The Silver Darlings

The Silver Darlings

Clarence Elder (1947)

U Certificate


Our Score
The silver darlings are the herrings that provide a precarious living for the fishermen of the Hebrides in the mid-19th century. This Scottish enterprise was a work of love, made over a two-year span by writer/director Clarence Elder in collaboration with leading actor and associate director Clifford Evans. A pity, then, that the location footage not only overwhelms the rather commonplace narrative but is too often back-projected behind actors in the studio. Sorely lacking is the poetic vision of Robert Flaherty's Man of Aran (1934) or Michael Powell's The Edge of the World (1937), while Evans's Welsh accent and leading actress Helen Shingler's English one are a hindrance to cultivating an authentic tone.


The fishermen living on Scotland's North East coast struggle to support their communities by catching herring, while also avoiding conscription into the Royal Navy. A widow who lost her husband at sea now faces the prospect of both her new lover and her son meeting similar fates. Period drama based on Neil M Gunn's novel, starring Helen Shingler and Clifford Evans.

Cast & Crew

Roddy Clifford Evans
Catrine Helen Shingler
Angus Carl Bernard
Hendry Norman Shelley
Mrs Hendry Jean Shepeard
Don Simon Lack
Tormad Norman Williams
Tormad's mother Phyllis Morris
Director Clarence Elder
Director Clifford Evans
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Pathe Pictures LtdGuidance: Violence. Available on: DVD