Loch Ness (1995 with Ted Danson and Joely Richardson)

UK – USA / 1995

Writer: John Fusco / Director: John Henderson

Cast: Ted Danson, Joely Richardson, Ian Holm, Keith Allen, Harris Yulin, James Frain, Nick Brimble

This British/ American co-production draws on the best of both cinematic cultures, managing to balance the expected special effects of the beastie and a charming tale of romance between co-stars Ted Danson and Joely Richardson. Time Out claimed that the film “confirms there’s still a special glow to be enjoyed when screenplay, characters and performers just seem to click together.”

Ted Danson plays a burnt-out zoologist whose major claim to fame is having had a wasp named after him. In recent years, however, things have not been going so well, and his search for the Yeti has been an abominable failure. Nevertheless, when his boss (Harris Yurin) suggests he venture to Scotland to disprove the existence of ol’ Nessie, Danson is rather reluctant – and tales of his predecessor’s unexplained death do little to convince him.

Suffice to say Danson soon finds himself at the picturesque loch, staying at a local inn, much to the chagrin of the landlady (Richardson) and thrill of her daughter (Kirsty Graham). No magical story, of course, is complete without an irascible, knowing character, and Ian Holm is brilliantly cast as the water bailiff determined to maintain the air of mystery that has made the loch such a hit with the tourist. Given that the whole area’s livelihood is dependant on the secret of the Loch Ness monster, it comes as no surprise that Danson is less than popular, but his standing changes as director John Fresco’s special effects kick in with a stunning shot of the legendary beast.

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