Classic 1922 Rob Roy film that caused pandemonium in the streets to tour Scotland once again

Actor David Hawthorn as Roy Roy in the 1922 biopic of the folk hero that brought gridlock to Glasgow city centre on its release. PIC: HippFest.
Actor David Hawthorn as Roy Roy in the 1922 biopic of the folk hero that brought gridlock to Glasgow city centre on its release. PIC: HippFest.
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When it first screened in Glasgow in 1922, there were 'extraordinary scenes' as soldiers, policemen and cinema-going crowds crammed the streets ahead of the screening of new silent film wonder, Rob Roy.

The premier of the folk hero's biopic brought Sauchiehall Street to a standstill with the occasion marked by a great show of military might, with a body of men from the Royal Scots Fusiliers marching from Maryhill Barracks down to the Salon cinema ahead of the screening.

Joining them were more than 250 war veterans who arrived in ambulances, with the police escort bringing Monday night gridlock to the city centre.

READ MORE: Who was the infamous Scottish outlaw Rob Roy?

Now, Rob Roy, which starred David Hawthorne and was shot entirely around Stirling and the Trossachs with 800 Scots soldiers hired as extras, is to be released on the nation once again with the film touring seven towns and cities.

The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest) will take the film on the road, with venues including Stirling Castle, one of the locations featured in the movie.

READ MORE: 15 amazing film locations you can visit in Scotland

Festival Director Alison Strauss said: “We are delighted to be touring this rip-roaring early film version of the life of Rob Roy and are grateful to Film Hub Scotland for their continued support of our touring programme.

"When the film originally premiered in Glasgow in 1922 the city literally came to a standstill and newspapers reported that officers and men of the Royal Scots Fusiliers marched down from Maryhill Barracks with their band, and hundreds of wounded from the local military hospitals were brought down to the cinema

".Special police were on duty and Sauchiehall Street was completely blocked.

"The film was an enormous success; packing out movie houses the length and breadth of Scotland and hailed as the Scottish national drama.

"I hope that audiences across the country will experience all the thrill and excitement of seeing this significant Scottish production on the big screen, just like those excited crowds did almost one hundred years ago.”

On tour will be an updated version of the 1922 release which now features a fresh score by composer David Allison, which will be performed live at each screening.,

His new work for the film was premiered in March during HippFest, the annual celebration of silent film held at Bo'Ness's art deco cinema.

Allison's previous silent film compositions include Nosferatu, which was performed at HippFest in 2011, and The Last of the Mohicans, which was one of the highlights of the event last year.

Musician David Allison said: “Rob Roy is an iconic figure in Scots History so it’s an honour to tour the film with my live score around the country, and especially to take the film home to Stirling Castle.”

The film makes liberal use of Scots for the intertitles - including phrases such as dinnae fash yersel - and is packed with epic fight scenes, with more than 800 men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders enlisted as extras for the job.

Sambrooke Scott, Film Hub Scotland said: “Film Hub Scotland is a proud supporter of the great work of HippFest and committed to creating more opportunities for Scottish audiences to enjoy archive film. With BFI National Lottery support, audiences across the country can enjoy the epic story of Rob Roy, brought vividly to life by David Allison’s fantastic new score.”

The film went on tour on Sunday, with its first showing at the Screenplay Festival in Mareel, Shetland. It will next show at the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre in Dumfries on November 6 with it moving to Stirling Castle the next day.

From there, the tour will move to Dunoon, Inverness, Dundee and finish in Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, on Friday, February 14.