Nicola is not actively blogging at this time, but archived all this rich content here for you to enjoy. She also has posts over at Word Wenches and Historical and Regency Romance UK, too.

Which are your favourite Scottish films?

With the publication of The Lady and the Laird moving ever closer (excited!) I am immersing myself in all things Scottish and over the weekend I took out my all time favourite Scottish filmlaird_350 and had movie night, complete with popcorn flavoured ice cream. It’s tough trying to pick my favourite Scottish-set film. Who can resist Braveheart with its epic historical Β story? Then there is I Know Where I’m Going, a Powell and Pressberger classic in black and white, in which a headstrong English girl gets marooned on a Scottish island with a handsome laird. (Lucky, lucky girl!) I was so taken with that film that when I was on the Isle of Mull I had my photograph taken in the same pose as Wendy Hiller did on the jetty gazing out to sea.

Another favourite is The Decoy Bride, a must for all David Tennant fans, which is funny, quirky and totally charming. And recently I saw The Angel’s Share, which is altogether grittier but with humour and pathos and a youthful anti-hero you can root for. Oh, and it has malt whisky too.

Scotland viewBut my all out favourite has to be Local Hero. Dating from 1983, when I was in my late teens, it is a whimsical, charming film with a great soundtrack that always makes me cry. It’s Β set in the Highlands, on the gorgeous West Coast of Scotland and takes the theme of corporate big business coming to take over a tiny Highland village. It’s rich in interesting characters and gorgeous scenery.

So what is your favourite Scottish movie/film? I’m offering a prize of an advance copy of The Lady and the Laird and some lovely old-fashioned notepaper from Scotland to one commenter chosen randomly on Thursday!


  1. Braveheart. I think none can forget how charming and brave Mel Gibson is. He looks so sexy in his kilt.

    1. Hi Angelina! Thanks for dropping in to the blog! Terrible confession – I’ve never seen Rob Roy. Now you’ve recommended it, though, I’ll make a point of picking it up.

  2. Local Hero, hands down. Just wonderful in every respect, not least the Mark Knopfler music. Best one-liner: “Hit it with something hard!” “We just did that…”

    Love the ever-recurring phone box, the Northern lights, patting the sleeves of jackets to get the creases out, Marina emerging from the sea – I could go on and on.

    1. I have to agree with you, HJ and MArgaret. There are so many wonderful aspects to Local Hero. Scenery, quirky characters. It has a slightly off-kilter charm that gets me every time. The music makes me cry and I get a sort of poignant feeling whenever I hear it. My favourite one liner is “we have an injured rabbit also.”

      1. Oh yes – that is the best line! I quote it to friends (as well as “hit it with something hard”). It’s the “also”.

    1. You can’t beat it, Margaret! I think The Decoy Bride came close. It had a similar charm but Local Hero is the best.

  3. Local Hero has to be the best ever. My grandparents lived in a tiny Scottish village and it was just exactly like the one in Local Hero! There was a Gordon Urquhart – local entrepreneur, held down 2 or three different jobs in the village, there was a man who spent more time painting his boat than it ever did on the sea, there was the local youth who spent all his time zooming around on his motorbike nearly knocking everyone over. The minister was an “incomer” – (though not from quite as far away!!) -he had only lived in the village for 40 years! Every time my Dads digital watch beeps he says: “conference time in Houston” !!! It’s just a classic and for me (especially having lived in England now for 20 years) it just takes me HOME!

    1. Karen, how fabulous to have a first hand “local hero” experience! The incomer thing is so funny. When we lived in Somerset we discovered that some of my husband’s ancestors had hailed from around there and so we weren’t considered incomers. Whereas we’ve lived here for almost 20 years and are total newcomers!

      1. Amazed that Gregory’s Girl hasn’t had a mention too! It may be a bit too Scottish for some people (ie almost incomprehensible!) but it has some hilarious one liners.

  4. Hello Nic!

    This was cool post!

    [BTW the book was AWESOME and my rev is coming up shortly] All the movies you mentioned are great and must see, and some you mentioned are already cued in on my Netflix πŸ™‚

    There’s a little known movie called LEGEND OF LOCH LOMOND with some unknown actors, but the music in it is just awesome and every time I see it, I cry ;( because of the tragic love story…

    You can catch it here for free πŸ™‚

    I hope I win this book πŸ™‚

    My email is melanieDOTfriedmanATsbcglobalDOTnet

    PS: If you’re doing a blog tour, I would love to have you over at b2b πŸ™‚

    HUGS from across the ‘pond’


    1. Thank you for the link, Mel. I can’t wait to see The Legend of Loch Lomond. And I am so thrilled that you enjoyed The Lady and the Laird. Thank you so much!

  5. Hi Nicola, I actually have three favourites. The first being “Braveheart”, followed by “The Thirty Nine Steps”, and lastly Rob Roy.

    Thank you for this opportunity to win an arc of “The Lady and the Laird”. πŸ™‚

  6. Oh, shock horror I forgot – yes Local Hero but a very neck and neck favourite is of course Loch Ness. Having granny from the area, I just loved that movie.
    (Ted Danson). And firmly believe that you have to “believe afore you see!”

  7. What a fun blog question! I would definitely have to say “Braveheart”… Tragedy, romance, and yes, the music. But, now I’m excited to check out “Local Hero” and “The Decoy Bride.”

    Thanks for the movie recommendations!!


    1. Hi Jeanine! I’m getting some great recommendations here too. Can’t believe that there are actually some Scottish set films I’ve missed! I think Braveheart is definitely edging ahead in the votes at the moment…

  8. I too have to go with Braveheart. Not a happy ending but I loved it anyway or maybe because it was so tragic. At the time Mel Gibson was my favorite actor and he played a great Scot!

    1. I wish Braveheart had had a happy ending too because I’m a sucker for them but that’s history for you, I suppose. Often it doesn’t end well!

  9. Hi Nicola! You’re speaking on a topic dear to my heart! Scotland and Scottish films. I adore I Know Where I’m Going – it’s SOOOO romantic. Love that ending – always melt into a puddle of mushiness when I watch it. And I’ve watched it a lot! Local Hero is fabulous too – haven’t seen it in years. I remember going to the Silver Sands of Morar and recognizing the scenery from the movie. Stunning setting for that story! Good luck with the Lady and the Laird. Can’t wait to read it!

    1. Thanks for dropping in to the blog, Anna, and for the good wishes for the book. Even the words “the silver sands of Morar” sound impossibly romantic and beautiful!

  10. This one might not be a sweeping epic, but it is set mostly in Scotland. Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey. The scene in the bar or at the rehearsal dinner were funny πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Nicola! One of the Romance Bandits popping in! I love Local Hero absolutely. Enjoyed Loch Ness as well. Rob Roy and Braveheart are beautiful but far too sad for me.

    Disney’s Brave makes it high on the list. I’ll now have to see I Know Where I am Going, since so many recommended it! Ha!

    Then there’s always the classic Greyfriars Bobby…

    1. Hi Jeanne! Thanks so much for dropping by. I have Brave on my list of films I’d like to see. It sounds brilliant. I find many of the others too sad as well, especially Greyfriars Bobby. Can’t bear a dog to be unhappy!

  12. Well, evidently I’ve been missing out on some great movies…. I guess it would have to be Braveheart, even though I’ve fallen out with Mel Gibson personal life.

    1. Another vote for Braveheart! I agree, Cate. I don’t allow falling out with Mel Gibson’s behaviour to influence my love for the film.

  13. My favourite film is “Highlander.” “Braveheart” also good as well. I also like “Burke and Hare”. Really funny in a dark(ish) way. Caroline x

    1. I haven’t seen Burke and Hare, Caroline. Sounds as though it’s worth checking out. Speaking of dark films reminded me of Shallow Grave, which is another of my favourites.

  14. One of my favorite movies set in Scotland is Made of Honor. I know it’s a little cheesy compared to the likes of Braveheart and Rob Roy, but it stars Patrick Dempsey… and I’ve had a crush on him since he was a geeky, lanky, four-eyed teen πŸ™‚

  15. I found the Decoy Bride on netflix this past spring and watched it twice. It is lovely, so funny! The heroine is quite droll and self-effacing and then comes into her own in the middle of being placed in a ridiculous situation and personal tragedy. I loved it.
    I also love Braveheart. As a teen, I watched it over and over and cried each time.
    I can’t wait to read your new Scottish series, Ms. Cornick. I just re-read the Undoing of a Lady. Lizzie is inspirational in how she faces down her demons and accepts love in spite of them.
    I will look for I Know Where I’m Going and Local Hero. They both sound great!

    1. Tai, you’re one of the few people I know who have seen the Decoy Bride. I’m so glad you liked it! I thought the heroine was lovely too, very dry humour and the film has a totally charming setting and characters.

  16. My favorite Scottish set movie has to be Whisky Galore! (also known as Tight Little Island). It is utterly hilarious, if you haven’t seen it you should check it out.

    1. Oh yes! I haven’t seen Whisky Galore for years. It’s wonderful. I enjoyed visiting Eriskay when we were in the Hebrides and hearing the true story of the SS Politician. A great recommendation!

  17. The first movie that came to my mind (shame on me that I didn’t think of Braveheart) was “Brigadoon” with Gene Kelly. I was always quite enchanted my this mystical village.
    Then an alltime favourite of mine is “Highlander” closely followed by “Rob Roy” but they have been mentioned in the previous comments.
    Hubby and I watched “Mrs Brown” with Billy Conolly and Dame Judi Dench years ago when we couldn’t get enough of Billy Conolly.
    I did love “Brave” (and again I dragged hubby to the movies) but I thought that the scenes in the last Bond movie “Skyfall” were amazing.

  18. Manuela, I loved the Scottish elements of Skyfall! They were amazing. We drive along that stretch of road they featured every time we go to the North West Highlands and it never fails to take my breath away. Add in Daniel Craig and I really would be speechless!

    1. Yes I could imagine that. Wouldn’t mind driving along in the Highlands and see him there in front of the beautiful scenery, too. πŸ™‚

  19. Loving so many things Scottish I haven’t heard of a lot of these movies :(. But they are going on my to watch list. I personally loved Rob Roy and Highlander though. I’m looking forward to reading The Lady and The Laird.
    Carol L

  20. Nicola, I realize this contest is over, but I wanted to tell you that I can’t recall any movies about the Scots except Rob Roy and Braveheart, both of which were excellent films. But I also want to thank you for the list of films you mentioned…and I will be sure to check them out. As for Scots film stars, I have to say I adore Sean Connery and Judi Dench.

  21. I like “A Castle in the Air” from 1952 very much. It is low-budget, but nice, funny and romantic. And very Scottish! πŸ™‚

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