Stone of Destiny (2008)

Stone of Destiny 2008tt1037156.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Stone of Destiny (2008)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 1,746 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Comedy | Crime | Drama
  • Release Date: 19 December 2008 (UK)
  • Runtime: 96 min
  • Filming Location: Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, UK
  • Director: Charles Martin Smith
  • Stars: Charlie Cox, Kate Mara and Stephen McCole
  • Original Music By: Mychael Danna (music composed by)  
  • Soundtrack: Wild Mountain Thyme
  • Sound Mix: Dolby
  • Plot Keyword: Stone | Car | Scotland | 1950s | Student

Writing Credits By:

  • Ian Hamilton (based on the book "The Taking of The Stone of Destiny" by) (as Ian Hamilton Q.C.)
  • Charles Martin Smith (written by)

Known Trivia

  • Christopher Lee was originally cast as “Elder Ian Hamilton”, the lead character, now in his 80s, who begins to the tell the story of what happened 57 years ago. However, when the rough cut of the film was screened for a test audience, the director, editor and producers all decided that this device of a “Flashback” was not necessary to the film, and in fact, unnecessarily slowed down the beginning of the story. Therefore that scene was cut and as a result the film is told completely from the point of view of Young Ian Hamilton.
  • Robert Carlyle, who played John McCormick in this film, also starred in Hamish Macbeth, a show whose final episode also dealt with a theft of the Stone of Destiny.
  • A lot of the external night scenes and interior scenes were shot at Paisley Abbey, not Westminster Abbey.
  • A joint UK/Canadian film.

Goofs: Anachronisms: The chandeliers shown in the nave of the Abbey were not installed until 1965; they were by Waterford and given to the Abbey by the Guiness family to celebrate its 900th anniversary.

Plot: The story of Ian Hamilton, a dedicated nationalist who reignited Scottish national pride in the 1950s with his daring raid on the heart of England to bring the Stone of Scone back to Scotland. Full summary »  »

Story: The Stone of Destiny retells the fascinating and true story of four young Glaswegian students who, in 1951, outwitted the British authorities in their successful attempt to take back the Stone of Scone – a beloved symbol of Scottish pride, back to its country of origin.Written by Anonymous  


Synopsis: Ian Hamilton a lawyer and the protagonist, is very angry at what he sees as the political and economic subjugation of Scotland by England, and sad that Scots are somewhat ashamed to be Scottish (symbolised by the description of Scotland as "North Britain" in much material of the time) so he decides to perform a symbolic act to put heart into the marginalised Scottish nationalist movement. He creates a daring scheme with a friend to liberate the Stone of Scone (a.k.a. the Stone of Scone) back from Westminister Abbey in London, where it had resided for centuries following English military victories over the Scots in the Middle Ages. They both research the Abbey and create their scheme, but once his friend realized that Ian was actually serious about liberating the stone, he backed out. So Ian decided he would liberate the stone by himself, but before he left, he went to see the head of the university (a prominent campaigner for Scottish Nationalism, played by Robert Carlyle) to ask for funds for basic necessities. He provided, and later, at a party, referred Ian to Kay Matheson, a girl with strong Nationalist ideas, would help him retrieve the stone.After a variety of rather comic mischances, the group retrieve the stone from Westminster Abbey and return it to Scotland. After repairing damage, they return it to the authorities (having achieved their political aims) and are arrested and charged, but not prosecuted, on charges relating to the case.The final narration on screen points out that though the Stone is now in Scotland, it is only ‘on loan’ and will return to Westminster for the next Coronation of a British monarch. [D-Man2010]

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Produced By:

  • Andrew Boswell known as producer
  • Peter Gallagher known as line producer
  • Tim Gywn-Jones known as associate producer
  • Victor Loewy known as executive producer
  • Alan Martin known as co-producer
  • Rob Merilees known as producer
  • Michael S. Murphey known as executive producer
  • Carole Sheridan known as executive producer
  • Charles Martin Smith known as executive producer
  • William Vince known as executive producer
  • Terrence Yason known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Charlie Cox known as Ian Hamilton
  • Kate Mara known as Kay Matheson
  • Stephen McCole known as Gavin Vernon
  • Ciaron Kelly known as Alan Stuart
  • Billy Boyd known as Bill Craig
  • Robert Carlyle known as John MacCormick
  • Peter Mullan known as Ian's Father
  • Brenda Fricker known as Mrs. McQuarry
  • Juliet Cadzow known as Ian's Mother
  • Alex Donald known as London Policeman
  • John Comerford known as Pub Landlord
  • Richard Addison known as Tour Guide
  • Danielle Stewart known as Brochure Girl
  • Suzanne Dance known as Church Woman
  • Pauline King known as Jen
  • Bryan Lowe known as Student In Pub
  • Margaret Newlands known as B & B Owner
  • Ron Donachie known as Night Watchman
  • Rab Affleck known as Gypsy
  • Stewart Porter known as Veteran In Pub
  • Bernard Horsfall known as Archdeacon
  • Stephen Clyde known as Abbey Constable
  • Johnny Meres known as Detective
  • Stewart Cairns known as Reporter
  • Ian Hamilton known as English Businessman
  • Kimberley Watson
  • Alan Cuthbertson known as Police Officer CID (uncredited)
  • Mark Harvey known as Cheering Student (uncredited)
  • Amanda Lauren known as Kids (voice) (uncredited)
  • Alan Marsh known as Walk On (uncredited)
  • Ashley McFarlane known as Gavin's Girl 1 (uncredited)
  • Iain McGregor known as Abbey Worker (uncredited)
  • Adam Smith known as Tourist (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Anita Anderson known as crowd hair/makeup artist: dailies
  • Maxine Dallas known as hair stylist
  • Maxine Dallas known as makeup artist
  • Dianne Jamieson known as hair designer
  • Dianne Jamieson known as makeup designer
  • Delia Letham known as hair artist
  • Delia Letham known as makeup artist
  • Niamh Morrison known as makeup dailies
  • Cheyanne Ripley known as hair stylist: Vancouver
  • Cheyanne Ripley known as makeup artist: Vancouver

Art Department:

  • Natalie Astridge known as petty cash buyer
  • Tom Baleshta known as props: Vancouver
  • Bob Barclay known as carpenter
  • Phil Bowen known as construction manager
  • Christopher Breslin known as carpenter
  • Moley Campbell known as graphics
  • Max Davidson known as carpenter (as Jon 'Max' Davidson)
  • Andy Drummond known as stand-by art director
  • Jake Drummond known as stagehand (as Jack Drummond)
  • Christine Gibson known as assistant production buyer
  • Derek Gray known as storyboard artist
  • Charles Green known as plasterer
  • Iain Harrison known as stand-by rigger
  • Roddy Hogg known as stand-by carpenter
  • John Knight known as stand-by props
  • Peter Knotts known as carpenter
  • Paul Lambie known as graphics
  • Paul Lambie known as stand-by props
  • Andrew 'Fred' MacMillan known as dressing props
  • Janice Macrae known as production buyer (as Janice MacRae)
  • Andy Neilson known as storeman
  • Kate Nelson known as props maker
  • Jim O'Donnell known as chargehand painter
  • Carly Parris known as petty cash buyer
  • Emma Pisano known as art department runner
  • John Riddell known as props maker
  • Dan Roberts known as dressing props
  • Alex Robertson known as chargehand carpenter
  • Tony Sheridan known as property master
  • James Shovlin known as painter
  • Hugh Speirs known as stagehand
  • Shirley Sweeny known as props maker
  • Billy Teasdale known as props maker
  • John Watt known as stand-by carpenter
  • Mark Weallans known as graphic artist
  • Zoe Wight known as art department assistant
  • Anne Marie Wood known as graphics (as Ann Marie Wood)


Production Companies:

  • Infinity Features Entertainment (present)
  • Mob Film Company, The (present)
  • Alliance Films (in association with)
  • Téléfilm Canada (produced with the participation of) (as Telefilm Canada)
  • Scottish Screen National Lottery Fund (with the support of) (as the National Lottery through Scottish Screen)
  • Harold Greenberg Fund, The (produced with the participation of) (as Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund Le Fonds Harold Greenberg)
  • Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) (produced with the participation of) (as the Canadian Film and Video Production Tax Credit)
  • U.K. Tax Credit (produced with the participation of)
  • Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC (with the participation of)
  • Chum Television (produced in association with)
  • Glasgow Film Office (produced with the participation of)

Other Companies:

  • AGN Shipleys  accounting and tax consulting services: UK
  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies
  • B Scenic Construction  carpenters (as B Scenic)
  • BCC Catering  catering
  • Babbity Bowster  the producers wish to thank: for their assistance on this production (as Babbity Bowster, Glasgow)
  • Barclays Bank PLC  financed with the assistance of (as Barclay Bank PLC)
  • Borden Ladner Gervais  legal services: for CIBC
  • British Columbia Film  developed with the participation of
  • CIBC  financed with the assistance of
  • DBC Sound  post audio facility (as dbc sound inc. [Vancouver])
  • DGC  acknowledgment (as DGC Directors Guild of Canada – British Columbia District Council)
  • De Lane Lea  additional adr recording: London
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Dragon Digital Intermediate  on-line conform and film-out (trailer)
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car  cars & vehicles supplied by
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car  transportation services
  • Equity  acknowledgment
  • Fayre Do's  caterer: London (as Fayre Do's Catering)
  • Film Finances Canada  completion bond
  • Fintage Collection Account Management B.V.  collection account management (as Fintage CAM B.V.)
  • Fraser Suites, The  the producers wish to thank: for their assistance on this production (as The Fraser Suites, Glasgow)
  • Fuji Photo Film  motion picture film supplied by
  • GT Catering  catering: extras
  • Greg Hamilton Music Service  music preparation (as Greg Hamilton Music Services)
  • Harbottle & Lewis  legal services: UK
  • Harold Greenberg Fund, The  developed with the participation of
  • Heenan Blaikie Lawyers  legal services: Canada (as Heenan Blaikie)
  • Infinity Features Entertainment  picture editing facilities (as Infinity Features Post Production)
  • Kingdom of Scotland  copyright owner: Kingdom of Scotland Royal Arms
  • Lee Lighting  lights and equipment
  • Line 21 Media Services Ltd.  closed captioning
  • Line 21 Media Services Ltd.  combined dialogue, continuity & spotting list
  • Maggie May's  the producers wish to thank: for their assistance on this production (as Maggie May, Glasgow)
  • Media Insurance Brokers  insurance brokers
  • Media Security  security
  • Movie Central Network  developed with the assistance of (as Movie Central)
  • Murricane & Murricane  ADR recording (as Murricane & Murricane [Glasgow])
  • NBC Universal Studios  additional adr recording: Los Angeles (as NBC-Universal)
  • PDG Helicopters  helicopter supplied by: second unit
  • Pacific Title and Art Studio  end titles
  • Paisley Abbey  the producers wish to thank: for their assistance on this production
  • Paradigm  gap financing provided by
  • Paramount Recording Studios  additional recording at (as Encore Paramount Studios [Los Angeles])
  • People and the City of Glasgow, Scotland, The  the producers wish to thank: for their assistance on this production
  • S.L. Feldman & Associates  music supervision
  • Screen Actors Guild (SAG)  acknowledgment
  • Simons Muirhead & Burton  legal services: for Paradigm London Limited (as Simons Muirhead and Burton)
  • Studio One  score recorded at (as CBC Studio One [Vancouver])
  • Take 2 Film Services  camera systems by (as Take Two)
  • Technicolor Creative Services  digital intermediate by (as Technicolor Creative Services [Vancouver])
  • Technicolor Creative Services  dailies (as Technicolor Creative Services [London])
  • United Casting  extras casting
  • Vancouver Film Orchestra, The  score performed by
  • Warehouse Studios, The  score mixed at (as The Warehouse Studios [Vancouver])
  • Westminster Abbey  the producers wish to thank: for their assistance on this production (as The Collegiate Church of St. Peter Westminster [Westminster Abbey])
  • Wolrige Mahon  accounting and tax consulting services: Canada


  • Alliance Films (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Odeon Sky Filmworks (2008) (UK) (theatrical)

..{tab=Other Stuff}

Special Effects:

  • Technicolor Creative Services VFX Vancouver (visual effects) (as Technicolor Creative Services [Vancouver])
  • Image Engine Design (title design) (visual effects) (as Image Engine)
  • Artem (special effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Ori Ben-Shabat known as digital artist: Image Engine
  • Christopher Elke known as visual effects producer: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Steve Elliott known as visual effects I/O: Technicolor Vancouver
  • John Fukushima known as compositing supervisor: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Ryan Kuba known as visual effects coordinator: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Colin Liggett known as compositor: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Dawn Brooks Macleod known as visual effects producer: Image Engine (as Dawn Brooks)
  • Jeremy Price known as compositor: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Persis Reynolds known as visual effects executive producer: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Richard Sexton known as visual effects software developer: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Michael Shapcotte known as visual effects systems administrator: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Patrick Thompson known as compositor: Technicolor Vancouver
  • Shawn Walsh known as visual effects supervisor: Image Engine
  • Noel Wright known as compositor: Technicolor Vancouver

Release Date:

  • UK 21 June 2008 (Edinburgh Film Festival)
  • Canada 13 September 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • UK 10 October 2008 (limited)
  • Argentina 4 November 2008 (San Luis Cine International Festival)
  • UK 19 December 2008
  • Canada 20 February 2009 (limited)
  • Norway 6 March 2009
  • USA April 2009 (Newport Beach International Film Festival)
  • UK 20 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • New Zealand 23 July 2009
  • Australia 3 February 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 15 December 2011 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated PG for language and some incidental smoking


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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