February 26, 2017


Local Hero – 1983 | 106mins | Comedy, Drama | Colour


Plot Synopsis

Local Hero

Gregory’s Girl director Bill Forsyth has called this gentle Ealing style comedy a ‘Scottish Beverly Hillbillies’. Burt Lancaster plays Felix Happer, a Texas oil tycoon who despatches an American junior assistant Mac MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) to the Scottish fishing village of Ferness in the hope that he will persuade them to be taken over by an oil refinery. Happer meanwhile has problems of his own, with an eccentric analyst determined to insult him at any given moment as a method of remedy for his success.

In Scotland, Mac meets up with local company representative Danny Oldsen (Peter Capaldi) to begin negotiations with the villagers, during his drawn out stay Mac starts to become involved with the lives of the village folk. Rather than being antagonistic towards the oil company executives hoping to buy up their village, the irony is that the locals can’t wait to sell out, and are each fantasising how they’ll spend their share of the prospective millions. Mac seems to have convinced all the villagers to sell until he meets Old Ben Knox (Fulton Mackay), a recluse who owns the local beach and refuses to sell. At one time wily Ben offers Mac the beach by buying grains of sand from his hand, but at the moment Mac is confused by the metaphor. Ben’s refusal to sell is based upon the fact that the beach has been in his family for generations, and without him who would keep it clean. Company boss, Happer flies to Scotland to take over negotiations, but seems to care far more about astronomy than the oil business.

Production Team

Bill Forsyth: Director
Iain Smith: Associate Producer
Chris Menges: Cinematography
Penny Rose: Costume Design
Michael Bradsell: Editing
Guy Fletcher: Original Music
Mark Knopfler: Original Music
David Puttnam: Producer
Roger Murray-Leach: Production Design
Bill Forsyth: Script


Burt Lancaster: Felix Happer
Peter Riegert: Mac MacIntyre
Fulton Mackay: Ben Knox
Denis Lawson: Gordon Urquhart
Norman Chancer: Moritz
Peter Capaldi: Danny Oldsen
Rikki Fulton: Geddes
Alex Norton: Watt
Jenny Seagrove: Marina

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