music, stories, and ideas

Despite its natural beauty, Scotland can be a hard place. These films made prior to the year 2000 are some of the picks, some of the best examples of Scottish hard drama, depicting another side of life.


Tunes of Glory
Following World War II in peacetime Scotland, brigade headquarters replaces commanding officer Major Jock Sinclair, a boisterous battalion leader, with the strict, temperamental Lieutenant Colonel Basil Barrow. Resentful toward his replacement, Sinclair undermines Barrow’s authority and damages his …
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
A headstrong young teacher in a private school in 1930s Edinburgh ignores the curriculum and influences her impressionable 12 year old charges with her over-romanticized world view.
Soft Top Hard Shoulder
Gentle Scottish Road Movie . Eight years ago, Gavin artistic son of an Scots/Italian ice-cream dynasty, turned his back on Glasgow and moved south to London to make his name illustrating children’s books. Now, frustrated and broke, his Uncle Sal appears with an offer. Gavin’s father has sold the fam…
Trainspotting
Mark Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.
Breaking the Waves
In a small and conservative Scottish village, a woman’s paralytic husband convinces her to have extramarital intercourse so she can tell him about it and give him a reason for living.
Small Faces
Three teenage brothers, gang-member Bobby, troubled mama’s boy Alan and self-assured prankster Lex, reside in a downtrodden section of Glasgow, Scotland, circa 1968. But while Bobby and Alan are beginning to experience the power of raging hormones, the story focuses on Lex, who begins a downward spi…
Ratcatcher
James Gillespie is 12 years old. The world he knew is changing. Haunted by a secret, he has become a stranger in his own family. He is drawn to the canal where he creates a world of his own. He finds an awkward tenderness with Margaret Anne, a vulnerable 14 year old expressing a need for love in all…
The Debt Collector
Mean, gritty, dirty and low and that’s just the Policeman Gary Keltie (Ken Stott) out for retribution for the horrendous crimes against the helpless people of Edinburgh during the nineteen seventies, by notorious, torturous, and killer, debt collector Nickie Dryden (Billy Connolly).