I Know Where I'm Going

Starring: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Pamela Brown and John Laurie
Carlton Visual Entertainment
RRP: 9.99
Certificate: U
Available now

Joan Webster is the very model of a modern woman (by 1940's standards). As the title suggests, "She knows where she's going". Engaged to a rich industrialist who has taken a lease on an island in the Hebrides, she travels up to Scotland to marry him. However, trapped in the Western Isles by bad weather life takes on a different hue and soon Joan is involved with a young Naval officer, Torquil MacNeil, who turns out to be the local clan head and the true owner of the Hebrides island...

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger made two of the greatest British films of all time - A Canterbury Tale and A Matter of Life and Death - and although I Know Where I'm Going does not match this pair of masterpieces, it is a very satisfactory work imbued with a subtle beauty and intelligence.

Powell's love of rugged scenery shines through - a storm in Scotland has never looked more menacing - and his use of the forces of nature to drive his narrative is once again apparent, although not as to the fore as in Gone to Earth which is almost a hymn to pagan spirituality.

However, there is something slightly uneven about the film, perhaps because the rich industrialist, a pivotal character, is never anything more than a distant voice on the telephone. But as this out of kilter approach to movie making was at the core of the work of Powell and Pressburger it's maybe not that surprising they should ignore the [financial] force at the core of the action in favour of the forces of nature.

Anthony Clark

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