Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Know Where I'm Going

Stevie was talking about Scotland, the land of my roots, over at A Little Birdie Told Me So. It reminded me of another terrific film from The Criterion Collection, I Know Where I'm Going*, 1945, a collaboration of the renowned directing duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. I discovered this jewel last year and was bowled over by it! Where had it been hiding all these years?

Set in the Scottish Hebrides, a headstrong young woman, played by the extraordinary Wendy Hiller, (I just can't get enough of her) knows exactly "whereshe's going" with her plans to marry a wealthy lord. A raging stormprevents her from crossing to the island for the lavish wedding, and in the meantime meets a penniless Scottish laird, played by Roger Livesey.

Pamela Brown does an excellent job as one of the earthy villagers, who lives and hunts with a pack of bloodhounds. Finlay Currie and George Carney are also part of the marvelous, quirky cast, along with a very young Petula Clark. A charming village ceilidh scene is complete with authentic pipe music, ethnic Gaelic singing and dancing.

Whether you are an enthusiast for Scotland, or just a true romantic at heart, you will absolutely love this
delightful film full of castle ruins, legends and ancient curses. In my opinion, this is one of the best classic romantic films ever made.

Here's the words to the bewitching theme song:

I know where I'm going,
I know who's going with me,
The Lord knows who I love,
But the de'il knows who I'll marry.

I'll have stockings of silk,
Shoes of fine green leather,
Combs to buckle my hair
And a ring for every finger.

Feather beds are soft,
Painted rooms are bonny;
But I'd leave them all
To go with my love Johnny.

Some say he's dark,
I say he's bonny,
He's the flower of them all
My handsome, coaxing Johnny.

*Click on I know Where I'm Going
in the body of the text for a YouTube video clip


  1. I've never heard of this movie before but it sounds like it's one that I would really enjoy. The lyrics are amazing....Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Willow, this sounds like something I'd enjoy immensely. I'm like Rebecca---had never heard of this movie before. Just goes to show you that making the rounds of my favourite blogs is always so educational.
    Kind regards,

  3. Whew, I'm a little out of breath. I just left here, rushed over to Netflix to add this movie and The World of Henry Orient. I've got to get up to speed culturally! ; )

  4. This was the first - and only - thing I ever leaned to play on the guitar.
    It is so haunting and sad.
    Thanks for reminding me.

  5. Romance, castle ruins, legends, ancient curses..Scotland Sounds like a movie made in "girl heaven" Willow :) And..the words to the theme song..love them...I'll be sure to take a look over on YouTube...as usual..I so enjoyed your post..Dee Dee

  6. D'oh, I typed up a huge long comment and I think my computer ate it.

    Willow, you describe it so perfectly. I have this same DVD and it's wonderful. Criterion have included some lovely extras. I think this film is classic Powell/Pressburger, with their signature blend of intense romanticism, mysticism and earthiness. This is one of my favourites of all time, and one I turn to often for an escape to the Western Isles of Scotland and the kilted Roger Livesay (with his lovely husky voice).

  7. Compelling review. I too have Scottish and Irish ancestery.

  8. BPG, that kilted Roger Livesey and his voice just melt me!! That scene where she is up on the ladder and he is repeating the lyrics of the song to her...oh..oh..oh...and his piercing eyes.

  9. Thanks Willow! I'll have to try to rent this video. I love anything with a Celtic theme. The song has such a haunting melody!


  10. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog. I appreciate your comments and interst. By the way, I loved Captain Kangaroo. How blessed we were to grow up in a time with these giants. Thanks again.

  11. Yes! "For she's the maid for me..." Then he just turns his head and looks at her. You can almost see her go "gulp". I certainly do, each time. Sigh.

    A friend of mine travelled from Canada to the Scottish island of Isla just a few years ago to visit her ancestors' village. It had long gone, but in the meantime she met a Scotsman.... at their lovely country wedding that I was lucky enough to attend, the minister said "She travelled to Scotland to find her past and discovered her future." So romantic...

  12. Ohhhh, that is SO incredibly lovely and romantic! What an experience. And the minister's quote...sigh...what a lucky lady. And lucky for you to be able to attend the wedding! Thanks for sharing that, G. Nice thoughts for this afternoon.

  13. Another movie to add to my Netflix queue...and I also went over to a little birdie told me; she's got another interesting one to recommend....I'll never catch up!

    I love that checkered lily on your sidebar...it intrigues me; I've never seen such a flower before.


  14. It's added to my Netflix Q - the video was fun so I know I'll enjoy it - and Wendy Hiller is always great. Thanks for sharing this one Willow.

  15. I love this movie also--especially the whirlpool. But the setting, the house, the island, the characters and the actors are just wonderful. Avery exciting film. The same place was used as the house in My Life So Far, I think, with Colin Firth and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio--another one of my favorites.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)