27 February 2016

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

The film THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE, based on the book with the same name by Robert Louis Stevenson, is set in 1745. In that year prince Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, attempted to regain the British throne which led to the Jacobite rising against king George II. The Scottish Durie brothers, Jamie (Errol Flynn) and Henry (Anthony Steel), decide to support a different party each, hoping to preserve the status and estate of their father, lord Durrisdeer (Felix Aylmer), no matter who will win.

The Master of Ballantrae, 1:26:27
Filming on location for this American production in England, Italy and the Scottish Highlands was done in 1952. Eilean Donan Castle was chosen to represent Ballantrae Castle, the residence of lord Durrisdeer. Only the exterior can be seen in the movie, all interior shoots were made in the studio. The restoration of the castle was completed 20 years before filming. Situated on an island surrounded only by a lake and mountains and no new buildings makes it an ideal location for historic films and TV-series, see also the website of Eilean Donan Castle.

The castle and Loch Duich are seen from a distance during the opening credits, unfortunately not once without the red titles. The second time Eilean Donan Castle appears is during a few seconds at the beginning of the movie when Jaime arrives on his horse, “a proud heir to a noble castle”.

The Master of Ballantrae, 0:03:44
Eilean Donan Castle, 5 August 2011

Not until the end of the film, when Jaime returns after wandering Europe, the castle can be seen again. A fight between Jaime, Henry and a number of British officers forces the brothers to flee Ballantrae Castle. To help them escape, a farmer leads his cows onto the bridge forcing the soldiers to finally chase them through to water.

The Master of Ballantrae, 1:26:42
Eilean Donan Castle, 5 August 2011
The Master of Ballantrae, 1:26:46
Eilean Donan Castle, 5 August 2011
The Master of Ballantrae, 1:26:53
Eilean Donan Castle, 5 August 2011

During our visit I was unaware that this movie was filmed here, the photographs of the current situation are lucky shots.

Eilean Donan Castle, 5 August 2011

Screenshots © Warner Bros.