Restless Natives (1985)

Dir. Michael Hoffman / UK / Comedy, Crime / Colour / 89m

Little seen Scottish gem that was part of the new wave of home-grown Scottish filmmaking in the 1980s. The Highland glens of Glen Coe, Glen Nevis, Lochgoilhead, Argyll and Bute provide a great backdrop to a story very much in the style of Ealing comedies.

It may be a film about working class Scots living outside the law in 1980s Edinburgh, but the comparisons with grittier, wittier fare like Trainspotting end there. Two lads in Edinburgh embark on a non-violent spree of robberies. They dress up in clown masks and act as modern highwaymen, robbing coach loads of tourists in the Highlands. In the process they become folk heroes to the locals.

This is a resolutely gentle, unchallenging film. The film never tries too hard to push any kind of message, but does provide an interesting commentary on a specific point in Scottish history (not least on the very dubious fashions around at the time) and there are genuinely interesting innovations within it. The guitar-as-bagpipes soundtrack by local band Big Country's Stuart Adamson is truly unique.

restless natives

The natural connection

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glen Coe, Glen Nevis, Lochgoilhead, Argyll and Bute

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