MAIRI: The Romance of a Highland Maiden
An example of early special effects, two men are fighting on a cliff edge, one man is swapped for a dummy just before he is thrown over the edge. (clip - full length available onsite)
Title: MAIRI: The Romance of a Highland Maiden
Reference number: 1331
Director: filmed by Andrew Paterson
Original format: 35mm
Running time: 17.18 mins
Dramatised account of Mairi, a young girl in love with a Revenue Officer and caught up in a fight to catch smugglers.
An amateur production, first shown to the public in the Central Hall Picture House, Inverness on 20th May 1912.
The film was re-edited by James S. Nairn in 1953 - please note this is the version that has been transferred to tape.
Preservation of this film supported by the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
w., p., d. and filmed by Andrew Paterson.
re-edited by James S. Nairn in 1953 [credits put on 1953 version, missing in original]
cast : Mairi ... Evelyn Duguid; Lovat MacDonald ... Dan Munro; Alpine ... Jack Maguire; Torquil ... Dan Dallas; Grigor ... Alex Paterson; Revenue Officer Bates ... Tom Snowie; Revenue Officer Jones ... Hector McIver; Revenue Officer Bentley ... Luis Lyon
Introductory credits [put on 1953 version, missing in original]
This is believed to be one of the earliest story films made in Scotland, and almost certainly the first to be made in the Highlands. In 1912 Andrew Paterson, an Inverness Photographer, decided to use the natural setting of the coast at North Kessock on the Inverness Firth to make a film of a smuggling story. His cast of eight were all amateurs from Inverness, and he himself wrote the script, directed and photographed the film.
'Mairi' was first shown at the Central Picture House Academy St., Inverness on the 20th May, 1912. It can stand in comparison with most of the professionally made films at that time and was a considerable achievement for a photographer and cast without any film experience. later he made two short films of Scottish scenery, from the footplate of a railway engine, on behalf of the old Highland Railway Company. He unfortunately made no more films and sold his camera to Gaumont Ltd; as he felt he was neglecting his portrait business.
Andrew Paterson lived to be one of Scotland's leading portrait photographers, and the present film is shown by kind permission of his son Hector G.N. Paterson, Photographer, Inverness.
[Please note this shotlist is from re-edited version made in 1953 with added credits and intertitles. Shotlisted from speed corrected tape, manual control track]
credits and introduction (1.53) A highland Whiskey smuggler was Lovat MacDonaldd who's daughter Mairi was in love with Revenue Officer Bates. Alpine, one of the smugglers, also in love with Mairi swears revenge (2.08) action (4.16) Hot on the trail comes the Revenue Officers, lead by Bates, to the Smugglers Cave action (6.18) The fight is on and Bates is dashed down to the rocks below action (8.25) Mairi sees Alpine watching over the still form of her lover and seeks help action (11.08) Lee smokes them out action (13.23) Bates gives the smugglers a chance. Sign this, he says, and I'll let you go free action (15.32) At last Mairi reconciles Alpine to Bates and everyone lives happily ever after action (17.18)