Scotland has appeared in various guises throughout the history of big screen cinema. Sometimes it is just a location - a pretty background; sometimes it is a feature of the story and has important things to say about Scotland as a country, its identity, its culture and its people. And sometimes it provides a deeply meaningful or emotional texture to the film.
There are, of course, many hundreds of films that show Scotland in other ways but our collection highlights those examples of feature films that show off natural Scotland in some way.
This is the age of silent cinema, when the artform was still in its infancy. The early decades of cinema were dominated largely by America, France and Germany.
As such, there were very few depictions of Scotland on screen. However, one featrure film did show Scotland, its land and its people:
In the 1930s and 1940s, sound came to cinema and the Hollywood machine came into force. Importantly, though, Britain had also started making feature films and Scotland was becoming more of a fixture in narrative cinema.
Significant filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock and the comedy geniuses at Ealing Studios saw Scotland as a setting ripe for storytelling possibilities, and the first home-grown depictions of Scotland start to appear (although most of them actually came out of English film studios):
The 1950s and 1960s was a period of mixed output - mixed in quality, mixed in representations and mixed in origin. The representations of Scotland, as a result, are both interesting and controversial.
This was still the Golden Age of British Film so there are still some quality depictions of Scotland in drama and comedy. But Hollywood had also entered the arena in a big way and some films show a very odd - sometimes disrespectful - idea of Scotland, its land and its people:
In the 1970s, through the 1980s, cinema was changing. Gone were days of British studio films, and Hollywood was struggling too. Television had established itself as a real contender for audiences' entertainment needs, so different models of storytelling and film production came into being.
Instead of lots of studio films, this period sees many smaller independent film productions which carry a more personal and unique point of view. Most significantly, Scotland gets its own film industry so indiginous filmmakers could now make films in Scotland, about Scotland with their own view of Scotland.
The old mythical, romantic version Scotland was now challenged by a more modern, realistic and - perhaps - cynical subtext:
The 1990s is when the Hollywood blockbuster model was born. Television also became a much bigger player (often providing much of the finance for feature films). Fewer films appear and tend to fall into one of two camps: either they are big budget spectaculars out of America with Scottish history at their core (filmed in glorious widescreen in the Scottish Highlands). Or they are smaller scale, more intimate portrayals of human stories set against the landscape.
The new century is a period of huge variety. Big budget Hollywood franchise movies rub shoulders with homegrown genre films, documentaries and low-budget independent stories about people struggling with life. We even get some versions of Scotland imagined in animator's ink.
Where cinema tends to focus on narrative fiction - made up stories set in or about Scotland, television has a much wider canvas.
The unique television series and serial formats have produced a variety of portrayals of Scotland. And the television documentary strands have put an objective picture of Scotland's natural history on screen in ways that feature film rarely can.