In the early 80’s, Bill Forsyth directed some of the funniest comedies of all time.
He directed both GREGORY’S GIRL and LOCAL HERO, both charming Scottish comedies that are still talked about today.
There was another film in that mix, THAT SINKING FEELING, featuring some of the same cast members as GREGORY’S GIRL. Released in 1980 in the UK, it wasn’t released in the US until 1984, after the success of the other films.
THAT SINKING FEELING is set in Glasgow Scotland, although as the opening credits state, it isn’t to be confused with the Glasgow we all know.
The film follows a group of unemployed friends who spend their days thinking about food, attempting suicide by corn flakes, and finally, coming up with an idea to break out of this existence. They will rob a local steel sink factory.
The cast is made up of Scottish actors from the Glasgow Youth Theatre. Two of them, Robert Buchanan and John Gordon Sinclair, would go on to larger roles in GREGORY’S GIRL, with Sinclair playing Gregory. Several of the other cast members had small roles in that film.
Like GREGORY and LOCAL HERO, this is a film that is as much about the locations as it is the humor. It always seems to be raining in Glasgow, which adds to the mood. And there are some hysterical throwaway moments (a character bumming a cigarette off an 8 year old).
As I wrote in my What Ever Happened To story on Bill Forsyth, Forsyth will always be one of my favorite filmmaker for his Scottish films. His later US films have their fans (BREAKING IN, HOUSEKEEPING) but for me, it was like a great country musician going pop. I was more interested in seeing his portrayal of Scottish life and characters, which we rarely see, than another American story. He has essentially retired. His last film, 1999’s GREGORY’S GIRL sequel GREGORY’S TWO GIRLS, has never even been released in the US.
THAT SINKING FEELING was released in the US on VHS and laserdisc, but it hasn’t even been released on DVD in the UK. (EDIT: It was released on DVD in the UK on 9-14-09) It is owned in the US by MGM and has been shown recently on the THIS TV network.
Here is a recent interview with Robert Buchanan about the film.