For me the feast has finished and the lamps have expired. A book I wrote has lasted sixty years and it has been made into a film. In a touching scene in the film, taken from real life, my father says he is proud of me. My real father would have been proud too. He loved books. Now I can turn my back on what I have done.
Let it be known that the film of the Stone of Destiny will be shown all over the world. It did not make the official list at the Cannes Film Festival but was shown in a small side theatre. By the third showing the international film audience stood and cheered. Odeon signed it up for exhibition in the UK. It is on release in Scotland now and shortly will be seen in England.
At the Toronto Film Festival, the largest in the English speaking world the audience gave it a standing ovation, and the same thing happened at the Vancouver Festival. I insisted that the Scottish opening be here in Oban where it played to a full house. Charles Martin Smith, director, screen writer and Hollywood giant had to leave immediately after for its next opening in ANKARA. (Look it up on the map. It’s in Turkey)
The Guardian on Tuesday 14th October gave it a thoughtful review. Among other things they quoted accurately what I feel about the whole matter:-
Hamilton is dismayed, however, by the continued fascination with the raid. He volunteered with the RAF during the war, where 55,000 young men died in bomber command alone. “I did something for my country, as they did - and I am remembered and they are forgotten? This was an ancient wrong that had to be righted, I was just the person who did it.”
That is my true feeling. I will be glad of a closure. But how has it been received?
One of the English Sunday papers rated it four out of five. The International Movie Data Base has rated it eight out of ten. These are exceptional ratings for a low budget film….for any film.
I did not read the Herald and the Scotsman revues but they have caused offence among those who love this film. The accents weren’t right was one complaint. Even if that is so it won’t be noticed in Canada. Then you don’t take the train to London via the Glen Finnan viaduct, but that is just a little bit of advertising for the tourist industry. The few who see it in Scotland will be outnumbered by the vast audiences elsewhere. It is only two critics who have disliked it, not the people who have watched and loved it.
Poor Scotland! It turns out film critics whose vision stops at the parish boundary. I am proud of the film. As Professor Tom Devine and I are quoted as saying in the Guardian it all happened in a different time in history, but it is the history of us all.