The Bridal Path (film)
The Bridal Path is a 1959 British comedy film directed by Frank Launder and starring Bill Travers, George Cole and Bernadette O'Farrell. It is based on the 1952 novel of the same name by Nigel Tranter. A young man on a remote Scottish island travels to the mainland in search of a wife. Although another Highland story, the film failed to match the success of Launder and Gilliat's earlier Geordie (1955).
|The Bridal Path|
British 1-sheet poster
|Directed by||Frank Launder|
|Produced by||Sidney Gilliat |
|Written by||Nigel Tranter |
|Starring||Bill Travers |
|Music by||Cedric Thorpe Davie|
|Edited by||Geoffrey Foot|
|Distributed by||British Lion Film Corporation|
|5 August 1959|
- Bill Travers as Ewan McEwan
- George Cole as Police Sergeant Bruce
- Bernadette O'Farrell as Siona Campbell
- Duncan Macrae as Headquarters Police Sergeant
- Alex Mackenzie as Finlay
- Patricia Bredin as Margaret
- Fiona Clyne as Katie
- Dilys Laye as Isobel
- Pekoe Ainley as Craigie
- Eddie Byrne as Mike Flanagan
- Terry Scott as Police Constable Donald
- Gordon Jackson as Police Constable Alec
- Roddy McMillan as Murdo
- Joan Benham as Barmaid
- Nell Ballantyne as Jessie
- Jameson Clark as Police Constable at Crossroads
- Jack Lambert as Hector
Ewan McEwan, an easy-going sheep and corn farmer on a remote Scottish island, is unable to marry his childhood sweetheart Katie as his hell-raising preacher uncle is opposed to consanguinity - all the islanders are related to each other. When Katie leaves for Glasgow to train as a nurse, he is persuaded to find a wife on the mainland (which he has never visited).
Withdrawing 400 pounds from a bank in Fort William, he sets out to meet the local girls. He has been advised by the islanders of what they think he should look for in a potential wife: strong legs, wide hips, knowledge of cows and sheep, and also not a "candle burning Catholic" or a Campbell!
His innocent close inspection of the girls he meets raises their suspicions. The first girl, inspired by a lurid paperback novel she is reading thinks he's a white slaver and so informs the local police. He then becomes a wanted fugitive after he 'borrows' a policeman's bicycle. Then he is mistaken for the leader of a gang of salmon poachers who use dynamite. The police eventually arrest the innocent Ewan on a wide variety of charges, but don't believe his story. Held overnight at the local police sergeant's home (there is no jail), he easily escapes custody and resumes his flight, still examining all the girls he meets.
After two sisters that he takes refuge with come to blows over him, he 'borrows' their boat and hitches a passage with a fishing boat. The boat is taken over by fishermen from a nearby island who think they are encroaching on their fishing grounds, and Ewan is locked in a shed. He is rescued by a local girl and they row back to Ewan's home island.
By now he's had enough of searching, and is starving, since he hasn't managed to have a square meal whilst on the run. He and Katie decide to marry anyway, despite the ban on consanguinity.
The New York Times wrote, "Bridal Path does not take any unexpected turns but a viewer can have a nice time and some giggles along the way."
- "The Bridal Path". britmovie.co.uk.
- "The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film". google.co.uk.
- "The Bridal Path (1959)". BFI.
- DAVID SHIPMAN (31 March 1994). "Obituary: Bill Travers". The Independent.