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by Kevin Deany

A major criticism of “Brigadoon” (1954) is it was shot on the M-G-M soundstages and not on location in Scotland. If there was ever a musical that should have been shot outdoors, some say, it is “Brigadoon.”

I never really bought that argument because the Scottish village and hillside created for the movie are so gorgeous to look at. While the idea of shooting on location in Scotland does sound appealing, the often unpredictable nature of Scottish weather could have seen costs soar. The fact that M-G-M used AnscoColor instead of Technicolor means they were definitely watching the bottom line.

Plus, because so many theaters were still unequipped to show movies in the new Cinemascope format, “Brigadoon” was shot twice, once in the standard wide-screen format and again in Cinemascope. Shooting in Scottish weather once would have been daunting enough, but shooting twice would have been tempting fate.

“Brigadoon” is a fantasy along the lines of “Lost Horizon” and a most beguiling one at that. Brigadoon is a magical Scottish village that appears only 100 years. It is discovered by accident by two American hunters who find themselves lost in the Scottish highlands. (more…)

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