Brigadoon (1954)

Dir. Vincente Minnelli / USA / Musical, Romance / Colour / 108m

Reportedly, producer Arthur Freed and director Vincente Minnelli turned down the opportunity to film Brigadoon on location in Scotland, insisting that MGM's studio mockups looked more Scottish than the genuine article. This film taps in to the heart of the debate about how Scotland is represented on screen. This lavish adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe Broadway musical looks colourful but is entirely inaccurate – nowhere in Scotland ever looks like this.

Gene Kelly stars as an American tourist who stumbles upon an enchanted Scottish village. Every 100 years, the people of Brigadoon awaken for a day, then go back to sleep for another century while Brigadoon itself vanishes in the Highland mist.
Tommy Albright (Kelly) falls in love with village lass Fiona Campbell (Cyd Charisse) while his hard-drinking pal, Jeff Douglas (Van Johnson) dismisses the legend – and indeed the existence of Brigadoon as a result of delirium. Fiona's betrothed Harry Beaton (Hugh Laing), upset by Kelly's intervention, threatens to leave Brigadoon – an act that will spell doom for its residents. When this crisis has passed, Tommy is persuaded against his better judgment to escape Brigadoon himself and return to his own fiancée (Elaine Stewart) in New York.

But the love between Tommy and Fiona results in a miraculous finale.

Most of Lerner and Loewe’s score remains intact, including the hit songs "Almost Like Being in Love," "Come to Me Bend to Me" and the Highland inspired "Heather on the Hill".


The natural connection

None - this is Scotland as imagined in a Hollywood studio but is supposed to be the Highlands.

Natural Scotland Films is part of the Year of Natural Scotland

year of natural scotland

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