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Iain Maclean, Alan J. Wands
Gregor Fisher, Eddie Izzard, Naomi Battrick, Sean Biggerstaff, Kevin Guthrie, James Cosmo, Ellie Kendrick
Scottish islanders, in the midst of a wartime drought of whisky, are determined to take advantage of an unexpected windfall, despite opposition from the local Home Guard Captain.
The inhabitants of the isolated Scottish island of Todday in the Outer Hebrides are largely unaffected by wartime rationing, until the supply of whisky runs out. Then gloom descends on the disconsolate natives.
In the midst of this catastrophe, Sergeant Odd returns on leave to court Peggy, daughter of Post Office Master and Island Patriarch Joseph Macroon. Meanwhile, Macroon's other daughter, Catriona, has just become engaged to meek schoolteacher George Campbell, though his stern, domineering mother refuses to give her approval.
Things take an unexpected turn for the better when the freighter S.S. Cabinet Minister runs aground in heavy fog late one night, and begins to sink. The Biffer and Sammy row out to investigate and are ecstatic to learn from the departing crew that the cargo consists of 50,000 cases of whisky, bound for export to America.
They alert the village, but, as the population prepares to launch their skiffs to “rescue” the cases of whisky, MacAlister the Minister appears out of the mist on the harbour wall. He loudly declaims that the Sabbath fast approaches and that no work must be done on the Day of the Lord. As he finishes his speech, the chimes of midnight are heard. Sunday begins, and the islanders reluctantly return home. On the Sabbath they endure a pointed kirk sermon from MacAlister and spend an anxious day, hoping the ship won't sink before the rescue is underway.
Captain Paul Waggett, the stuffy English commander of the local Home Guard, orders Odd to guard the cargo from midnight on. Macroon casually remarks that, by longstanding custom, a man cannot marry without hosting a reiteach, to pledge his intention to marry, at which whisky must be served. Taking the hint, the Sergeant allows himself to be overpowered while on guard duty on the clifftop, and the locals manage to offload many cases before the ship goes down. George is persuaded to participate, despite being sent to his room by his mother for a prior transgression.
Mr Brown, who calls himself a tweed salesman, arrives on the island and lets Macroon know that he will be grateful for the recovery of a certain red document case, hidden on the sinking boat.
The purloined whisky is stashed in a cave, with each person taking only what he “needs.” Macroon finds the red case for Brown.
A battle of wits ensues between Waggett, who wants to confiscate the salvaged cargo, and the wily islanders. Waggett summonses the local customs officer Farquharson to search for the whisky, but the forewarned islanders manage to hide the bottles in various ingenious places, including ammunition cases which Waggett ships off-island.
When this is discovered, Farquerson arrests Waggett and takes him to the mainland to explain himself, leaving the locals triumphant. Whisky gives George the courage to stand up to his mother, and the island celebrates the weddings of Sergeant Odd and Peggy Macroon, and George Campbell and Catriona Macroon.