HISTORIC TIMES – Glasgow and the Movies

GEORGE T Miller, who directed the 1982 Australian film, The Man from Snowy River, and 1990's The NeverEnding Story II, emigrated from Glasgow in the 1940s.

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Alexander Mackendrick studied painting at Glasgow School of Art, leaving without a degree in 1929. He went on to direct such Ealing Studios classics as Whisky Galore! (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Maggie (1954) and The Ladykillers (1955).

In the States he scored a big hit with Sweet Smell of Success (1957), which starred Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.

Mackendrick had been born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1912, not long after his parents had emigrated from Glasgow. It's said that they had eloped to the States to escape family disapproval.

Sadly, Mackendrick's dad died in a flu epidemic in the aftermath of the First World War, and young Sandy, aged just six, was sent back to live in Scotland with his grandfather.

Directors who have used Glasgow as the backdrop for films include Ken Loach, who shot Carla's Song, Ae Fond Kiss and The Angels' Share here.

All this is, of course, without mentioning any of the recent big-budget films that have been shot in Glasgow, including Brad Pitt's eagerly-awaited zombie film, World War Z.

Interior scenes and many of the exterior locations of Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave and Trainspotting were filmed in Glasgow. And films as diverse as Unleashed, The Jacket, Red Road, The House of Mirth and The Debt Collector all entailed film crews shooting in and around the city.

Glasgow's City Chambers have, in their turn, doubled for The Vatican, a mansion in New York and the Kremlin.

However, it's not all just one-way traffic.

The Gorbals Story (1950), which starred Russell Hunter and Roddy McMillan, was shot, not up here... but in London.

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