British director Gillies MacKinnon has finally realized his dream. He’s remade Alexander Mackenrick’s classic 1949 comedy, about the inhabitants of a Scottish island so small you can spit across it and hit only the vast ocean that surrounds it.

But water isn’t the problem to the folks of Todday, an apt name for this plot. It’s all about whiskey, you see. It’s wartime here, the big one in the 1940s with Hitler, and whiskey has been rationed, don’t you know.

The local pub finally calls closing time, for they have completely run out of this month’s ration. What a tragic situation has befallen this motley Christian flock of fisherman, farmers and assorted members of the home guard.

Butchers, bakers and scribblers wander the sea side and gaze at the horizon hoping for a miracle. And wouldn’t you know, one appears.

A ship is heading this way from Europe to New Orleans and New York, loaded with 50,000 cases of Scotch. There are the rocks. There’s the thick fog. Might the ship hit the rocks? Can you say Deus ex machina, boys and girls?

It appears that the crew of the stranded ship has abandoned her and boated off to the mainland to return home, leaving all of that blessed water of life sitting in the hold of the fateful ship.

Within minutes, the stout men of Todday and their women, of course, get the lifeboats in a row and prepare to risk death to save the whiskey.

But it’s the sabbath, don’t you see, and the local minister, a bearded fire-and-brimstone preacher, declares it a sin to work that day.

So they wait patiently until midnight to man the many boats and rescue the cargo. And rescue it they do.

Of course there’s more here than meets the shot glass. There’s the Home Guard, a clot of thirsty bumpkins, armed with rusty weapons from the Great War, led by the pompous martinet Captain Wagget (fabulous British comedian Eddie Izzard), a local who was promoted to protect the island from Hitler’s throngs.

And it’s Captain Wagget who makes a stupid call to the mainland, for the authorities to come and get their booze, just as the islanders are counting the bottles.

There is no time to lose, and there’s the matter of two sweet couples who want to get married, but are being held hostage by a sacred Scottish ceremony that requires whiskey.

Just in time, the whiskey, carted ashore like Dunkirk survivors, is salvaged in a strong, gusty wind and hidden in a massive grotto.

Well, that takes care of that. No, it doesn’t.

The authorities are suddenly at the dock, and knocking every door in town looking for the purloined whiskey.

How do you hide this much booze? You’d be surprised to know how many nooks and crannies a small island has.

“Whisky” director Gillies MacKinnon gives us our fill of gutters and strikes, hits and misses, and clearly has a knack for this kind of whacky, old-fashioned British comedy. It pays off. The patriarch here is the delightful Gregor Fisher, Bill Nighy’s delightful manager in “Love Actually.”

Peter McDougall wrote the script and Nigel Willoughby’s camera knows where all the whiskey and the jokes are hidden.

Patrick Doyle’s haunting and lyrical Scottish laments and whimsical dance turns add the flavor.

“Whisky Galore” is, all things considered, a “perfect toddy” for these unseasonable chilly nights. We need those many laughs.

J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor.