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on November 7, 2009
It is hard to imagine in the modern UK - blanketed as it is with CCTV, armed police units and security cordons that some students - who drove from Glasgow to London in the middle of the night just before Xmas 1950 - could break into Westminster Abbey, bungle things a few times and still get away with Scotland's ceremonial stone used to crown Scots kings in times past. Innocent times indeed.

The film contains elements of the Keystone Cops - but if you have ever read Ian Hamilton's accounts of the recovery of the Stone of Destiny it was pretty much like the film portrays - even the scene near the end with the travelling people. Perhaps the only thing glossed over was the feeling of gross betrayal when the stone was voluntarily returned and the fact the authorities decided not to risk a trial and lose the case to Ian Hamilton's rather well argued points of law as to why he and his companions had merely recovered stolen property.

The film also stars parts of the City of Glasgow set dressed to look like 1950; a significant portion of the cars of the era from the Glasgow Museum of Transport; the real Westminster Abbey and Glasgow University. Also watch out for the real Ian Hamilton's 5 second, non-speaking, cameo appearance!

In this day and age it is hard to find safe family movies - but this one is - a REAL tale of derring-do and robbery which it is safe to let the kids watch.
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on February 3, 2010
This is a great movie about nationalism and trying to right a wrong of history. The Stone of Destiny deals with idealistic university students driven by a strong sense of nationalism devise a plan to steal back the famed Stone of Scone from the English. With high hopes, little money and a sketchy plan, they set off for London to break into Westminster Abbey and grab the coronation stone of Scottish kings. With humour thrown in for good measure, it is an enjoyable film. A good cast makes the film work: Charlie Cox (The Merchant of Venice), Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, The Flying Scotsman), Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Full Monty, Hamish MacBeth), and Kate Mara (We Are Marshall) headline.
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on August 11, 2009
Stone of destiny is a lovely film, capturing the mood and period well. It's a pity this wasn't a bigger hit at the cinema but it is well worth seeing, especially the scenes at the end which were shot in Arbroath Abbey where the Declaration of Arbroath was signed by Robert the Bruce. (The American Declaration is based on this document).

Heartwarming and exciting without guns or violence - perfect!!
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on January 28, 2012
This movie has suddenly become very topical, because it is beginning to look as if Scotland might separate from England. The movie takes us back to a time when Scottish Nationalism was little more than a student movement; the "kidnapping" of the Stone of Destiny was a stunt to bring the movement to the notice of the media.

My sister and I were Glasgow University students in the 1950s around the time of the Stone incident. Although the movie takes us back to those exciting days, it is spoilt by anachronisms including the clothes worn by students. In reality, male students went around in suits and ties, plus woollen pullovers, and they looked very overdressed by today's standard. Female students also dressed conservatively and wore skirts, not pants. The moviemakers did not copy the typical student dress, although they did take the trouble to show the small, low-performance cars of the period.

Getting back to politics and economics. Scotland in the 1950s was very unlike today's Scotland. Then, unemployment was in the 2-3% range and any new graduate could expect a job, usually a choice of jobs. Today Scotland (like the UK as a whole) is in the grip of a recession and youth unemployment is a major issue.

A final note; in the UK this DVD is priced at the equivalent of $120 on amazon.uk. Is this because of overwhelming popular demand?
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I have a problem with movie sound and usually need subtitles in English. I could only understand about .5% of what the cast said in Scottish brogue. However, I got enough of it to follow along. This is a comedy based loosely on real events. Basically everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. I have been there on capers like that myself and it's no fun, but you just adapt and worry about it later. I recommend this movie, especially if you are of Scottish origin. The scottish characters are endearing. I rooted for them. The Brits are mean. I hoped they would drown in some tea. The redheaded heroine was heartbreakingly beautiful. It is 1950. We were still all free. We still all had a sweet morality that is lost now, until we destroy ourselves and begin over. What more could one ask for? :)
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on December 24, 2010
A true story of some Scottish university students, who decide to retrieve the Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey and return it to Scotland in 1950. The "crooks" bungle, but somehow pull off the heist, becoming national heroes. There are some good comic bits, when things go wrong, and a bit of romance, too. The actors, particularly Charlie Cox and Kate Mara, are quite good, and the script and direction are competent (although overdone at times). Nice shots around Westminster Abbey, Glasgow, and the British and Scottish countryside add to the enjoyment. [Please note that I watched the film on cable TV rather than from the DVD.]
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on September 30, 2014
I watched this movie because of a recommendation from a friend at work after the Scottish vote for independence. Though the movie isn't the greatest of flicks, the deep-seated wish of the youth for Scotland to become an independent nation was a very hot subject in the 1950's as well. Unfortunately, it appears the older generation, though passionate about their Scottish ancestry, still wish to be part of the union.

Nevertheless, the Stone of Destiny is a movie based off of a true story. I stumbled across the tale while watching the Secrets of Westminster on PBS that talked about the stone of destiny underneath the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey. The stone is from Scotland, and when a king or queen is crowned, the stone, of course, represents that they are also king and queen of Scotland and thereupon they sit!

However, one young lad from Glasgow decided that the stone needed to be returned to Scotland where it belonged. He and a group of his friends drive to London, break into the abbey, steal the stone, and take it back to Scotland. It's a rather lighthearted movie of love of country and the determination to keep Scotland separate from the United Kingdom. Eventually, of course, the stone was returned, and they were arrested for their dastardly deed. The good news is that England had the sense not to prosecute them for the theft, which was no doubt done to keep the peace.

The movie, of course, isn't an Oscar-worthy flick. But the true story of one brave young man's audacity to break into the abbey and steal the stone from underneath the coronation chair is worth kudos in itself.
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on December 12, 2014
Charles Martin Smith put together a real sleeper in Stone of Destiny. I mean that in the best traditions of sleeper movies--i.e., it's a good movie that kind of fell off the map early into it's release. SoD is an enjoyable Scottish romp that includes a bit of a history lesson about an event that is next to unknown today. Definitely worth owning.
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VINE VOICEon March 15, 2010
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this movie. I had not heard this story before so that made it even more entertaining. Want a good movie the whole family can see? This movie is one everyone can appreciate.
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on November 9, 2014
A YOUNG SCOTTISH MAN FEELS HIS FELLOW COUNTRYMEN HAVE LOST THEIR PASSION FOR THEIR COUNTRY, THE PASSION THAT MADE THEM GREAT. HE SETS OUT TO MAKE A STATEMENT THAT THE COUNTRY THAT IS REFERRED TO AS NORTHERN ENGLAND IS, WAS AND EVER WILL BE SCOTLAND. LAND OF THE STRONG IN SPIRIT HEART AND COURAGE, AND HE DOES JUST THAT. THIS MOVIE IS WONDERFUL! SO FULL OF THE SCOTTISH SPIRIT AND HUMOR AND WITH THE ADDED BONUS OF ROBERT CARLYLE, I SAY BRAVO!!
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