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When I finally got a DVD player, one of the first DVDs I got was "Local Hero". It's definitely on my "must-have" list.
The story is simple -- materialistic Peter Reigert is sent to a small Scottish village to try to negotiate a land deal for his rich, eccentric boss (Burt Lancaster, who is outstanding). He arrives in Scotland as a guy who is only obsessed with business deals, his car, and his posessions back in Texas, but soon he learns there are more important things in life. The townsfolk are absolutely wonderful, all in their own unique, eclectic way. Denis Lawson particularly shines as "jack of all trades" who holds several positions in the community, including innkeeper.
The oddness and beauty of this film takes time to unfold, and it is best just to sit back and watch it happen. Everyone seems to have a story, everyone is eccentric in some way. I especially loved Burt Lancaster and his interaction with his "therapist", who takes the job *far* too seriously. Lancaster plays one of the most likeable and unique characters onscreen. Reigert too, is endearing. He so wants to be "normal" that he can't even admit that he might use a shampoo for dry or greasy hair. "Normal. EXTRA normal.", he says, when asked what kind of shampoo he needs. What an uptight guy he seems at first, but he soon mends his ways.
The score by Mark Knopfler is among one of my favorites too.Read more ›
But I think that the reason I love this movie, and to me the real beauty of the film is watching what happens to Riegert. His Macintyre, a young, efficient corporate executive, is a man fully immersed in his time, his place, and his role. The time is the 1980s-the greed decade, some have billed it. The place is Knox Oil, Houston. His role at the firm and in his life is that of a hard boiled deal maker. And at the end of the day, he returns home to his luxury high rise, where he lives alone with his answering machine. Macintyre lives a life that's less than genuine, and on the deepest level, he knows it.
But in Furness, we can see Macintyre's hard shell crack -- the result of his spending time in this authentic place-the power of Furness' pounding surf almost literally wears away his layers. When his walls are broken what's revealed for all of us to see, then, is nothing less than his true self. We can see it, for instance, in Macintyre's eyes as he laughs with Gordon, the Inn's proprietare over a drink during the high-stepping Scottish dance, and we can even see it in his hands when he empties his pockets of the sandy shells he's collected.
I think that like Mac, most of us have forgotten or buried some part of our authentic selves, and that part of us quietly lays dormant. It might be buried from trying to mold ourselves to fit into some stultifying corporation, as with Macintyre. Or it could be from trying to live some other kind of unsatisfying life that's not in synch with who we really are.Read more ›
Reluctantly Mac takes off (he would much have preferred to handle the matter over the wires), bringing an electrically locked briefcase, a watch beeping a signal for "conference time in Houston," pictures of his Porsche 930 ("I got migraine headaches when I was still driving a Chevy") and the tough-nosed, textbook negotiating skills of a Texas oil man. He is not very impressed with the backwater ways of Furness at first - although he does instantly observe that there's "a lotta landscape here." But slowly and inexorably, his attitude changes. Walking along the beach, his steps grow longer and slower, more contemplative. He starts to collect shells. His business suit makes way for a woolen sweater. And his treasured watch dies a slow death as it tries to signal "conference time in Houston" one last time from its underwater grave.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We watch it at least 5 X a year. Scotland IS as beautiful & filled with magic as this movie showsPublished 7 days ago by Freddie
This is one of the BEST movies ever made. I could write a thousand words about it, but suffice it to say that not only have I seen is multiple times, I felt the need to OWN this... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Karen Phelan
We rented it for the Scotland connection. It was ok, but was one of those 1980s films that just doesn't hold up to the test of time. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eliza Bennet
This is a wonderful movie with a strong appeal for those who yearn for a more simple time in their lives. This movie, it's characters, music and message are very dear to me.Published 2 months ago by Tony Harris
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