This is the true story of the daring robbery by 4 Scottish students, in 1950, to return the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in London, to Scotland. The Stone of Destiny is a big hunk of stone that was used for hundreds of years in the ceremonies when kings were anointed in Scotland. It was stolen by the English in 1296 and built into a chair that has been used ever since in coronations of English Queens and Kings, with the last time it was used for the current Queen of Britain, Queen Mary in 1953.
The Stone has been long held as a symbolic token of the hold the English have had over the Scottish. So when nationalist pride raises its head, the Stone is often cited as unfinished business. In the late 1940′s early 1950′s Scotland was going through an anti-English period (these happen frequently) and after a raising speech by John MacCormick (Robert Carlyle) a student,
Ian Hamilton, decides enough is enough and he can go down to London and steal the Stone from the English and return it to Scottish soil.
Along the way he persuades 3 other students, including Kay Matheson (played by
Kate Mara from the Martian) to help him out. There is a number of smaller incidents that happen along the way but let us not spoil the story here.
The movie is well written, but done in a more humorous way than serious drama. Due to that, you get the feeling that the story isn’t true. Such an iconic symbol of Scottish history wouldn’t be boosted by 4 students surely?
But it is true, with the odd artistic license here and there granted, the story stands largely to the truth.
The movie is filmed around Paisley and Glasgow, including a few streets where yours truly had his flat during university. It was fun to see those streets transformed to the 1950′s look.
The movie is fun and interesting enough to hold your interest for the time, but fails to really detail the significance of the Stone to the viewer. There are also some sub-plots that don’t make a lot of sense and get in the way.
Overall, not too bad.
#92 in the series
Wednesday, 18th November 2015 (Richmond)