Critics, fans and friends remember Bill:

“His smile was the quintessence of the creative man: it lit up the world for those on whom it was directed.” (Andrew Noble, “Bill Douglas, 1934-1991: A Memoir” from Bill Douglas: A Lanternist’s Account)

“Bill was not only a poet of cinema but – given his camera eye, recurring motifs, shifting tonalities, movements within the frame and rhythms in the editing – an artist, composer and choreographer too.” (Peter Jewell, “A Can of Words: An Introduction” from the BFI’s accompanying booklet to The Bill Douglas Trilogy DVD.)

“He made films from the heart, and from his experience of life…his talent, his genius were unique” (Lindsay Anderson, “Foreword” from Bill Douglas: A Lanternist’s Account)

“Scotland’s finest film-maker” (Stephen McGinty, “Shooting Star” article on Bill Douglas, The Scotsman, 12 October 2011)

“He is that rare creature, not a professional but a born film maker” (Dilys Powel, Punch, 7 November 1979)

“…yet another example of a homegrown creative genius who was misunderstood and neglected by an unimaginative industry and an inhibited film culture” (Duncan Petrie, “Transparency and Illusion: the Unrealised Films of Bill Douglas” from Sights Unseen: Unfinished British Films, edited by Dan North)

Click here to read a transcript of Andy Kempton-Nye’s interview with Simon Relph, the producer for Comrades, in which he recalls his memories of Bill Douglas.

Click here to read a transcript of Andy Kempton-Nye’s interview with Phil Davis, who played Young Stanfield in Comrades, in which he recalls his memories of Bill Douglas.

Critics on The Bill Douglas Trilogy:

“…the work of Bill Douglas in his trilogy My Childhood (1971), My Ain Folk (1973), and My Way Home (1978) stands alongside the most poetic and moving films made in Britain (and indeed Europe) during the decade” (Paul Newland, British Films of the 1970s)

“They’re like visual postcards with little or no dialogue…[a]nd when you put them together you get this incredibly deep, rich vision, not just of ‘how awful was my childhood’ but of wonderment, of trying to find out who the hell you are” (Peter Mullan, “Peter Mullan on Bill Douglas’ My Childhood (1972)”,interviewed by Sheila Johnston for “Filmmakers on Film”, The Telegraph (Arts), Saturday 3 January 2004)

“…the opening sequences of My Childhood are exceptional in their poetic depth and density” (Harry Eyres, “Cinematic Poetry”, The Financial Times, 5 September 2009)

“Bill Douglas’ autobiographical trilogy (1972, 1974, 1978) is quite possibly the finest achievement of the British cinema in the 1970s” (Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times, 22 March 1979)

“…separately and together they are an historic achievement in the chequered history of British independent film making – an autobiographical study of youthful pain put on the screen with such intensity of feeling that no one could leave the cinema unaffected.” (Derek Malcolm, The Guardian, 1 November 1979)

Critics on Comrades:

“[Comrades] is also, quite simply, one of the most visually beautiful, quietly intelligent and profoundly moving British films about ordinary men and women you are likely to see.” (Nigel Floyd, “Comrades” review, New Musical Express, 12 September 1987)

“Intelligent and imaginative, the narrative is unpretentiously ‘poetic’: sometimes literally, through the unforced use of verse in the dialogue, or through other devices which help to make the film, over its three hours’ length, an enchantment for the eye and for the mind” (Robin Buss, “History becomes myth”, The Times Educational Supplement, September 11 1987)

“Douglas conjured up a series of vivid images which carry and advance the narrative in almost seamless, organic fashion” (Duncan Petrie, “The Lanternist Revisited: The Making of Comrades” from Bill Douglas: A Lanternist’s Account)

“Douglas displays a painter’s ability in lighting the fertile Dorset landscape…That each shot is rich in meaning and heavy in symbolism never clutters the movement of a well-told and beautifully crafted story which faces us with part of our past” (John Marriott, “Comrades”, Films and Filming, August 1987)


Please check our audio guides

Our first audio guide
audio guide image