Stone Of Destiny / (Ws Dol) [DVD] [Region 1] [NTSC] [US Import]
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Drama telling the true story of four Glasgow students in the early 1950s who hatch a plan to take the Stone of Scone, known as the Stone of Destiny - a symbol of ancient Scottish nationalism and pride - back from London's Westminster Abbey and return it to its country of origin. Charlie Cox, Kate Mara, Ciaron Kelly and Stephen McCole play the four students who, through enthusiasm, determination and more than a stroke of luck, manage to get hold of the stone and bring it home.
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Top Customer Reviews
But lets get the strengths established. It's a fast paced film and it can't be accused of being long. I loved the the portrayal of 1950's Glasgow. Im from Glasgow so I enjoyed seeing landmarks like Glasgow University and the City Chambers up on the big screen. The comedy in the film is also rather good. Whether it be misunderstanding about what was going on one of the cars (steamed up windows - but its not what you think) to the scenes of the theft in Westminster Abbey. Two notable points being Ian being mistaken for being homeless rather than a burglarer, and the Laurel & Hardy type scene that see's the cast trying to find the car keys. The Scottish Nationalist speeches were good on occassion. I emphasise "on occassion". I'm a bit surprised that Alex Salmond didn't swing an invite to ther premier. A last moment to mention is the moment at which Ians' father says that he is proud of him - short and subtle - but still touching.
Also a possible subtle dig at politicians in the Scottish Parliament. Carlyle comments that Scotland is famed for its debating but falls short of political action - Scottish parliament does tend to be a talking shop that has a habit of micro managing and not addressing the big questions in Scotland.
Now to the flat of the film. The running time is a bit short. This in itself is no bad thing for some films.
However in "Stone of Destiny" the characters felt distinctly flat on occassion.Read more ›
The film cleverly adopts a slightly sepia tone for its colouring of fifties life, with additional greys and greens. The detail is by and large convincing with regard to vehicles and clothing etc, but the occasional modern road sign or road marking sometimes spoils the pretence. (Also, the streets of London are quite clearly the streets of Glasgow instead, but the occasional shot of the interior and exterior of Westminster Abbey persuades us often enough that we are there rather than Paisley Abbey.) It’s a shame that leaves are still on the trees in a supposed winter, but I cannot vouch for whether police cars would tear through the streets of London sirens ablaze during the quiet early hours of Christmas.
But don’t let such a clever-clogs as me turn you off from watching this really good movie. The enthusiasm of Hamilton and his team of other young students is infectious; the humour of making such an outlandish attempt is well to the fore; and it might even make you wonder why the protagonists were never prosecuted for theft – since we English stole the stone from the Scots in the first place!
My DVD has a twenty-five minute extra featuring comments from the stars and crew members. We learn little that is new but at least we now know where Robert Carlyle lives!
My sister and I were Glasgow students in the 1950s around the time of the Stone incident. Yes, there was beer and yes there were old cars in the streets, but the most obvious vehicles (and the noisiest) were the orange and green double decker tramcars. Impossible to bring back the trams, more is the pity.
My main gripe is about the way the students (supposedly) dressed in the film. In the 1950s, male students went around in suits and ties, plus woollen pullovers in the winter months which seemed to last forever. Female students wore skirts (never pants)and their hairdos were usually bobbed in some way and not free-flowing. In the film, no attempts whatever were made to emulate the correct student dress, although a lot of trouble was taken with the clunky old cars.
Getting back to politics and economics. There is virtually no parallel between Scotland in the 1950s and that of today. Back in the 50s unemployment was in the 2-3% range and any new graduate could expect a job, usually a choice of jobs. Scottish nationalism was a "nine-days wonder", compared to the political force that it is today.
I was disappointed that two of the major roles weren't played by Scottish actors (Englishman Charlie Cox played Ian Hamilton and American Kate Mara played Kay Matheson - not being Scottish myself I'll leave it to others to comment on how realistic or otherwise their Scots accents were). So it was good to see locals Billy Boyd, Robert Carlyle, Stephen McCole and newcomer Ciaron Kelly in the other roles, and all of them put in strong performances.
The sets are magnificent - Glasgow University, Paisley Abbey and Westminster Abbey all feature - but the main thing is the story. It's an entertaining ride for the viewer, hilarous in some places and moving in others. I'm glad I have it in my DVD collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Stone of Destiny" is a film based on a book that is written by Ian Hamilton. Both film and book are based on a true story: the Robin Hood-like operation which took place... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Torben Retboll
Only discovered this movie today, a good 7 years after it was made, and it was truly wonderful. Fun story, very easy to watch!Published 10 months ago by Megan Williams
Unless you buy an american dvd player, you can't play this dvd on a european one. Waste of money. Should be made clearer when purchasing. Read morePublished 19 months ago by KAREEN
If you were ever curious over these events, this is a GREAT depiction of what took place between Scotland and England. MOST ENJOYABLE!Published on 8 April 2014 by Dennis L. Williams
A funny yet true story about four students who decide to steal the Stone of Scone and take it back to Scotland. Thoroughly enjoyed this DVD I would recommend it to anybody.Published on 2 Mar. 2014 by LES JOHNS
A great little bit of entertaining recent history. We recently went to Westminster Abbey in London and saw the place of the missing Stone of Destiny. Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2014 by Gerda