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MacNab's visit to London

An uncouth highlander visits Edwardian London

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Description

An early fiction film with MacNab as a stereotypical 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, and is innovative in terms of its use of parallel action and tracking shots.

Questions & Activities

Questions

  • 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?

Activities

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

Compare the representation of Scottishness and racial stereotypes in this film with "The Adventures of Wee Rob Roy" how are they similar or different.

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?

Despite the potentially offensive content, this is a good example of an early comedy that is developing the language of cinema. Research the history of the filmmaker Arthur Melbourne Cooper and the development of the continuity system of filming.

Research 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
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
References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Melbourne-Cooper.  
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