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MacNab's visit to London

A stereotyped highlander visits Edwardian London

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An early fiction film with MacNab as a caricature of a Highlander who loves golf. He arrives in London to visit to his cousin and turns out to be a one-man wrecking-ball.

The film was directed by and stars an early pioneer of British cinema, Arthur Melbourne Cooper. It is innovative in terms of its use of parallel action and tracking shots.

Questions & Activities


  • How many stereotypical moments can you identify in this early film?
  • What would people who had never visited Scotland think of Scots after watching this film?
  • What does it say about the depiction of the highlands at the time?


Use the film as an introduction to discuss the issue of stereotyping. Contrast this film of McNab with films about the First World War (such as The Face of Scotland) where men in kilts are depicted as heroes.

Compare the representation of the Highlander in this film with "The Adventures of Wee Rob Roy" - how are they similar?

Research the history of the kilt as a symbol of national identity. What has it meant at different times in Scottish history? How has the design changed to accommodate different uses?

Research the history of the filmmaker Arthur Melbourne Cooper and the development of the continuity system of filming.

Make a video about the history of golf, from its early origins to its development as a major international sport.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-361-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 4430
Date 1905
Genre Drama, Comedy, Fiction
School Subject Social Studies, History, Media Studies, Religious and Moral Education, Expressive Arts
Subject Matter Citizenship, Identity, Stereotypes
Who Alpha Trading Co. (production company), Arthur Melbourne Cooper (director), Arthur Melbourne Cooper (actor)
Where London
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 4:00
Film Length 04:00