military uniforms to life to fight off a German invasion. The phantom
pipers lead the charge.
Bill Nye, The Science Guy (TV) - has an episode about the bagpipes. The
piper plays and talks about the instrument and how it works. He then
plays Scotland the Brave.
The Black Robe - 1991 100 minutes. Directed by Bruce Meresford,
and starring Lothaire Bluteau, Aden Young, Sandrine Holt, etc., the
story is of a 17th century Jesuit priet's expedition through remote
ares of New France (Quebec, Canada). The film features the band 'Ad Vielle Que Pourra' with piper Gilles Plante performing at an outdoor gathering.
Blink - contains scenes with some of the Chicago bands and a group called 'The Drovers'.
Bonnie Prince Charlie - stars David Niven - no info
Brave Heart - 1995. It's the story of William
Wallace and stars Mel Gibson. The previews show a piper on a hillside
with GHB in the sound track. The bagpipes shown on the screen are of the modern variety - 400 years ahead of their time!! The sound was of
Uilleann pipes, and the uilleann piper may have been Eric Rigler. Can
Breaker Morant - 1980 106 minutes. The film was directed by Bruce
Beresford and stars Edward Woodward and Jack Thompson. It is the story of
an Englishman who went out to Australia in the 19th century. He and
others fight in the Boer War in South Africa, apparently commit war
crimes, and are sentenced to be executed for them. No info on the piper(s).
Brigadoon - 1954 108 minutes. This film was directed by Vincente
Minnelli and stars Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse, etc. It
is about two New Yorkers who become lost while hunting in
Scotland. They happen upon Brigadoon, a town that is visible once
every 100 years. The piping is the lead-in to the wedding scene. Eight 'clans' come marching across the bridge with their pipers to the fore.
The pipers look strange, and they sound even stranger!
The Buccaneer - 1958 121 minutes. This film is directed by Anthony
Quinn and stars Yul Brynner, Charlton Heston, Claire Bloom, etc. and is
about Jean LaFitte and the Battle of New Orleans. It
has piping in the battle scene. Apparently even after the whole line of pipers is mowed down, the sound track continues with a full pipe band.
Bugs Bunny - (TV cartoon) Bugs plays golf with a bagpipe playing Scotsman.
Burger King Commercial - (TV) 1995 Feathres 3 pipers from the Los Angeles Police Pipe Band, P/M Eric Rigler, Scott Ruscoe, and Patrick Connolly.
Cal - set in N. Ireland, has Uillean pipes played by Liam O'Flynn. Paul
Brady plays the whistle.
Casino Royale - 1967 131 minutes. This film is directed by John Huston
and stars Peter Sellers, with Woody Allan playing the part of little
Jimmy Bond, nephew of 007, who is played by David Niven. As you can
probably already tell, it is a spoof on the James Bond movies.
It contains a dream sequence with a pipe band - possibly Muirhead and Sons? There is piping at a party scene as well.
Catholic Boys - the piper may be Dennis Brooks? Does anyone know?
Chariots of Fire - 1981 123 minutes. Directed by High Hudson and
starring Ben Cross and Ian Charleson, this film tells the
stories of two former British track stars and is about the will
to win. A piper plays Murdo's Wedding before one of Eric
Liddle's track meets.
Commitments - 1991 116 minutes. Directed by Alan Parker, starring
Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, etc. this movie tells the story of a
band of young Dubliners playing 60's soul music in Ireland. The band was looking to recruit new musicians and a Uilleann piper showed up in answer to the ad. They didn't accept him. Great movie though. The credits list the piper as Brian McAodha.
Culloden - no info
The Day They Robbed The Bank of England - 1950's (?). The solo piper
plays Scotland the Brave and The Barren Rocks of Aden during the opening credits, Farewell to the Creeks in the middle, and Highland Laddie in the closing credits.
The Dead Poets' Society - 1989 128 minutes. Directed by Peter
Weir, starring Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, etc. the motie
tells the story of young men at a New England prep school and
their unconventional teacher. It contains a shot of a set of silver and
ivory Hendersons, a piper by a lake and someone practicing the chanter in
the dorm. A student plays Scotland the Brave at the beginning.
The Desert Rats - 1953 88 minutes. Directed by Robert Wise, starring
Richard Burton, Robert Newton, Robert Douglas and James Mason, the movie gives an impersonal account of warfare (The Battle of Tobruk) with very realistic battle scenes. The pipers play Gary Owen when the seige is
broken by a British armoured unit.
The Devil's Brigade - 1966 - features the Salt Lake Scots portraying the
pipe band of the Canadian Regiment (which one?).
Dragon World (1994) - set in Scotland, a young American orphan inherits a castle, plays bagpipes on the moor which awakens a dragon... While the
boy fingers the chanter of the GHB, the soundtrack apparently plays
The Drum - 1938 101 minutes. Directed by Zoltan Korda, starring Sabu, Raymond Massey, etc. the movie tells the story of an elderly Khan who is anxious for the Brits to insure his throne for his young son. Prince
Ghul, however, has other ideas. It is about the British regiments and
their role in India. One of the Highland dancers is a youthful John Roe, later to become the P/M of the 1st Btn Scots Guards. The piping scenes
are supposed to be very good.
The Empire of the Sun - 1987 152 minutes. Directed by Steven Spielburg,
the movie stars Christian Bale and John Malkovich. The story is about the
son of an American diplomat in Japan who, at the outbreak of hostilities there, is separated from his parents. The pipes are featured in flashbacks
to his days in school where the students are piped into assemblies.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 1986 103 minutes. Directed by John Hughes,
and starring Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck, the movie is about a rich
kid's day off from school. It contains a parade scene with a pipe band.
The Field - 1990 110 minutes. This film is directed by Jim Sheridan
and stars Richard Harris and John Hurt. It is the story of an Irishman's blood ties to the land. Set in the 1930's, a wealthy widow decides to
sell the land Bill McCabe has farmed to an American. It contains some Uillean piping; also Stockton's Wing.
The Four Musketeers - The Revenge of Milady - 1975 108 minutes.
Directed by Richard Lester this sequel to the Three by that
name stars Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, etc. It
is not a particularly good movie, but then neither was the Three
Musketeers. It features a bagpipe and hurdy-gurdy duo playing in a tavern scene.
Four Weddings and a Funeral - the piper at one of the weddings plays
The Fugitive - features, on the screen at any rate, a pipe band from the Chicago area, possibly the Chicago Stockyards Kilty Band, founded in 1921. The sound track was made by Eric Rigler, Glen Thompson and Aaron Shaw with lots of overdubbing to make it sound like a whole pipe band.
Gardens of Stone - 1987 111 minutes. Directed by Francis Coppola,
starring James Caan and Anjelica Huston, this film has an opening scene in Arlington Cemetery with piper Dick Blair. It tells a story about men of
the Old Guard, a muddled meditation on the Vietnam War.
Glencoe - no info
Gunga Din - 1939 120 minutes. An RKO Radio picture, this film is
directed by George Stevens and stars Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks, and Sam Jaffe. It is the story of three happy-go-lucky British sargeants in India at the time of the outbreak of the Thugs against the English troops. It contains a piping scene in which the tunes Will Ye No
Come Back Again and Piobaireachd of Donald Dhu are played. The piping is supposed to be very good.
Highlander - 1986 111 minutes. Directed by Russell Mulcahy, starring Christopher Lambert and Roxanne Hart, the film starts with a sword fight
in New York but then jumps back in time to a clan battle in 16th century Scotland. In an early scene, two Scottlsh clans go into battle each with their pipers prominently displayed.
Highlander II - The Quickening - 1991 96 minutes. Directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, this is a
sequel to Highlasnder, mentioned above. It hops about in time and place
with several storylines. The piper is Stuart Copeland.
The Highlander III - another sequel, according to Patrick Hutchinson who
did the piping in it, this may well be the worst movie ever made!!
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - two Grande Cornemuse players are featured
in the opening scene. I actually found there were three different
versions of this movie so I don't really know which one has the piping in
it. Can anyone help out?
I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing - a kids' video, it contains piping
and Highland dancing whehen the kids who are travelling around the world
pay a visit to Scotland.
I Know Where I'm Going - 1945 91 minutes. Directed by Michael Powell
and Emeric Pressburger, this is a British comedy with Wendy Hillier,
Roger Livesey, Pamela Brown and Petula Clark. Wendy Hiller goes off to
the Isle of Mull to marry an older multi-millionaire but instead falls
for a young naval officer. The Gaelic song "Tha Mi Sgith" is sung and
there is piping as well.
I Married an Axe Murderer - starring Mike Meyers of Saturday Night Live
fame. The film contains a wedding scene with pipes. According to my
un-named source, "The bagpipe symbolizes social liminality and
pathological eccentricity". Huh??
The Innocent (1994) - no info
Into the West - 1992 102 minutes. Directed by Mike Newell, this
film stars Gabriel Byrne and Ellen Barkin. It is the story of 2
Dublin children who take to the hills on a beautiful white stallion,
and contains scenes with Joe McKenna (?) and others around a
camp fire with tinkers. The Uillean pipes are used. A brilliant scene.
The film also features music by Clannad and Black '47.
Iron Kelly - features Yahoo Serious, of Young Einstein fame. The film has
a short shot of piping with the piper holding the chanter with only one
hand and the blowstick nowhere near his mouth. The soundtrack has a
snatch of The Black Bear.
Iron Will - contains a brief scene where a pipe band plays at the start
of a race. The apparently play Orange and Blue as a march.
Journey to the Center of the Earth - 1959 132 minutes. This is a Disney film, directed by Henry Levin and starring Pat Boone, James Mason, Arlene Dahl and others. It is a story of an expedition to the centre of the
Earth. The opening scene has a pipe band on parade playing Jennie's Bawbee.
Kidnapped - 1960 97 minutes. Directed by Robert Stevenson and
starring Peter Finch, James MacArthur and Peter O'Toole, this is
the story of an 18th century Scottish boy cheated out of his
inheritance by a conniving uncle. The film contains a scene where Allan
Breck Stewart and another Highlander duel with bagpipes instead of swords. The pipes are single tenor-drone types. The tunes played are simple, but
Kidnapped - 1972 100 minutes. This is a second version of this famous
story by R.L. Stevenson and is a combination of the original Kidnapped
and the sequel called Catriona, which is lesser known but great reading.
The film is directed by Delbert Mann and stars Michael Caine, Trevor
Howard and Jack Hawkins, and takes the story up to the Battle of Culloden
and its aftermath. I don't know what piping, if any, there is in the
movie. Can someone tell me?
King of Hearts - this b/w movie stars Alan Bates and is about people
escaping from an insane asylum. The film contains some really bad piping.
King Ralph - 1991 97 minutes. Directed by David S. Ward, this film
stars John Goodman, Peter O'toole and John Hurt. It tells the story of
what happens when the entire British Royal Family is wipped out, leaving
an American as the heir to the throne. A pipe band plays as John Goodman descends from an airplane upon his arrival in England. The band wears
full military dress.
Lair of the White Worm - 1989 93 minutes. This film is adapted
from a novel by Bram Stoker. Directed by Ken Russell and starring Amanda Donohue as the title invertebrate, it is not a very good movie but she
plays the vampire part with comedic effect. The piper acts the part of a snake charmer. The pipes are bad - fake in fact. The tune is a 6/8 march.
Lassie - no info
L.A. Story - 1991 95 minutes. Directed by Mike Jackson with Steve
Martin and Victoria Tennant. It's a comedy, of course. Martin forsakes
one girlfriend for another whom he doesn't think he can get. A billboard promoting the Queen's Own Highlanders by the side of the freeway starts
to play Amazing Grace at the end of the film to an enlightened Steve Martin.
Lawrence of Arabia - 1962 222 minutes. Directed by David Lean, this Horizon-Columbia Picture stars Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony
Quinn and John Hawkins. It is the story of Lawrence and his incredible adventures in the Middle East. In one scene, Lawrence and some other
officers are talking on the porch of a building in Cairo as a pipe band marches pasy playing The Brown Haired Maiden (?). In the shot, the pipers have their pipes on their shoulders, but are not blowing into them. The
sound track is longer than the visual bit.
Les Maitre Sommeurs - pipes and
The Little Rascals - 1994. One of the kids plays the pipes in a dream sequence by Alfalfa. All the Rascals are in kilts and formal Highland
dress, including the dog. Buckwheat plays the pipes. The real piper who supplied the music for the soundtrack is Pipe Major Eric Rigler of the
Los Angeles Police Pipe Band.
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer - 1935 110 minutes. A Paramount Picture directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Gary Cooper, the film is about
the British regiments in India. The Bengal Lancers helped put down the
Indian Mutiny of 1857. The film won an oscar for its action scenes. I
don't know where the piping comes in, but my source says it does.
The Longest Day - 1962 180 minutes. Directed by Ken Annakin, Andrew
Martin and Bernhard Wicki, and starring John Wayne, Robert Michum and
Henry Fonda, this is a stunning, solid war epic which details the D-Day landings by the Allies on June 6th, 1944. The pipers play in a military advance with bullets flying. The piper in charge was P/M Gordon
Spiers. Lord Lovat, played by Stewart Grainger, calls for various tunes
but each time the sound track is of Blue Borders. There is a second spot where the piper plays Green Hills of Tyrol.
Lovejoy - an A & E television movie, the episode is called Highland
Fling. The program stars Iain MacShane and takes the antique dealer to a castle in Scotland where the butler - a piper - is the secret lover of
the lady of the house and the father of her illigimate child, who is a mystery figure even to the end of the program.
Mary, Queen of Scotland - 1936 123 minutes. Directed by John Ford,
starring Katherine Hepburn and Frederic March, this film tells the story
of Mary, Queen of Scots (but not 'Scotland' as the title of the movie indicates. The Scots were very particular about that distinction, even if Hollywood was not!) beautifully, artistically, delicately and with
meticulous attention to detail. Bothwell's band of pipers follows him everywhere, accompanied by drummers. In one scene, this pipe band leads a troop of soldiers into Mary's castle while playing Blue Bonnets.
The Master of Ballantrae - made for TV in the late 70's or early 80's. It
is the story of a tanist of Ballantrae who goes of to America in search
of his fortune. It is a good movie and contains some very good piping.
Meatballs - 1979 92 minutes. This film stars Bill Murray, Harvey
Atkin, etc. and has Murray as a head councellor in charge of a group of misfits in training to run summer camps. Very funny comedy. Murray
wakes the staff with "Louden's Bonnie Woods and Braes" - a bagpipe strathspey.
Monty Python - one episode about the Kamikaze Highland Regiment features suicide pipers??? But which film?
National Velvet - 1944 125 minutes. Directed by Clarence Brown and starring Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp and Elizabeth Taylor, the story is
set in England. A kid who is crazy about horses and an embittered former jockey buy an unmanageable brute of a horse and enter him in the Grad
nd National Sweepstakes. The race scene is accompanied by the constant
roar of a very loud pipe band which is not shown on the screne.
NYPD Blue (TV ?) - one episode features a piper in the polie band. The
sound track has the ground of a piobaireachd played possibly by David Daye. The piper on the screne manages to keep the bag inflated while chatting
away for 2-3 minutes with a detective. As he swings around to begin to
play the piobaireachd, the viewer can plainly see why - all three drones
have corks sticking out of them!!! Presumably, the chanter has also bee blocked. The sound track by David Daye was good though.
The Old Man of Lochnagar - this 26 minute children's film has the Prince
of Wales displaying his own set of bagpipes to a group of children before
he is shrunken down to miniature size.
The Onion Field - 1979 122 minutes. Directed by Harold Becker, and starring John Savage, James Wood, and Ted Danson, the film tells the
story of two plain-clothes cops abducted, one murdered, and the
criminals whoese trial dragged on for years and years. The film is
marred by poor sound quality, though the piping by Seamus Coyne
of California is supposed to be quite good. The policeman who gets killed
was a piper. Someone plays a bit of MacCrimmon Will Not Return.
Oxford Blues - 1984 93 minutes. Directed by Robert Boris and starring
Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy, the film features GHB in the sound track.
The hero needs to get to England to find his dream girl, Lady Victoria.
He hustles money with the stake from an older woman who picks him
up. He gets the girl in the end.
Patton - 1970 173 minutes. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
and starring George C. Scott and Karl Malden, the film tells the
story of the North African campaign starting just before General
George S. Patton Jr. took over command in 1943 of an American
component of the Anglo/American force. It ends with the
surrender of Germany and Patton's relief from command. Montgomery's pipe
band plays Scotland the Brave when the two armies join forces in a victory parade in Sicily.
Petite Paudete - pipes and hurdy-gurdy
The Playboy of the Western World - the hero plays Uillean pipes.
The Quiet Man - 1952 129 minutes. Directed by John Ford and starring
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, etc., it is the story of a native born's
return to Ireland to forget a life of struggle and violence. Though he
wins the woman, he finds he has a bride but not a wife! The pipes are
played during the steeplechase race ( i.e. a cross-country race_, the
tunes being The Rakes of Mallow and St. Patrick's Day.
Return of Martin Guerre - a marriage sequence features a 'bodego' player.
The Road North - stars Davey Spillane (?) - no info
Rob Roy (1955) - contains some good piping, including part of a piobaireachd.
Rob Roy (1995) - Rob borrows 1000 pounds to buy cattel to sell in
England for a profit, but the money is stolen, and his man murdered.
There is a lot of violence, sword fights, sex, but it is a very good
movie for all that. It features music by Capercaille with Paddy Moloney and Davey Spillane on Uillean pipes (another source says they were border
pipes). As the soldiers leave the castle in persuit of Rob Roy, the tune played is O'Sullivan's March.
Rudy - contains piping in an Irish pub.
Saturday Night Live (TV) - SNL did a skit with Nancy Kerrigan in a car in
a St. Patrick's Day Parade. The car and Nancy were actually in the studio with the parade footage projected on a screen behind. The pipe band in
the parade was the Cu'Chullain Pipe Band performing in Morristown, NJ.
Scoobie Doo (TV cartoon series) - Scoobie Doo (a cowardly dog) and the
gang were searching for a Highland ghost in one episode which featured
pipe music of some sort. No details.
The Secret of Roan Innish - a BP movie about silkies, ancestors and
children - a marvelous story. The pipe tune played may be O'Sullivan's
The Shallow Grave - small pipes at the beginning. Also Atholl Highlanders
and The Rakes of Mallow played by a country dance band.
The Shanty Where Santa Claus Lives - a cartoon from the 1930's. A
christmas tree accidentally catches fire and Santa connects a fire
hose to a set of bagpipes, playing a tune while he sprays water
through the pipes and puts out the fire.
Sinful Davey - 1969 95 minutes. Director is John Huston, stars are John Hurt and Pamela Franklin. The film tells the story of a 19th century highwayman and his friends who take part in a series of daring robberies. There's suposed to be piping in it, but I have no details.
Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan - 1982 113 minutes. Director
Nicholas Meyer, starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest
Kelly, Richardo Montalban, James Doohan and Walter Koenig. The
starship Reliant incorrectly lands on a planet allowing the evil Khan
to take over the starship and vow revenge on Captain Kirk. Scotty plays the pipes.
State of Grace - 1990 134 minutes. Directed by Phil Joanou and starring Seann Penn, Ed Harris, etc. this is the story of the Irish gangsters in
New York. The pipe band on the screen was the New York City Corrections Department Pipes and Drums, with the bass drummer identified as Jerry Coughlin. Another source says the music was provided by Irish War Pipers
in New York with 3 or 4 pipers, a snare drum and a bass drum (Dan McNear, Bill Merriman, Liz Steuber, Derek Richie and Clutch Sutton) from the Prince Charles Pipe Band of San Francisco, taped and overdubbed to give the sound
of a full band. Confused? I am. Can anyone clarify this?
The Tall Man With One Black Shoe - a delightful French comedy in which a bloated set of bagpipes falls on the floor and begins to ply by itself.
Thomasina - this Disney film has a little boy playing the pipes at a
The Three Musketeers - The Queen's Diamonds - (1973) 105 minutes.
Director Richard Lester and starring Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston and
Raquel Welch, this is a comic version of Alexandre Dumas' adventure tale
in a era of poverty and virtual slavery designed to satisfy the whims of
the king. There is a Flemish piper performing at a coaching Inn.
The Three Stooges - but which movie? One had piping scenes in a Scottish asle. The film ended with a skeleton in a closet playing the pipes and terrifying the trio.
Tommy Boy - 1995. This film contains a funeral for Tommy's father. A solo piper and a pipe band play Amazine Grace. It features a number of
Saturday Night Live performers.
Tunes of Glory - 1960 105 minutes. Directed by Ronald Neame and starring Alec Guinness and John Mills, this is supposed to be the all-time greatest piping movie. Alec Guinness is a regimental Pipe Major - the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The film has recently been rereleased on video.
Waterloo - 1970 132 minutes. Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and starring
Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer and Orson Wells, the story begins with Europe trying to cope with Napoleon who has returned to power from his imprisonment on Elba and leads up to the Battle of Waterloo. In the
first half, the pipes and drums and the dancers of the Gordon Highlanders perform at the Dutchess of Richmond's ball. In the battle, the pipers are shown marching into battle in one of the earlier skirmishes, at La Haye Sainte or Hougemont maybe.
Wee Geordie - no info
Wee Willie Winkie - 1937. Starring Shirley Temple, the little lass is
dressed as a member of a Scottish army battalion. The pipes are played
during the drills.
Welcome to LA - 1976 103 minutes. Directed by Alan Rudolph, Keith Carridine, the star, is a piper, but doesn't play them in this film.
Whisly Galore - (AKA A Tight Little Island) - 1949 82 minutes. Directed
by Alexander MacKendrick and starring Basil Radford and Joan Greenwood,
the film is set in 1943 when a freighter with 50,000 cases of Scotch runs aground on a Hebridean Island. The natives recover and hid much of the
cargo to comic effect. There is a cameo scene with the great Highland piper Neil Angus MacDonald. In the background music, the tune played is The
De'il's Awa' Wi' th' Exciseman.
The Wiker Man - 1973 87 minutes. Directed by Robin Hardy and starring
Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, etc. this wierd movie is made up of a hodge-podge of ancient pagan customs and rituals in a modern Scottish setting. The "Highland Widow's Lament" is played in the sound
track on Northumbrian pipes. Later, pipers play "Oranges and Lemons said
the Bells of St. Clements".
Willow - 1988 125 minutes. Directed by Ron Howard and starring
Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, the story is set in the 10th
century and is a compilation of numerous classic tales. The Nelwyns
(midgets) save their kingdom from an evil queen. The film features border pipes in the sound track.
The Young Lions - 1958 167 minutes. Directed by Edward Dmytryk
andstarring Marlon Brando, Mongomery Clift, Dean Martin and Hope Lange,
this is an excellent war movie about the British breakout in North
Africa. There is a spectacular battle scene at night with shells bursting
all around, and a piper playing Scotland the Brave.
You're a Big Boy Now - featuring Rufus Harley.
Congratulations! You've made it to the end of the list! Can you add
any details for me? Any titles I missed? I hope to hear from you soon.
43 Hillcrest Street
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
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