Local Hero (1983) 1983 PG CC

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(298) IMDb 7.5/10
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Peter Riegert and Burt Lancaster star in Bill Forsyth's whimsical comedy of an oil company's attempted buyout of a Scottish seaport.

Starring:
Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert
Runtime:
1 hour 52 minutes

Local Hero (1983)

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Bill Forsyth
Starring Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert
Supporting actors Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson, Norman Chancer, Peter Capaldi, Rikki Fulton, Alex Norton, Jenny Seagrove, Jennifer Black, Christopher Rozycki, Gyearbuor Asante, John M. Jackson, Dan Ammerman, Tam Dean Burn, Luke Coulter, Karen Douglas, Kenny Ireland, Harlan Jordan, Charles Kearney
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Very few films achieve the quaintness and subtle delight that this film presents.
JD
So, I think we can all hope that something like what happens to Mac will happen to us, or--be grateful that it already has.
Robert Berkman
This is an excellent movie, nice simple plot with great music and scenery, which works perfectly.
Mr. C. Mountney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 147 people found the following review helpful By skunktrain on December 27, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am dating myself woefully, but I remember seeing this film when it came out in theatres. I trekked some distance (via bus) down to some theatre in Hollywood (I'm from another part of L.A.) because it wasn't showing anywhere nearby. I wanted to see it *that* bad. And I certainly wasn't disappointed.
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.
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97 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on July 6, 2002
Format: DVD
Knox Oil rules Houston. The Knox headquarters tower over the Houston skyline, and KNOX radio brings Houston its weather and traffic report. Knox Oil is owned by Felix Happer (Burt Lancaster), whose father bought the company from its Scottish-born founder; but unfortunately neglected to change the name to "Happer Oil." Now Knox Oil needs to obtain a location for a refinery in Scotland, and the most appropriate place happens to be a village called Furness, far up on the Northern Scottish coast. And the Knox people don't take no prisoners - they decide to simply go ahead and buy the whole village. The man they're sending to Scotland to negotiate is Mac MacIntyre (Peter Riegert), whose presumably Scottish roots are going to make it easy for him to bond with the locals and close the deal (actually, his family is from Hungary and changed their names to MacIntyre because "they thought that's America").

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.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Robert Berkman on January 4, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Local Hero is appealing on many levels. There is, of course, the wondeful quirky story and characters, the music, the off-kilter British humor, and the magnificent scenery.
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.
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