Full length video

This film is in copyright

This film is protected by copyright and is provided for personal, private viewing only. Please use the Hire, buy or ask a question button to ask about obtaining a copy of this film or a licence to use it, or to ask about its copyright status.

Find similar films


  • Borders
  • Dumfriesshire
  • Edinburgh
  • Fife
  • Glasgow
  • Stirlingshire


  • Agriculture
  • Celebrations, traditions and customs
  • Education
  • Employment, industry and industrial relations
  • Fish and fishing
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Ships and shipping


  • Documentary
  • Sponsored


  • Films of Scotland Committee


  • 1930s

Related films

1938 | bw | sound
1938 | bw | sound
1938 | bw | sound
1938 | bw | sound
1939 | bw | sound
1938 | bw | sound

Related biographies

Please read Understanding catalogue records for help interpreting this information and Using footage for more information about accessing this film.


Reference number: 0034

Date: 1938

Director: d. Basil Wright

Sponsor: Films of Scotland

Production company: Realist Film Unit

Sound: sound

Original format: 35mm

Certificate: U

Colour: bw

Fiction: Non-Fiction

Running time: 13.00 mins

Description: Basil Wright sets out to answer the questions 'what and why is the Scot.’ with an emotive account of the character of Scotland and its people. One of a group of seven documentaries made for the 1938 Empire Exhibition under the supervision of John Grierson.

See also SPORT IN SCOTLAND ref. 0314, SCOTLAND FOR FITNESS ref. 0231, WEALTH OF A NATION ref. 1062, SEA FOOD ref. 1060, THE CHILDREN’S STORY ref. 1059, THEY MADE THE LAND ref. 1063.

Credits: cam. A.E. Jeakins
m. Walter Leigh
sd. rec. W.F. Elliot
[p. John Grierson
comm. w. Basil Wright
voice of John Knox : John Grierson]

Shotlist: Credits (.56) gvs Borders landscape, Cheviot Hills and shot of a Roman wall (1.49) Highland scenery (2.25) shot of stones weighing down heather roof thatch. Peat turf (2.34) A farmer feeding a lamb, cattle grazing, gvs men cutting and stacking peat (3.32) shots of Stirling and Edinburgh castles (4.08) blackhouses and a new house (4.30) gvs crofters at work, ploughing, etc (4.49) village church as people enter yard (5.08) statue of John Knox (5.19) ext. village school (5.39) brief shot of fishing village, shots of church (5.45) city church steeple (5.50) int. church, congregation sing hymns. Woman playing the organ as boy works bellows (6.35) Boy doing his homework (6.45) Landscape (6.55) shot inside classroom during lesson. gvs streets in Ecclefechan, birthplace of Thomas Carlyle (7.11) St. Salvator's College in St. Andrews and Edinburgh Old College (7.26) inside lecture hall during a lecture. Student in candlelit attic room studying. Back to lecture room (7.45) student at window overlooking the Old Quad, Edinburgh (7.50) statue of Sir Walter Scott at the base of his monument in Edinburgh (7.54) shots inside operating theatre (8.02) model of Watt's rotary steam engine, followed by shots of various liners built on the Clyde, Int. steel workshop and steel works (8.53) drawing of an old village, a factory chimney (9.08) shipyard workers leave yard. Long shot over rooftops to industrial landscape (9.17) shot of a ruined blackhouse (9.23) East end of Princes Street, Edinburgh (9.25) shots inside St. Vincent Bar, Edinburgh, as men drink, discuss football and play dominoes, intercut with shots of ruined crofts and blackhouses (9.57) riveters at work (10.05) int. steel works (10.28) half-moon battery, Edinburgh Castle, as the one o'clock gun salute is fired. Long shot across Princes Street from Castle (10.40) pipes and drums (11.00) Lone piper, dressed in rags, marches along the top of the trenches in World War I. Brief shot of men in trenches and of artillery fire (11.10) memorial and shrine at Edinburgh Castle (11.45) Scottish lion rampant flying from flagpole (11.52) United Airways aircraft [G-ACAN] as it takes off from airport (11.59) hydro-electric power station (12.07) shots of a football crowd, c/u and crowd scenes (12.55) pan over rooftops of Edinburgh and up to the castle (13.12) ecs (13.19)