Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s That Sinking Feeling (1979)

That Sinking Feeling (1979)

The theft of a consignment of stainless steel sinks is planned with the intricacy of a diamond heist by a group of amiably feckless unemployed Glasgow teenagers led by the out-to-lunch Ronnie (Robert Buchanan).

Near the beginning of the film, earnest though hapless Ronnie tries to explain what their prize will be; “What’s this area famous for?” he asks, expecting a serious answer. “Drunks?” says one of his friends, “Muggers?”, “Multiple social deprivations?”

Shot on 16mm for a near-zero budget, the film is daft, meandering and utterly charming. Many of the cast, who were then members of the Glasgow Youth Theatre, would return in Gregory’s Girl (1981).

Scottish cinema has certainly come a long way since Bill Forsyth made his directorial debut with this thin, but still enjoyable, comedy that established the Forsyth style: underplayed humour and seemingly irrelevant gags, with a subtle payoff and the quirky use of the local idiom.

That Sinking Feeling was the first-ever indigenously funded Scottish feature film, made for only £5,000 raised from donations made by Glasgow bookmakers, distillers and brewers.


The original Glaswegian dialogue was dubbed over with a blander version to appease Stateside ears but was later restored.

Robert Buchanan
John Hughes
Billy Greenlees
Douglas Sannachan
Alan Love
The Wee Man
Eric Joseph
John Gordon-Sinclair
Danny Benson
Van Driver
Eddie Burt
Tom Mannion

Bill Forsyth