Monday, June 8, 2009

But do you know what I did last summer?

TCM will be spotlighting British director Michael Powell on the morning and afternoon of June 9, and the first of his movies they're showing, at 6:00 AM ET, is I Know Where I'm Going!

Wendy Hiller stars as a young English woman who, indeed, knows where she's going, and what she wants out of life. She was born into a middle-class family, but now that she's an adult, she's fallen in love with a wealthy industrialist, and is taking a journey to the Hebrides in Scotland in order to marry the man, who's rented an entire estate for the purpose of holding the wedding. Unfortunately for her, though, she hits a snag during the journey: she has to take a ferry to the island, but the weather in the Hebrides is such that she's just going to have to wait before any boat will take her to the island. Among the people she meets while waiting is Roger Livesey. He's serving in the Royal Navy, as there's a war on, and he's on leave. He too, wants to get to the island -- because he's the one who owns the place. So he and Hiller wait together, and -- you guessed it -- they fall in love. Perhaps Hiller doesn't really know where she's going.

Despite the film following a fairly predictable formula, it's still a nice romance. The Scottish setting helps. Although the village isn't as remote as the island of Foula that was the location for Powell's earlier The Edge of the World (which follows I Know Where I'm Going! at 7:45 AM ET), it's still far enough away to be something completely different from what a woman like Hiller would know. It also helps that the movie is filled with wonderfully eccentric characters and, if you like Celtic culture, some Scottish singing and dancing. It's unfortunate that the movie has to be in black and white, but with the war on, it would have been difficult to obtain that much color film stock. Besides, the black and white photography gives I Know Where I'm Going! a timeless quality that most Technicolor movies of the day didn't have.

I Know Where I'm Going! is available on DVD, but as a British import, it's a bit pricey.

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