- more British films, a Bond movie and a classic puffer
With its all-of-a-piece period frontage by the water and a castle nearby, Inveraray has had a role to play in a number of films. (Ironically, it failed with Arthur Freed, a Hollywood producer, in 1953, along with every other part of Scotland. He visited while trying to find a location for Brigadoon - the archetypal film about a Scotland that didn't exist, so had to be made in Hollywood.)
However, Inveraray became a setting for The Three Lives of Thomasina (1964), originally a novel by Paul Gallico. This featured the young Susan Hampshire as the girl who lived in the woods and had a special way with animals. (Useful - as, in the story, Thomasina was an unwell cat.)
Michael Caine came along to play a conman, along with Roger
Moore in the 1990 comedy Bullseye!
(Caine had been around Argyll before in 1971 in Kidnapped
- see below) This time Inveraray Castle was the location.
The little town also appears in the TV series Brotherly Love (2000) and in the British Channel 4 series Seven Ages of Britain (2003).
the south-west of Inveraray the Crinan Canal is a special
place, and known to many yachting folk. The chase scenes on
fast boats near the end of From Russia
with Love (1963), the second Bond movie, were filmed
out on Loch Craignish, near Crinan. More gently, though the
canal itself is mostly used for recreation, once it was used
by the 'puffers', the now-vanished fleet of small and flat-bottomed
coastal cargo vessels which served the seaboard communities.
Maggie (1954), aka High and Dry
in the US, is a gentle portrayal of the life of this type
of craft, in a plot about a wealthy American (played by Paul
Douglas) who hires a puffer to transport a valuable cargo
to one of the islands. Apparently, the rise and fall of the
tide, along with the ever changing light made the shooting
sequences on the Crinan Canal quite a challenge for the film
crew! (The Crinan Canal was also used in the filming of the
'home-grown' television series, The Vital
Spark  with Roddy McMillan.)
fans will also enjoy the scenes on the island of Islay around
Bowmore and Port Askaig shot for The
Maggie. Much more recently, Islay, or more specifically,
Finlaggan, associated with the Lords of the Isles, was investigated
by the British Channel 4 TV Time Team.
Islay's wilderness island neighbour, Jura, was the setting for an extraordinary art film. Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond, lately of the band KLF, came to Jura in 1994, and in a boathouse on the island burned £1 million. They filmed this action and the unedited result became the controversial Watch The K Foundation Burn a Million Quid (1995). It was premiered in the village hall on Jura. Did they really burn all that money?
Finally for Jura, the Gulf of Corryvreckan, with its whirlpool
of fearsome reputation, plays an important part in the plot
of the Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger classic I
know Where I'm Going (1945). (See the Mull
and Lorn section)
on the mainland, Tarbert, the Kintyre gateway town, appears
in the gritty and raw My Name is Joe
(1998). The southern end of Kintyre around Campbeltown and
Machrihanish is usually associated with whisky, golf and impressive
seascapes. However RAF Machrihanish had a role in White
Nights (1985), the story of a Russian ballet dancer
who had defected to the West but whose plane is forced down
in Russia. The even darker Death Watch
(1980) also used locations on the Mull of Kintyre. (By the
way, the Picture House in Campbeltown is Scotland's oldest
surviving purpose-built cinema.)