Chasing The Deer [VHS] 
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Scotland, 1745. The Jacobite rebellion and the bloody battle of Culloden lead to the death of the Highland clans, hunted down by the British Redcoats. Brian Blessed and Iain Cuthbertson star in this historical tale of honour and bloodshed. Includes a special limited edition 60 minute 'Jacobites' documentary.
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly there is no romanticism as most of the ordinary Scots shown here are either apathetic to the Jacobite cause or hostile to it, save for a single enthusiast. We also see alllegedly pro-government Scots wondering if they should show some support to the Jacobites as they might win.
The Jacobite forces prior to Culloden are noted as lacking suppleis, which is accurate.
The battle scene at Culloden is well done, but there were no cavalrymen, presumably due to budgetary considerations. Even so, this is a loss, for the regular cavalry played a key role in the battle.
Although Ruthven barracks are the setting for a number of scenes, the 2 sieges of the barracks are neither shown nor referred to.
However, the Jacobite army is shown as a purely Highland host, armed with swords and lochaber axes, whereas in reality there were many Lowlanders and more men had muskets as well as, or instead of, swords.
Cumberland and his forces are shown marching out of Fort George - which was not built until 20 years later and is in Scotland - they are meant to be in England. We also hear that prior to this Cumberland et al are in France, whereas they were not.
Charles Edward Stuart is happily not shown in kilt, but he remains remarkably calm during the stormy conference in Derby.
Finally the alleged emotional impact is lost because we can guess the ending and in any case, we don't see enough of the characters to bewail their fates overmuch.
Despite these criticisms, the film avoids many of the possible anachronisms and blunders that it could easily have included. Having Stuart Reid as the historical adviser certainly helped.
The portrayals of the various well-known characters such as Charles Stuart, Lord George Murray and John William O'Sullivan are the commonly accepted views of their personas i.e Charles;an ignorant, arrogant, stubborn young man, Murray; a hotheaded but wise and battle-hardened commander and O'Sullivan as an excitable idiot. The portrayal of all i feel is fairly accurate, drawing conclusion from pieces I have read on the subject.
It is refreshing to see a decent attempt at telling the harsh realities of the '45 and how families could become embroiled in war on opposing sides, willingly or not. Such an instance of course occurred with the sons of the chief of Clan Chisholm during the rising as well as several others.
Budget constraints somewhat limit the effectiveness of the large-scale battle scenes at Prestonpans and Culloden as it often looks like twenty men against twenty rather than several thousand on each side.The fighting scenes are fairly realistic however despite a few invisible (but fatal) blows.
Some of the acting leaves a wee bit to be desired, such as the actor who plays the son, Ewen Campbell, but most play their parts competently, including a brooding cameo by the singer 'Fish',who incidentally is one who falls victim to one of the unseen but decisive blows.
Leys Castle Moor and the countryside around Inverness provides the backdrop for the battlefield scenes which ,to be fair, are not unlike Culloden considering it is barely five miles from where they were filmed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An enjoyable film focusing on the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. Centers on a father and son who are drafted into service on opposite sides, Alistair Campbell (Mathew Zajac) by the... Read morePublished on 10 Oct. 2013 by Gary Selikow