Local Hero 1983

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(161) IMDb 7.5/10
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Bill Forsyth's whimsical tale of sweet-natured corporate rapacity features standout performances by Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert. Lancaster plays Texas billionaire Felix Happer, who would rather gaze at the stars than worry about his multi-national oil company. Happer dispatches Mac MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) and Danny Oldsen (Peter Capaldi) to the small Scottish fishing village of Ferness to negotiate buying the entire town so Happer can drill for oil in the North Sea. Much to Mac's surprise, the entire town is happy to sell itself for big money, and the local innkeeper, Gordon Urquhart (Denis Lawson) -- who is also the town's accountant and mayor -- works with Mac on the negotiations. But a wrinkle appears in the deal when Ben Knox (Fulton Mackay), an old man who lives in a shack on the beach which has been owned by his family for centuries, refuses to sell. His reasons? Who'd look after the beach then? It would go to pieces in a short manner of time. The deal stalls so seriously that Happer travels to Ferness to oversee negotiations as Mac and Danny are seduced by the charm of the Scottish town.~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Burt Lancaster, Jenny Seagrove
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 47 minutes
Starring Burt Lancaster, Jenny Seagrove, Fulton MacKay, Denis Lawson, Peter Riegert
Director Bill Forsyth
Genres Comedy
Studio FILM 4
Rental release 12 May 2007
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Patricia Bark on 3 May 2008
Format: DVD
Now and again there comes a film that leaps into your heart, a film to take to your desert island and a film that becomes a life long friend. Local Hero is one such film. It's an unashamedly, brilliantly British comedy following in the footsteps of the Ealing Comedies, yet like the Ladykillers etc still has universal appeal. It's the tale of loneliness, of wanting to belong somewhere and finding that place. It looks magnificent (the Scottish scenery will have you on the next train to the Highlands) and it sounds... oh the music!!!! A glorious score and what an ending. If your not smiling back the tears as Mark Knopfler's guitar sweeps you into the end credits then some thing's wrong.
Films don't get much better than this.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Pimento on 10 Aug 2004
Format: DVD
This film is gorgeous. If you want to roar with laughter it might not be your cup of tea, but it's a real giggle right the way through and actually gets funnier with repeat viewing as you begin to notice all the little quirky moments.
If you remember the red telephone box, watching the American, Mac, trying to make a transatlantic call with a fist full of ten pence pieces will amuse. It's gentle observational comedy of the highest order, interspersed with moments of pure slapstick.
Well worth a watch, even if at times it seems a bit dated.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Wowbagger the Infinite on 29 Jun 2008
Format: DVD
Where to begin? This is almost the perfect feel good movie. It's gentle whimsical way is so resonant of earlier Ealing comedies, but I personally think lifts that genre to another level. Always keep an eye out in the background in this movie - there always seems to be something going on. Then you have the running gag about the young punk lad on his motorbike - "Ricky's on the road tonight, you have to look both ways...", even down to the scraggy old dog that always seems to be asleep in the middle of the road - it is all here in subtle glory.
Peter Riegert is wonderful as the American fish out of water who grows to love the place he has been sent to. Peter Capaldi looks like the disjointed man - how can anyone look that ungainly? Fulton MacKay is a real treasure as old Ben Knox and Dennis Lawson is subtly hilarious as amorous hotel owner, accountant and occasional taxi driver Gordon Urquhart. Even Burt Lancaster is not too stilted as Felix Happer.
For me, the finest moments come during the ceilidh, and not from the major characters. Just watch out for the two old farmers discussing their futures. Brilliant.
And to cap it all off, you have Jenny Seagrove in a swimsuit. How could I not give it five stars? Cuddle up with someone special and just let it wash over you.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jan 2003
Format: DVD
Before the relative spate of British comedic films recently appearing on American screens - THE FULL MONTY, WAKING NED DEVINE, and SAVING GRACE - there was the 1983 release LOCAL HERO, a gentle fable of big city, corporate avarice meeting its match when pitted against rural backwater shrewdness.
Peter Riegert is cast as MacIntyre, a young Houston exec of Knox Oil, packed off by CEO Felix Happer, colorfully played by Burt Lancaster, to Furness, a remote Scottish coastal village. His mission - to buy the town and adjacent beach, thus acquiring the land upon which Knox Oil plans to build a sprawling facility to receive North Sea crude. On site, MacIntyre finds himself dealing with a canny townsman named Urquhart, delightfully portrayed by Denis Lawson. (Urquhart, with his wholesomely sexy wife, owns the town's only hotel and only pub, and is apparently the local gentleman of influence when arranging matters of such great import.) Unforeseen complications in the negotiations arise, necessitating Happer's clattering arrival by helicopter late in the game. As it turns out, title to the village is of no use without the beach, and the latter is owned by a crusty, old beachcomber named, as luck and bloodlines would have it, Knox.
LOCAL HERO exhibits that quirkiness of characters and circumstance that has made British comedies so appealing. Eccentricities abound. Take, for example, the sleepy hamlet's only street, which is always deserted except whenever MacIntyre needs to cross it, at which time he is almost run down by a yokel whizzing by on a motor scooter. Or, the Soviet fishing boat captain that makes periodic, illegal landfall at Furness to check on his very non-communist financial investments made through Urquhart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Andrew Moore on 15 Jun 2007
Format: VHS Tape
I love this film! Its sumptuous, gorgeous, beautiful, gentle, funny, amusing, sad, poignant... so many words to describe this quirky film set mostly in a Scottish coastal village where the locals want to sell and the potential US purchasers don't realise this fact! The characters are wonderful from Happer, the US oil billionnaire played by Burt Lancaster to the head spokesperson for the locals played by Dennis Lawson (Star Wars' Wedge Antilles). Theres a great minor but important character played by Fulton Macay and many more super characters with lesser but equally as important roles. Nothing here is rip roaringly funny, rather it is a gentle and amusing comedy (look out for the scene by the church where the vicar says he will be as discrete as the next man while the whole village listens from inside the church!). This isn't big budget movie making, theres no loud explosions, no stunning but obvious special effects, no car chases, just exceptional acting and direction telling a terrific story which almost stands still like the life of the villagers. I cannot recommend this film more highly; surely its about time it was re released on DVD.
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