjoyable, driven along by fine acting from both the leads and a superb supporting cast. Roger Livesey always gives a fine performance. Wendy Hiller's character is meant to be 25 and I found that hard to believe, so I checked up on her here and discovered that she was 33 when the film was made. All in all a highly enjoyable movie.
  • Having just watched this film I can only say what a delightful little gem it is. A gentle tale of romance set amid the glorious Scottish scenery. Some wonderful effects (for the time of the making of the film) - see the credits, the train journey, and the Corryvreken Whirpool sequences.

    Wendy Hillier gives a stunning performance as the girl who knows where she's going - until she meets Torquil, and Roger Livesey (as Torquil) gives a performance which many modern stars would do well to emulate.

    The film exhudes a delightful and genuine Hebridean atmosphere with all the bit players adding to the authenticity of the whole. The scenery is stunning (even in Black & White!)and shows off the Isle of Mull in all it's glory.

    Having visited the Isle of Mull I can vouch for the authenticity of the telephone box by the waterfall and the delightful hamlet of Carsaig where much of the filming took place.

    You can still visit the castle on the headland where Sir Roger's friends lived (and where the steamer passed on the outward journey) It is called Duart Castle.

    "Achnacroish" is situated a mile south of Craignure and is called Torosay and is open to the public.

    The Western Isles Hotel still stands sentinal over Tobermory Harbour.

    The tower with the curse can be found at Loch Buie (about 18 miles south of Craignure)but is no longer open to the public.
  • They don't make them like this any more. This black-and-white film has an economy of means that brilliantly conceals consummate technique. Set in Scotland, the beautifully handled romance is founded on great chemistry between Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesly and a flawless script. What I especially like about it is the sublime soundtrack, which works on many levels to enhance the interplay of the characters, to make us love the poor but spiritually rich environment, and to evoke the mysteries and familiarities of the rural environment. This is not a long film, and it certainly isn't spectacular in a conventional sense, but it is one of those films that advances the cause of film to be considered a serious art form. The powerful climax and exquisite conclusion set the seal on a rare and wonderful film. Few others come close.
  • Although I am an avowed lover of all of Powell and Pressburger's films (especially The Red Shoes, which I will defend to the death), I must admit that I have watched this film more than any of the others, by far. It's probably because I enjoy the film so much: the characters, the setting, and the simplicity of the basic elements. And I would just like to add my own vote for never remaking this film: in the current climate, where films that never needed to be remade are, for reasons beyond my ken (eg The Manchurian Candidate), this one stands entirely on its own, without any of its elements in need of updating, or any of its roles redone by the current crop of Hollywood talent. Roger Livesy in particular, who was also so astonishingly great in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (made two years before I Know Where I'm Going!), never fails to delight me here--and I'm a heterosexual man! (I suppose I also had a "Joan Webster" in my life, for a brief while, which is undoubtedly another reason this film resonates with me so.)
  • emefay18 February 2005
    Like Brigid (wisewebwoman), I, too, found this a most satisfying film on all levels. The location could not have been more romantic, the perfect counter-balance to the heroine's stiffly sensible intentions to marry "well." Wendy Hiller is always good to watch, and I found Roger Livesey as dashing as humanly possible. (He was also brilliant in "Staircase to Heaven," a David Niven film from 1946.) The charm of the locals, and the excitement of the foolhardy sea voyage juxtaposed well. All in all, a marvelous, little-known gem of a film. Would that Turner Classic Movies would "discover" such British jewels from the 1940s and 1950s and play them more often. (I think I saw this when living in England in the 1980s.)
  • This is a movie I would recommend to my kids. Real people with real lives in a real place- you hardly can find that any more.

    The Scotland of the Isles is the real star of this movie- what a beautiful place, moody, misty, and genuine.

    I don't know of any other movie the leading lady was in, but she is wonderful in this- headstrong (see previous comment) barely covers it. Yet, she is not so self-involved (despite her self-assurance) that she fails to see the honor and courage and innate goodness of the island folk around her. Eccentric, yes, but the proverbial Salt of the Earth.

    And, the whirlpool has to be seen to be appreciated. Filmed at the sight of one of only five actual "Maelstroms" on earth, it is magnificent to see.

    If you enjoy movies about real people- no glamor, no special effects, no CG, no exploding cars- I think you will enjoy this one.
  • I discovered this film almost 25 years ago and have seen it at least once a year ever since. A women I know bought a copy when she moved from New York City to San Francisco saying that she > would have new friends see it and if they loved it they could > become good friends with her, else they would be ex- friends.

    Another friend, when she went to Scotland, called me from the telephone booth near the water
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