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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Joan Webster knows where she's going. At least she thinks she does, until she meets Torquil McNeil... I Know Where I'm Going is a story of love and self-realisation, the wild Scottish landscape acting as a catalyst to liberation. Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey have a crackling chemistry and the film has both wry humour and moments of searing beauty. A rainy Sunday afternoon, a mug of hot chocolate and this film...it should be the dictionary definition of bliss.
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on 4 August 2017
Whether you like a film is a personal decision and while some attain a level of public adoration that make them universal classics, others sit quietly in the background as constant friends to those who appreciate them.
I absolutely love this film. Everything about it is wonderful.
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on 10 June 2017
I LOVED it. It's in black and white and my daughter refused to watch it on that account. Her loss.
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on 16 March 2017
Decent yarn - great scenery- thanks very much
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on 15 July 2017
Such a lovely film. I would recommend this on a rainy winter afternoon with some lovely knitting and a carrot and beef casserole
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on 13 July 2017
Poor story. Why is Scotland shown as populated by either daft Scots or privileged English?
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on 22 August 2017
Magical. Have watched it several timesand will be returned to.
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I know where I'm going is one of my favourite film. This fil is deceptively simple, but makes most modern romantic comedies look rather boring! A young lady gets on the main land waiting to travel to an island in the Inner Hebrides to get married and finds herself always in the company of a charming navel officer..

The chemistry between the two is interesting to watch, so real it could be real life. He is always leaning in towards her or moving close to her. She is strongly attracted, but she fights it as well.

The photography is spectacular.
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on 24 March 2003
I agreed to watch this movie because I didn't want to disappoint someone I liked. I wasn't looking forward to it either. How more boring could you get than having to watch a black and white movie of all things made in the 1940s for goodness sake with a bunch of old actors who couldnt possibly be believable let alone romantic.
But stone the crows!!!! the moment Joan arrived on the island and I heard the Gaelic language spoken, as well as the eerie cry of the seals and the first meeting between Joan, Torquil and islanders, I started to drift into the mystical, magical mist of the island.
The movie is funny (eg shouting match between Torquil and Joan on stairs, the colonel and his 'camp' gear and obsession with eagle).
The island landscape, and scenes of the elements WoW!!! (whirlpool scenes, were awsome and gives a fantastic thrill). Its so, so romantic, and I don't just mean Joan and Torquils romance (but how cool can a guy get when he tells you, without telling you directly, that your the one for him, by making his English translation of a Gaelic song the way of getting his feelings across).You end up falling in love with the people and place.
It felt like a fairy tale, yet everyone were your every day people, trying to keep body and soul together,except the wierd, over the top colonel. Its a real down to earth place but it includes belief in 'things'dismissed by óutsiders'as superstition or simply not true. These two elements combined to create the magic for me. I didn't want the movie to end.
I aint ever going to speak ill of black and white movies and óld actors again after seeing this movie.
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on 14 March 2017
(1945, UK, 87 min, b/w, English subtitles, Aspect ratio: 4:3, Audio: Mono)
After the shooting of any given Archers film Michael Powell used to leave the editing in the hands of Emeric Pressburger and ‘head north!’ to the Scottish Highlands to clear his head. This no doubt fed directly into both the spirit and the story of “I Know Where I’m Going!”, the film that probably wouldn’t have been made if Technicolor stock was available for The Archers to shoot A Matter of Life and Death which was then waiting to be made. The script was written in less than a week and the final result conveys the sense of having been made on vacation, so light and fancy free is its story of rich London socialite Joan (Wendy Hiller) who ‘heads north’ to the Scottish Isle of Kiloran to marry her rich but elderly future husband, but who gets side-tracked by the twinkling local laird Torquil (Roger Livesey) into a whirlpool of fantasy and love.

As with so many Archers’ films, reality is derailed by fantasy in a narrative structure made up almost completely of binary opposites. Joan thinks she knows where she’s going but actually hasn’t got a clue. Logic is opposed to illogic, city to country, England to Scotland, material richness/spiritual poverty to material poverty/spiritual richness, the idle English renters to hardworking Scottish locals, social chequebook marriage to mystical marriage by divine fate. Joan’s world is delightfully overthrown and turned inside out in a series of wonderful imaginative sequences as the elements conspire to prevent her from ever reaching her destination – the train dream montage with the Scottish hills covered in tartan, the extraordinary cèilidh dance sequence (choreographed by Archers regular actor John Laurie), the dramatic storm sequence in which Joan and Torquil do battle with the Corryvreckan whirlpool in a flooded-out boat, and the delirious climax atop the ruins of Moy Castle. Erwin Hillier’s cinematography is strikingly assured in its capturing of the elements which exteriorize the inward emotions of our central couple, especially of that wild natural spirit which hides within us all but which is too often buried in nauseating layers of necessary everyday social etiquette. Joan emerges cleansed and revivified for her experience as do we in the audience for this is a film that we ‘feel’ rather than merely ‘watch.’ It is about intangible emotion that we like to think we recognize and control, but which lies completely outside our grasp and actually controls us. Like all of us Joan advances through life deluding herself that she is in charge of her own destiny. It is only force of willpower that maintains the illusion, but when that willpower is shattered by external events (in this case by true love mirrored by the wild elements) the confused reality of who she really is blazes to the fore with volcanic force. This makes this film both a continuation of the concerns of A Canterbury Tale (1944) and a foretaste both of life-saving love miraculously found in A Matter of Life and Death and repressed love surfacing with the extraordinary psychosexual fireworks we see in Black Narcissus (1946).

In a further binary opposite people are always saying that The Archers were years ahead of their time, but quite a lot of their freshness comes paradoxically from the retention of old tricks and devices from the silent days. Here I was reminded as much of F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise (1927) as anything else. The train montage could have slotted into the city/country montage beginning of that picture and the storm here as there is also shot with the boat lying across the frame up front with special effects raging behind it – the only difference being here the boat is actually rocking! Add the final shot of A Matter of Life and Death which quotes almost exactly the final sequence of Sunrise, not to mention the Max Schreck-like make-up (from Nosferatu [1922]) of Robert Helpmann in The Tales of Hoffman (1951) and we get the impression that The Archers had a bit of ‘a Murnau thing’ going on there. Powell had of course directed films during the silent era and both Pressburger and art director Alfred Junge were alumni of (and refugees from!) UFA and the golden days of German silent cinema in the 1920s. Together they knew how old tricks from that era would look strikingly modern in films of the present day.

This film has many of the usual Archer personal touches. The jolly credit sequence featuring the childhood of a young girl mirrors the birth of Pressburger’s own daughter Angela in 1942 and the parental feelings he must have had. Powell’s own pair of golden cocker spaniels (who we saw in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and will see again in A Matter of Life and Death) are to be seen in the house Joan visits along with Petula Clark, a precocious girl who will also feature in other Archer films. Powell was apparently irresistible to women and took the occasion of this shoot to romance Pamela Brown who plays the down-to-earth local girl Catriona who smoulders alluringly as poor Joan’s world is upturned. A curiosity is the fact that Roger Livesey never set foot in Scotland for he was playing on the London stage at the time. Powell utilized a double and later shot close-ups of Livesey’s face in the studio which were later skillfully integrated in. The whole film radiates good humour, a splendidly witty script and amiable performances. In many of the sequences the emotions fairly seethe off the screen in a delightful flood of emotional release. My favorite scene is at the cèilidh where the puirt à beul “Macaphee” is performed while Torquil has his prey Joan trapped up his ladder as he sings the lyrics, making them personal as he declares his love in fine romantic tones looking every bit like the golden eagle which has meantime gone astray. I found the film completely irresistable as it gushes forth so compellingly with the unmistakable whiff of bizarre English (or is that Scottish?) eccentricity which is the hallmark of Powell/Pressburger at their best. It may be the slightest film they ever made, but it’s among the most lovable. Recommended with enthusiasm.
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