Whisky Galore! | Chicago Reader

Whisky Galore!

98 minutes 2016

During World War II, a Scottish seaside town makes the ultimate sacrifice when whiskey is rationed, but then a U.S. ship carrying 50,000 cases founders off the coast, and the thirsty townspeople launch a pirate expedition. This British comedy, adapted from a novel by Compton Mackenzie, can't help but pale in comparison to the Ealing Studios version from 1949; the characters in the newer one are more carefully shaded, but that doesn't necessarily make them funnier. As the Coen brothers discovered with The Ladykillers (2004), remaking an Ealing classic can be a tricky business; the studio traded in farce, but even the broadest gags were staged with a feather-light touch. The best reason to see this is Eddie Izzard, admirably low-key and consistently amusing as the crusty army captain who tries to nail the thieving pub rats. Gillies MacKinnon directed; with Gregor Fisher, Kevin Guthrie, and Ellie Kendrick.

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