I Know Where I’m Going

This film was made in 1945 and is a romance starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey. It also features Pamela Brown, Finlay Currie and Petula Clark. The Western Isles Hotel in Tobermory was used in the filming as was Duart Castle, Torosay Castle and the ruin of Moy Castle at Lochbuie.

SPOILER ALERT! Why don’t you buy the film on DVD from Tackle and Books in Tobermory?

Joan Webster is a young middle-class Englishwoman with an ambitious, independent spirit. She knows where she’s going, or she thinks she does. She travels from her home in Manchester to the Hebrides to marry Sir Robert Bellinger, a very wealthy industrialist, on the Isle of Kiloran.

When storms halt her sea crossing to Kiloran she takes refuge on the Isle of Mull, among a community of people whose values are quite foreign to her. There she meets Torquil MacNeil, a handsome naval officer trying to go home to Kiloran for some shore leave.

The next day, on their way into the town, they come upon the ruins of Moy Castle.  Joan wants to take a look inside, but Torquil refuses to go in. When she reminds him that the terrible curse only applies to the Laird of Kiloran, Torquil introduces himself: he is the laird, and Bellinger has only leased his island. As the bad weather turns into a full-scale gale, Torquil takes advantage of the delay to woo Joan, who becomes increasingly torn between her ambition and her growing attraction to him.

Desperate to salvage her carefully laid plans, Joan tries to persuade Ruairidh Mhór (Finlay Currie) to take her across to the island immediately, but the experienced sailor knows conditions are far too dangerous. Joan manages to bribe young Kenny (Murdo Morrison) into attempting it by offering him enough money to buy a half share in Ruairidh’s boat and marry Ruairidh’s daughter Bridie (Margot Fitzsimons). Torquil learns of the scheme and tries to talk Joan out of it, but when she proves adamant, he invites himself aboard. The boat’s engine gets flooded and they are caught in the Corryvreckan whirlpool, but Torquil is able to restart the motor just in time and they return safely to Mull.

At last, the weather clears. Joan asks Torquil for a parting kiss before they go their separate ways. Torquil enters Moy Castle, and the curse takes effect almost immediately. Centuries earlier, Torquil’s ancestor had stormed the castle to capture his unfaithful wife and her lover. He had them bound together and cast into a water-filled dungeon with only a small stone to stand upon. When their strength gave out, they dragged each other into the water, but not before she placed a curse on all the Lairds of Kiloran. Any who dared to step over the threshold would be chained to a woman to the end of his days. From the battlement, Torquil sees Joan marching resolutely toward him.