Restless Natives


Directed By

Michael Hoffman


Directed by Michael Hoffman (The Last Station, One Fine Day) from a script by Ninian Dunnett, Restless Natives is a much-loved comedy, proudly part of the Scottish New Wave of comedies that emerged in the 1980s.

Ronnie (Joe Mullaney) and Will (Vincent Friell) are two under-employed Scots living on a housing estate in Edinburgh. Bored and tempted by the untapped wealth of the international tourists that swarm through the city, they hatch a wildly irresponsible plan to achieve wealth and notoriety. Donning a wolf and a clown mask and armed with a puffer gun loaded with homemade mace, they politely hold up coachloads of tourists travelling through the Highlands for a bit of cash. The duo soon become a hit with the tourists and the public alike, following in the great tradition of fellow folk heroes Robin Hood and Rob Roy. Their exploits make them a bigger tourist attraction than the Loch Ness Monster, much to the annoyance of the inept local police. Ned Beatty (Network) also stars as a vacationing CIA Agent Fritz Bender who joins the pursuit of the outlaws, with Bernard Hill (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) as Will’s dad and Mel Smith (The Princess Bride) as a schmoozing gangster who wants to cash in on their fame.

Following the home-grown international hits, Gregory’s Girl (1981) and Local Hero (1983), Restless Natives bangs the drum for Scottish cultural pride with its humour, a soaring soundtrack by Big Country and stunning Highlands scenery. This spirited, establishment- mocking caper movie remains a much-loved and thoroughly enjoyable comedy gem.

Vincent Friell, Joe Mullaney, Teri Lally, Ned Beatty, Bernard Hill & Mel Smith
Other Credits

Soundtrack by Big Country

Release Date
1 March 2021
  • New: Audio commentary with Director Michael Hoffman, writer Ninian Dunnett and Producer Andy Patterson
  • New: A Restless Retrospective: Creating A Caledonian Classic feature
  • New: Soundtrack For A Not-so-big-country: The Music of Restless Natives
  • Behind The Scenes Stills Gallery
  • Trailer
Restoration Details

Restless Natives was restored from the original camera negative, which was scanned and restored in 4K. The colour grade was completed in collaboration with Director Michael Hoffman, Producer Andy Paterson and Director of Photography Oliver Stapleton. This project resulted in a new 4K DCP for theatrical presentation and a new HD master for Home Entertainment and Digital release.


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