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I Know Where I'm Going! (The Criterion Collection) (1945)

138 customer reviews

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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A young woman (Hiller) is determined to marry a wealthy man in the Hebrides for money, but on the way there she gets stranded in a sea coast town where she meets and falls in love with a handsome young navy officer instead.

Assured, headstrong Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) knows exactly what she wants and how to get it, until she's stranded in a rough, windswept Scottish village--in sight but out of reach of an island where a rich fiancée, a lavish wedding, and a loveless marriage await. While a raging storm prevents her crossing, a quiet, modest, and penniless Scottish laird named Torquil (Roger Livesey) slowly wins her cheerfully mercenary heart and upsets her carefully arranged plans with messy emotions. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's much-loved romantic drama is a handsome work full of vivid, offbeat characters (Pamela Brown is especially striking as an earthy villager always accompanied by a pack of bloodhounds) living in a world that's part tradition and part myth. Villagers work and celebrate with the simple spirit of common folk ("We're not poor, we just haven't any money," Torquil admonishes the materialist Joan). Powell brings his lively manner and bold visual invention to the creation of his beautiful but harsh primal paradise, culminating in the awesome spectacle of a massive whirlpool that could be the work of the "legend of Corryvreckan" or the stormy embodiment of Joan's hysterical heart. Awash in mystic power of ancient castles and chanted legends, I Know Where I'm Going is one of the most romantic visions of Britain's most magical director. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • Audio essay by film historian Ian Christie
  • Behind-the scenes stills, narrated by Thelma Schoonmaker Powell
  • The 1994 documentary, I Know Where I'm Going! Revisited, by Mark Cousins
  • Excerpts from Michael Powell's 1937 Feature The Edge of the World and 1978 documentary, Return to the Edge of the World
  • Photo essay by I Know Where I'm Going! aficionado Nancy Franklin, who explores the locations used in the film
  • Home movies of Michael Powell's Scottish expedition, narrated by Thelma Schoonmaker Powell

Product Details

  • Actors: Pamela Brown, Petula Clark, Finlay Currie, Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey
  • Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
  • Producers: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, George R. Busby
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004XQMY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,299 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Know Where I'm Going! (The Criterion Collection) (1945)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 138 people found the following review helpful By peterfromkanata on February 16, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What are the truly great, classic romances on film ? Many would think of "Casablanca", and justifiably so. However, in its own charming, subtle way, "I Know Where I'm Going" deserves a high place on any such list. My wife and I decided to watch this as our "Valentine's Day" movie--a perfect choice.
I suppose the big question is--why is a movie that is so predictable, so great ? As usual, the answer is a combination of fine ingredients--script, direction, setting and performances, both lead and support.
Dame Wendy Hiller stars as a bright, independent and arrogant young woman who "knows where she is going". Actually, she is "going" to a remote island off the west coast of Scotland to marry a much older, but incredibly wealthy man. There is never any suggestion of a relationship between these two people or that they love one another. It is presented to us as an "arranged" marriage, just as this fellow ( we never actually see him on screen ) would set up one of his business deals. Of course, fate intervenes.
Several days of bad weather prevent our heroine from leaving the coastal village to meet her intended on the island. During this time, she meets a naval officer who also happens to be the local laird, played by Roger Livesey. Even though he is attracted to Ms. Hiller, the Livesey character does not try to "sweep her off her feet"--he simply opens her eyes to the charms and rewards of a simple life where "people are not poor--they just don't have any money". Before long, she develops feelings for this man, which makes her even more anxious to reach the island and her husband-to-be, so that she can keep her word and "do the right thing". Of course, you can't fight fate--can you ?
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85 of 86 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 25, 2004
Format: DVD
This is one of the great romantic movies, and like all of the Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger films, it's quirky and original. Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) has always known where she's going. She's headstrong and determined to marry a man who is wealthy and has position. Her fiance is an industrialist (this is at the tail end of WWII), older than she, who is living on a leased island off the coast of Scotland. They're to be married on the island, and Joan takes the train to a small village on the coast, where she'll go across on the ferry. Bad weather sets in and she has to wait at the home of another woman, a woman of common sense and little money, who also has staying with her an old friend and naval commander, Torquil MacNeil (Roger Livesey).

This is Joan Webster's story, her determination to get to the island, her growing unease with MacNeil because he doesn't fit into her plans, her putting at risk a young couple who are in love and, as she comes to realize, may have better values than she does. Of course, there's a legend about the lairds of Kiloran, with a curse carved into the walls of a crumbling castle. There are villagers who are unique but not condescended to. There is an atmosphere of fog and mist and sun which is beautifully photographed. There is a storm-swept boat journey into the teeth of a giant whirlpool, all the scarier because it was filmed in the days before CGO.

Roger Livesey is terrific as MacNeil, the last of the lairds of Kiloran. He made this movie only a couple of years after he did The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp for the Archers. Here he finds himself attracted to this headstrong young woman, then falling in love with her.

Pamela Brown plays his friend. She was a first-rate actress plagued with bad health.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
IKWIG (as its creative team of Powell and Pressburger dubbed it) was made on a black-and-white stock right after WWII, when technicolor film and equipment were temporarily unavailable. It was the tale of a London-based woman who has always known what she's wanted all her life, and has decided to marry a wealthy, nice, but elderly business tycoon. ("You can't marry Consolidated Chemical Industries!" sputters her father. "Can't I?" is her reply.) He has rented a sprawling castle on a distant isle of the remote, nature-claimed Hebrides Islands, off the coast of Scotland, and she's traveling to meet him for the wedding, there. Unfortunately, the weather doesn't cooperate, and she's stuck for days one island short of her goal, where she encounters endless local traditions, people, and scenery, along with the young Laird of Killoran. Her desperation to achieve her goal nearly causes the death of several people, and has a profound effect on her understanding of the culture she's dropped into from London.
I would venture to call IKWIG the uber-chick film. It has several of the qualities that succeed so well in romance novels/film making: a self-reliant, intelligent heroine; a rugged hero who is at first perceived as the antagonist; a growth in understanding about the world around her, that allows ultimately for a complete change of POV in the heroine. It is that rare creature, a romance film that isn't a romantic comedy. It has some brilliantly inventive comic moments, especially (and significantly) before the film moves leaves England--like the heroine's dream sequence as she sleeps aboard a train, climaxing in a distant shot from above that has the hills covered in tartan as the train passes into Scotland--but that isn't the focus.
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I Know Where I'm Going! (The Criterion Collection) (1945)
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