While grouse shooting in Scotland, Americans Tommy (Gene Kelly) and Jeff (Van Johnson) lose their way in the mist. When it clears they find themselves in a most unusual village.
This beguiling MGM version of Alan J Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s magical stage musical about a Scottish village that comes to life every hundred years is an overlooked and often derided movie in director Vincente Minnelli’s canon.
It boasts a wonderful score and magnificent arrangements, plus an imaginative studio set, while the use of early CinemaScope enhances the brilliant lateral stage choreography.
Yet the real heart of the film lies in the casting. The great Gene Kelly could not be bettered as the American in love in a faraway time and a foreign clime.
His duet with Cyd Charisse – The Heather on the Hill – is enchanting (though it was deleted from the British cinema version) and, as Kelly’s buddy-in-booze, Van Johnson positively shines.
Charlie Chisholm Dalrymple