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Guest Post on Chronically Vintage

Guest Post on Chronically Vintage

Dear Reader, I am so thrilled to be writing a guest post on Chronically Vintage. When Jessica invited me I said “yes” straight away. 

My first thought was to write about another aspect of my vintage life which is my love of classic film. So welcome today to this post.


An Appreciation of the Classic Film

“I Know Where I’m Going”


Do you watch “old” or “classic” films? Do you collect DVD’s of great films?  I have so enjoyed blogs which feature wonderful films from the 1930’s- 1960’s.  My own taste spans from 1930’s to modern days.  I like silent films to but love to hear the stars talking!  The Hollywood musicals are also firm favourites.


I like nothing more than settling down with a hot drink and a great film.  It is a marvellous way to relax and step out of the busy life and be taken up by the story.


Films from the 1940’s are interesting too because of the authentic fashions, social conventions and as a window into a time when life was extremely challenging because of world events.

Dear Reader, I found this film a few years ago and it is now a firm favourite. At home we take the “Radio Times”, every week.  This long running publication records the weeks TV and Radio programmes.  Selected films that will be shown that week are also reviewed.  There is a film critic called Barry Norman who is very knowledgeable about all genres and writes well.


Image 2


He reviewed this film in the RT and wrote about it in such glowing terms that I wanted to see it.  It was given 5 white stars, the highest accolade and Barry Norman has ranked this film in his top 100 films of all time.  Once I had watched it, I wanted my own copy so I could watch it again (and repeat the experience!).



It is Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell (1905 – 1990) and Emeric Pressburger (1902 -1988) they also made The Red Shoes (1948) and A matter of Life and Death (1946) and it is their fourth collaboration.  They called themselves The Archers and referred to the film as IKWIG.  It was made in 1945 in black and white because all the colour film had been requisitioned by the Air Force for training films.  The screenplay was written in six days, developed from an idea that Powell and Pressburger had been thinking about for some time.



This film is a romantic love story with most of the film set in the Western Isles of Scotland.  There is a legend, a curse and a number of romantic castles and a phone box next to a waterfall (that makes hearing the phonecall impossible!)

The thrust of the story is that the 25 year old heroine Joan Webster is travelling from Manchester to the Isle of Kiloran to marry a rich industrialist, Sir Robert Bellinger, who is old enough to be her father and is the Laird.  She will become Lady Bellinger, having the materially rich life she has chosen for herself.  She is sure having money is the key to her future happiness.  Joan is so single minded in her pursuit of this goal that when she is forced to wait on the Isle of Mull because of a storm she risks her life and the lives of others too trying to reach Kiloran in a small boat.

Joan meets a young naval officer Torquil MacNeil who is also trying to reach Kiloran on 8 days shore leave. They are compelled to wait on Mull.  She learns that Torquil is in fact the true Laird of Kiloran and her fiancé is renting the title, from him.  They start to fall in love with each other as MacNeil of Kiloran is a gentle and patient man who is at ease in his environment, and is wise and calm.  Joan is a city girl desperate to get to Kiloran but she is challenged by her time with MacNeil and struggles to see that the life she thinks she wants could be so limited and empty without true love.




An eye-catching vintage movie poster for I know Where I’m Going starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey. {Image source.}


My favourite quotation from the film, is where MacNeil points out a big difference to Joan.  It struck me on first viewing and catches me every time I see the film.


The two leading characters are played by Wendy Hiller (1912 -2003) and Roger Livesey (1906 -1976).   Their performances are strong and so engaging.  I found Joan rather unlikeable but Wendy Hiller showed her struggles so powerfully that I warmed to her as the story unfolded.  Roger Livesey as MacNeil of Kiloran was handsome, charming and wise – I think I fell a little in love with him too!  He looked dashing in his naval uniform and so at home in his kilt!



{MacNeil looking elegantly dapper in his classic Scottish kilt. Image source.}

At the start of her journey Joan appears in the most wonderful suit. It has a slightly A-line skirt that reaches to just below the knee and a hip length jacket and is beautifully tailored to fit perfectly.


She is wearing the most glamorous tilt hat in leopard print and has a matching large envelope clutch bag. On her left lapel she is sporting a big brooch as her only jewellery apart from the enormous diamond ring that shows she is engaged to “one of the richest men in Britain”.  Over her suit and simple top Joan has a wool overcoat that is waisted with a fuller skirt.  The coat and skirt lengths are just right together and of course the hat and matching bag look wonderful too.



{MacNeil looking elegantly dapper in his classic Scottish kilt. Image source.}


During the film she has super pyjamas and a very 1940’s housecoat waisted , of course with a tie belt and wide stripped lapels.  Her travelling clothes are understated and so elegant.

She has with her two leather suitcases. One of the cases holds her silk wedding dress which she takes out and hangs up as she is heading towards Scotland overnight by train.  It is lovely and is probably made from parachute silk!

Joan is excited and so assured that she has her life mapped out. Her clothes are expensive – probably all paid for by Sir Robert Bellinger who had contacts to get round clothing coupons and rationing.


This film has inspired me dear Reader to try a matching hat and muff and a leopard print collar and matching muff to wear with A/W suits. I am looking forward to bringing them out later at the end of September.


I hope you will enjoy this film as much as I have. When I watch it again I am going to keep my eye on Roger Livesey.  This is because he was in a stage play in London at the time of filming and never went to Scotland!  A double was used of all the shots of him there and with careful editing his close up scenes were all filmed in a studio in London. “I’m not sure, but I think it was one of the cleverest things I did in movies,” Michael Powell recalled.  I have only just discovered this researching for this post!  I will be watching very carefully…


It has been such a pleasure to write this post about “I Know Where I’m Going”, a favourite film of mine. I am hoping to share with you more wonderful classic films on Gloriously Vintage in the future!  Thank you again to Jessica,  for this guest post opportunity.


About Gloriously Vintage

My name is Elizabeth. I am so thrilled to be learning how to write a blog about my adventures collecting vintage treasures. This new adventure is to mark my 60th Birthday this February in 2016 and to start this decade with something new. I have been collecting Powder compacts, 1950's costume jewellery, vintage handbags, silk scarves, vintage umbrellas and hats for over five years now. I try to wear and use as much of my collections as possible. This has added great enjoyment to my life! As a child my "best game " was always dressing up. I kept all my dressing up clothes in a large wooden banded trunk in the spare bedroom -the third bedroom. Creating outfits and characters, wearing jewellery always with a handbag and a powder compact I would play on my own for hours. Most of my treasures then came from jumble sales and bric a brac shops browsed with my parents on holiday. Life has a way of coming round full circle. In my fifties I found increasing joy in being able to just be myself and adopt the hairstyle I wanted and the vintage look that suited me. I source all my "top clothes" from Oxfam on line and charity shops Mixing new tops, shoes and sometimes handbags with my vintage accessories has given me a signature style that is unique. I have always tried to be an individual and not follow the crowd. I find most of my collections at vintage fairs, charity shops and going to Antiques for Everyone at the NEC has been a marvellous time for hunting out treasures and learning more about the things that have sparked real passion for me.

8 responses »

  1. A film I’d never heard of a rarity. I must check it out


  2. Hi lovely Elizabeth, thank you again immensely for your marvelous guest post. It was a pleasure to have you share about one of your all-time favourite films over on CV while Tony and I were on holiday.

    I really, really must track down a copy of this movie now and see it myself. From your glowing review to the costuming to the setting (I melt for all things Scottish!), it sounds right up my vintage film adoring alley.

    Many more heartfelt thanks for your help. You’re an awesome friend and fellow vintage blogger.

    Tons of hugs,
    ♥ Jessica


    • Dear Jessica, Thank you for your comment here. It was such a pleasure doing my guest post – and so exciting to be invited!

      Your holiday sounds really great and I am looking forward to seeing your posts about it!

      Tons of hugs back from the UK, Elizabeth xx


  3. So glad to have discovered your blog via Chronically Vintage. I share your love of this film, and enjoyed being reminded of the splendid Wendy Hiller and her chic wardrobe, both so perfect for the character. Samantha x


    • Dear Samantha, thank you for your comment. I am delighted to have found your blog too via the guest post on Chronically Vintage. Wendy Hiller was so good in the film and went on to have a long and successful career. I always come back to IKWIG and enjoy it over and over again. Best wishes, Elizabeth xx


  4. Excellent choice! I’ve seen this film a few times and always love it.


    • Dear Carol, how lovely to hear from you! I am delighted you know and love this film. It is very special and merits viewing a few times. I love Joan’s hat and matching clutch bag. The telephone box is now “listed” and cannot be moved! Best wishes, Elizabeth xx



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