Golden Age Film of the Week

I Know Where I am Going

I Know Where I Am Going 1945 - Starring Dame Wendy Hiller, Directed By Powell and Pressburger. Available to Buy from The Criterion Collection To Own and Treasure

Reader, I must introduce you to the exhilarating Golden Age British film I Know Where I am Going, a Scottish love story to rival Brief Encounter, that shimmers with joy, authenticity and the most wonderful sly scenes of courtship with castles, leopard pillbox hats, Golden Eagles on the wing and in the house, bagpipes and a deathly whirlpool know as the Corryvreckan that lies between the islands of Jura and Scarpa in The Western Isles.

It's the stuff of legends and wild romantic love that cannot be denied and the perfect viewing for a slow Sunday.

A Classic Forties Film Romance to Rival Brief Encounter

Darling! The film demands to be rediscovered and celebrated like Brief Encounter. I Know Where I Am Going celebrates the dizzy joy of the sudden thunderbolt encounter and it is also a rather clever satire on the pull of material world v community and the beauty of simplicity of nature and wild things. It's also a poem about Scotland. This British film love story from 1945 stars Dame Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey, the other Oliver of the thirties and forties. This whimsical, unforgettable love story is written, directed and produced by the auteurs of British Film Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and A Matter of Life and Death.

Curses and Whirlpools Can't Keep Joan and Kiloran Apart in the Film I Know Where I Am Going 1945

The film can now be rediscovered by film lovers across the globe after careful restoration by the BFI in partnership with Granada. The classic British love story is now streaming on ITVX and it is available to buy and treasure from The Criterion Collection.

I Know Where I Am Going 1945

One stormy night on the island of Mull, Torquil MacNeil laird of Kiloran, Roger Livesey, comes back on a week's leave from four years as a naval officer in WW2. He is heading home, to the fictional isle of Kiloran. He collides at the shore with Joan Webster, a feisty, determined English woman hell-bent on breaking her neck to marry the richest man in England on a remote Scottish island. The island is the ancestral home of Kiloran as he has rented his home to Sir Robert Bellinger to make ends meet.

Taming a Woman is Worse than Taming an Eagle

Torquil is smitten and intrigued by Joan and wonders aloud if - 'Taming a Woman Could be Worse than Taming an Eagle?' Nevertheless, he is compelled to try and tame Joan, despite the capacious Cartier ring on her engagement finger. The comedy and fun arise from Joan's mutual desire and attraction to Torquil and oh how she tries to resist her wants and desires! Joan is stuck in a storm and can't cross to Kiloran until it clears and so is Torquil.

A Heroine on the Run!

Joan tries everything to run away and not be thrown off her course, by insisting on separate tables at lunch, going out first thing in the morning to visit wealthy friends of her husband-to-be and bolting up to bed after dancing with Torquil at the ceilidh.

If you want crazy love, a fearless, maddening heroine, forties style, an enigmatic laird and to feel wild at heart on a Scottish island with eagles, craggy castles, thunderous Scottish country dancing, treacherous whirlpools, curses and the exquisite melancholy of the bagpipes this is the film to wallow in and watch over and over again for the delicious nuances of love, class and making do in very tough times.

Pygmalion Starring Leslie Howard and Dame Wendy Hiller 1939

Shot in luscious black and white, I Know Where I Am Going is a truly mad, joyful, life-affirming film as the war was coming to an end, and here, we meet a charismatic, leopard pill box-wearing heroine brilliantly portrayed by Dame Wendy Hiller with chutzpah, restless joie de vivre and courage. Hiller played Eliza Dolittle in the original film Pygmalion opposite Leslie Howard and she is one of England's greatest actresses from the thirties to the eighties.

Roger Livesey - Powell and Pressburger's Leading Man

She is perfectly matched by the charismatic Roger Livesey as Torquil. Livesey is magnetic and was set to star in Brief Encounter after his three starring roles in Powell and Pressburger films. In I Know Where I Am Going he is by turns mercurial, warmhearted, sweetly determined to have Joan and ultimately heroic and his famous lilting voice only adds to his leading man persona.

A Love Letter to Scottish and Island Life

One of the joys of the love story is that the film brims with stories of island life, Scotland and the delirious idea of a love that cannot be denied. It is also a rejection of purely material wants and pleasures. The film is a lasting love letter to Powell's love for Scotland and the Hebrides and Gaelic culture. I Know Where I Am Going is a very particular celebration of living off the land, far from the war and an ode to wild creatures and elemental nature and it poses the idea that 'money isn't everything' - that culture and community are what matter most, especially in times of war and crisis.

Watch I Know Where I Am Going on ITV, Amazon Prime or Buy the Film from The Criterion Collection as a Collectable Edition.

More Classic Films to Watch This Month


Rear Window is a fiercely tense, taut, thrilling murder mystery film that had its premiere at The Venice Film Festival in 1954 and is considered to be one of Alfred Hitchcock's best films. In a Sight and Sound Poll in 2012, the film was ranked No. 53 in the list of greatest films of all time by critics. The film stars James Stewart as a professional photographer recuperating from a broken leg in his Greenwich Village Apartment and Grace Kelly as his socialite girlfriend who comes to keep him company and cheer him on.

The Loneliness of City Life

During a heatwave, Stewart starts to watch his neighbours and he believes that he has witnessed one of them murdering his wife. The film is forensic in its depiction of city life and the loneliness and alienation of people's lives. It also shows the positive and negative repercussions of voyeurism. This is one of the most disturbing aspects of Hitchcock's film and I will leave it to you the reader, to decide how you feel about the director's much-discussed character and obsessions. Rear Window is preserved in The Library of Congress for its historical, aesthetic and cultural importance.

The L-Shaped Room Starring Leslie Caron and Tom Bell

The L Shaped Room - Lesley Caron and Tom Bell star in the British kitchen sink realism film about a young French woman, Leslie Caron, who finds herself pregnant and unmarried in sixties London. Caron is both natural and luminous as the fearless woman who refuses to be cowed by hypocrisy, societal norms or the judgement of her peers. This is the story of how she decides to keep the baby and how along that journey, she finds friendship, love and support from a group of strangers and misfits in a London boarding house. Watch the film for the fascinating scenes of London after WW2, the fashion, the huge social and sexual constraints on women and the horrors of bedsit land which remind me of the terrible places I lived in at university and when I first moved to London to find work as a budding journalist. Nothing has changed when you are young and just starting in life.

Far from the Madding Crowd - John Schlesigner's starry sixties film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's celebrated novel about rural life. The film stars Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Terence Stamp as the suitors of Christie's headstrong independent woman, Bathsheba Everdene. Christie is at the height of her power, playing another unfathomable character that every man wants.

Brief Encounter Starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard

Brief Encounter - Peerless and perfect, I never tire of watching Brief Encounter as a bittersweet ode to the thrill of the chance encounter, forbidden love, railways cafes, forties fashion, train travel and black and white movies. Cocoon, weep and revel in the romance of Celia Johnson as one of the greatest romantic film heroines and all because grit got in her eye.

New and Contemporary Films


Joy Ride Starring Ashley Park

My pick of new and recent film treasures to rent or subscribe to on the British Film Institute website.

Typist Artist Pirate King

Kelly Macdonald and Monica Dolan star in Carol Morley's dark comedy about a forgotten artist.

Joy Ride

Ashley Park from Emily in Paris co-stars in Adele Lim's story about four friends going on a fearless once-in-a-lifetime journey of self-discovery and identity.

Anatomy of a Fall

Sandra Huller delivers an unforgettable, spellbinding performance in director Justine Triet's Palme d'Or psychological thriller.

Radio and Podcasts

Watch All JFK's videos and podcasts here at Kenndy 24

A candid, unmissable intimate interview with Robert Kennedy Junior RFK- president in waiting, on the Flagrant Podcast/Video Talking about How he Met his Wife Cheryl Hines, getting permission from Larry David to date Cheryl; the assassination of his father and his uncle, President JFK; Corruption in the Political System; the mafia, Ukraine, Epstein talking about how he made his money and insider trading and meeting Ghislaine Maxwell in the nineties.

Desert Island Discs New Highlight Interviews on BBC Sounds

Cate Blanchett

Sir David Attenborough

Bill Nighy

Living 2022, Starring Bill Nighy

Copyright Alison Jane Reid. The Luminaries Magazine March 2024. All Rights Reserved. No copying in any format including A1.

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About The Journalist Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid is a Scottish/English feature writer, editor and slow luxury tastemaker. Her iconic career in British national newspapers spans 25 years. AJ worked as a lead feature writer specialising in cultural icons at The Times Magazine for a decade. AJ trained at Mirror Group Newspapers and went on to work as a contributing editor at The Lady and You Magazine. Her iconic interviews and features have also been published in Country Life, The Independent, ES, The Evening Standard, Coast and Harpers Wine and Spirits Magazine.

Alison Jane has also appeared in broadcast journalism for  - ITV, Channel 5, V&A Fashion Documentary and our television channel. In 2023, she took part in a documentary for Channel 5 about cultural icon Harry Styles.