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In a follow-up to 2021’s roaringly successful Ireland’s in the Screen: Movie Magnificence from the Emerald Isle, we’ve decided to mark St Andrew’s Day in style with another alphabetical tribute, this time heading north of the border.
So, Scottish cinema, what’s it ever done for us? Well, unlike in football, a lot more than merely provide a few laughs. Comedy has indeed played a big part, but there’s so much more to it than that, so let’s end the speculation right here and now – jocks away!
A is for Awful accents.
Borrowing from the Irish A-Z, we begin with this. If you thought Christopher Lambert's in Highlander was bad, check out Harry Enfield's in Scottish Mussel (probably the only impression he can't pull off).
B is for Bill Forsyth
One of the hottest properties in British filmmaking during the 80s, a move to America - when Brits weren't as in vogue as they are now - proved a fatal career error.
C is for Clare Grogan
Better-known as the singer of 80s band Altered Images and for her role in EastEnders, she's also made a sizeable contribution to cinema, her big breakthrough coming in 1981's Gregory's Girl.
D is for Deborah Kerr
The first Scottish actress to conquer Hollywood, with no less than six nominations for the Best Actress Oscar to her name.
E is for Ewan McGregor
Surely one of the most famous Scots on the planet, but you've got to love the voice-over work for Expedia.
F is for Festivals
A whole host take place north of the border each year, with the Edinburgh International Film Festival being the longest continually-running in the world.
G is for Glasgow
New York, London, LA - they've all provided inspiration for cinematic greatness over the decades. There's no doubt that Scotland's biggest city deserves its place among them as well.
H is for Highlands
With scenery as striking as this, it's little wonder they've featured in a whole host of movies, from Harry Potter to Prometheus.
I is for Isla Fisher
Mrs Sacha Baron-Cohen's parents are both Scots, so naturally one of the world's most recognisable redheads has been classed as one of their own.
J is for James Bond
The quintessential English secret agent was first made famous by legendary Scot Sean Connery. Also, a large section of 2012's Skyfall was shot in Glen Coe.
K is for Kilts
This clichéd piece of Caledonian kit has been the lynch pin of many a film set wardrobe.
L is for Liam Neeson
An Irishman, but his star turns in Rob Roy and the lesser-known The Big Man have more than done their bit for Scottish cinema.
M is for Macbeth
Arguably Shakespeare's greatest work, 'The Scottish Play' has been adapted for the big screen on numerous occasions, with rather mixed results.
N is for Novelists
From Robert Louis Stevenson through to Irvine Welsh, Scottish storytellers have had their tales adapted into pure movie magic.
O is for 'Oh my God, whose idea was that?'
We are, of course, talking about the dreadful remake of the 1973 horror classic The Wickerman. Nicolas Cage found himself in Edward Woodward's shoes on a strange Scottish island - we wish he hadn't.
P is for Pulling power.
Confused? The aforementioned Bill Forsyth was making such a name for himself back in the 80s, that none other than Hollywood royalty Burt Lancaster signed up for his 1983 flick Local Hero.
Q is for Quite a good horror movie
We refer to Shepherd, which was reviewed on this very site last year. In a genre that's lost its way a little, this is a rare gem of a film.
R is for Robbie Coltrane
A true acting great, whose recent passing made you realise how rare such talent is.
S is for Sunshine Over Leith
An uplifting and highly entertaining musical, set to the songs of The Proclaimers - and the cast can actually sing!
T is for Trainspotting
Along with the belated sequel, Trainspotting 2. An obvious choice that just couldn't be ignored.
U is for Under the Skin
A 2013 sci-fi movie starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien who drives around Scotland seducing loners. Weird? Quite possibly.
V is for Very seldom seen
This describes the Loch Ness Monster; or should that be never seen? Either way, 'Nessie' has been the inspiration for several movies.
W is for William Wallace
Hands up who was wondering why Braveheart didn't feature under 'B'.....
X is for X-Men
In which James McAvoy plays Professor Xavier. Two 'Xs' for the price of one? Who'd have thought?
Y is for Yin
As in 'The Big Yin', nickname of stand-up legend Billy Connolly. The Glaswegian carved out quite a reputation as an actor, from the 80s onwards, as can be witnessed right now on BBC iplayer.
Z is for Zombies
Which came in 2008's Doomsday, and for the sake of this list, thank God.
So all that remains to be said is happy St Andrew's Day, especially if you live in Scotland where you'll get an extra bank holiday to squander. Not jealous at all.