Trouble in the Glen

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Trouble in the Glen
"Trouble in the Glen" (1954).jpg
theatrical poster
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Written by Frank S. Nugent
Based onTrouble in the Glen by Maurice Walsh
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Starring Margaret Lockwood
Orson Welles
Forrest Tucker
Victor McLaglen
Cinematography Max Greene
Edited by Reginald Beck
Music by Victor Young
Everest Pictures
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release dates
31 July 1954 (UK)
3 December 1954 (US)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Trouble in the Glen is a 1954 British comedy film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles, Forrest Tucker and Victor McLaglen. [1] It is loosely based on Maurice Walsh's 1950 novel of the same name. It was filmed in Trucolor for Republic Pictures.


Plot summary

After moving from South America to the Scottish Highlands, millionaire Sanin Cejador y Mengues (Welles) reassumes the title of laird of Glen Easan, which he inherited from his grandfather, Sandy Menzies. Obstinate in nature, Mengues soon finds the climate inhospitable, and the language and customs of the Highland people exasperating. While fishing on the loch with his equally stubborn, distantly related cousin Angus, who works as a fishing or hunting guide for the estate, Mengues hooks and then loses a large trout, and the confrontation escalates from Gaelic epithets and an overturned boat to Mengues firing Angus. When the locals then refuse to work for him and his cattle roam unmanaged over the glen, Mengues, advised by Oliver "Nolly" Dukes (Archie Duncan), his factor from Glasgow whom the villagers distrust, closes a heavily used road that leads through his property.

By the time American widower, Major Jim "Lance" Lansing (Tucker), a former Air Force pilot who was stationed in Scotland during World War II, returns there, the disgruntled villagers are burning the laird in effigy. After a quick drink at the pub, where he befriends tinker and former paratrooper Malcolm MacFie (John McCallum), Lance reunites with his old friends the Carnochs, who act as guardians of Lance's young daughter Alsuin (Margaret McCourt), who adores Lance but is unaware that he is her father. Stricken with polio, the bedridden Alsuin is hard-hit by the closing of the road, which inspires her made-up fairy tales and provides people to call to her as they pass.

At her request, Lance, whom Alsuin calls "Sir Lancelot", proceeds to the Mengues estate to talk to the laird about the road. Finding the gate locked, he climbs the fence, but before approaching the castle, detours to the loch and takes a swim. Mengues' feisty daughter Marissa (Lockwood) spots him trespassing and steals his trousers while he is in the loch. Later, dressed in the clothes he has left, Lance shows up at the castle and manages to meet Mengues, who will only advise him, as a fellow foreigner, to "leave Scotland."

Lansing, however, rallies the people of the glen and eventually, they prevail upon Mengues to restore peace, but not before a brief and unconvincing fistfight between Lansing and Dukes. Mengues apologizes to all by explaining that he has recently learned the difference between a lord and a laird. A lord, he says, takes care of the people and land belonging to him, while a laird belongs to the land and the people.

With peace restored, the road re-opens, and during the wedding festivities of Lance and Marissa, Mengues, dressed in a kilt, promises Alsuin, who knows now that Lance is her father, that they both will be dancing within six months. Tinker chieftain Parlan (McLaglen) and Malcolm enjoy the party from the window, until they realize it is an excellent night for poaching.



The film was based on a novel by the writer of The Quiet Man which was published in 1950. [2] [3] Republic hoped that John Wayne would co-star with Margaret Lockwood. Screenwriter Frank Nugent, who also wrote Quiet Man, said the film wasn't a sequel to Quiet Man "but we're hoping to recapture the same flavour and warmth." [4] [5] The film was one of a series of movies that Wilcox and Republic intended to make together. [6] Wilcox tried to get Cary Grant to do the film, then Mel Ferrer. [7] [8] It was Orson Welles' fifth British movie in six months. [9] John McCallum was under contract to Herbert Wilcox. [10]

Filming started 15 December 1953. [11] It was shot at Elstree Studios. The film's sets were designed by the art director William C. Andrews.

Box office

According to Kinematograph Weekly the film was a "money maker" at the British box office in 1954. [12]

Critical reception

The film received very poor reviews. [13] It contributed to the decline in Lockwood's career. [14]

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  1. "Trouble in the Glen (1954) | BFI". Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  2. "BOOK REVIEW". The Swan Express . Vol. LI, no. 45. Western Australia. 9 November 1950. p. 5. Retrieved 26 October 2020 via National Library of Australia.
  3. "BOOK REVIEW". The Australian Women's Weekly . Vol. 18, no. 22. Australia. 4 November 1950. p. 18. Retrieved 26 October 2020 via National Library of Australia.
  4. HOWARD THOMPSON (23 August 1953). "NOTED ON THE LOCAL SCREEN SCENE". New York Times. p. X5.
  5. "FROM HOLLYWOOD". The Mail . Vol. 43, no. 2, 158. Adelaide. 17 October 1953. p. 60. Retrieved 19 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  6. "LEAD IN NEW FILM TO RITA HAYWORTH: Star Cast as an Adventuress in 'Valentina,' to Be Produced in Fall by Her Company". New York Times. 14 July 1953. p. 18.
  7. THOMAS M. PRYOR (15 October 1953). "INDEPENDENTS VIE FOR MELVILLE TALE: Film Producers Attracted to 'Typee,' a South Seas Story -- Fox Gets Seimel Novel". New York Times. p. 41.
  8. THOMAS M. PRYOR (5 October 1953). "WARNERS WILL DO LIFE OF GEN. PATTON: Studio Obtains Rights, Plans to Start Film New Year in Wide Screen and Color". New York Times. p. 33.
  9. "Stars Invade U.K." The Newcastle Sun . No. 11, 212. New South Wales, Australia. 20 May 1954. p. 22. Retrieved 1 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  10. "Australian in new film roles". The Australian Women's Weekly . Vol. 21, no. 32. Australia. 6 January 1954. p. 28. Retrieved 26 October 2020 via National Library of Australia.
  11. Schallert, Edwin (24 November 1953). "Welles to Europe Again for 'Trouble in Glen'; Sombrero Premiere Set". Los Angeles Times. p. A7.
  12. Billings, Josh (16 December 1954). "Other monkey makers". Kinematograph Weekly. p. 9.
  13. "Orson Welles film rejected". The Sun . No. 13, 890 (LATE FINAL EXTRA ed.). Sydney. 19 August 1954. p. 55. Retrieved 1 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  14. Vagg, Stephen (29 January 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: Margaret Lockwood". Filmink.
  15. B. C. (11 April 1955). "Movie Review – Trouble in the Glen – At the Baronet". New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  16. Luck, Richard (5 January 2010). "Trouble In The Glen". Film4. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  17. "Trouble In The Glen Review". 28 November 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  18. "Trouble in the Glen (1954) – Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 27 July 2014.