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Local Hero

Where to Watch Local Hero


Local Hero, released in 1983, is notable as one of the finest works of English director Bill Forsyth. The movie is a sincerely delightful mix of dry humor, quirky characters, brilliant dialogue, stunning cinematography, and indelible music composed by Mark Knopfler. It stars Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, and Fulton Mackay in prominent roles.

The plot centres around Mac MacIntyre (played by Peter Riegert), a high-achieving oil company executive from Houston, who has been dispatched by his eccentric billionaire boss Felix Happer (Burt Lancaster) to the quaint Scottish seaside village of Ferness. His mission is to buy out the town and surroundings land to make way for a new refining facility in a billion-dollar deal.

However, things begin to change once this young, ambitious businessman sets foot in the idyllic town. The villagers, led by the savvy local hotel/pub owner Gordon Urquhart (Denis Lawson), are far from the simple folks they initially appear to be. When faced with the buy-out, they perceive an opportunity to become rich, revealing unique entrepreneurial spirits that leave Mac somewhat taken aback.

Forsyth cleverly crafts a satirical and yet endearing narrative around this basis. The movie doesn't shy from spotlighting the clash of cultures, the sharp contrast between the urgency and individualism of America and the laid-back communalism of the Scottish village. However, Forsyth presents this contrast with such subtle humor and affection that it blends seamlessly into the film, which resonates more like a light-hearted, whimsical tale than a heavy-handed social commentary.

Peter Riegert delivers an excellent performance as Mac, portraying his character's journey from a corporate-minded individual to someone unconsciously smitten by the charm of the harbor town quite convincingly. Burt Lancaster, on the other hand, gives a memorable performance as Felix Happer, an eccentric owner obsessed with the stars.

But the real charm of Local Hero comes from its host of quirky secondary characters. Alleys are filled with Flintstones-like phone booths, the town seems to have a shared ownership of a baby, and then you have a lovelorn marine biologist Marina (Jenny Seagrove) who might or might not be a mermaid. Such delightful, memorable characters and circumstances add a layer of richness to the film.

Aside from its endearing story and compelling performances, the film is a showcase of powerful cinematography. Beautifully shot landscapes and picturesque views of the Scottish coast play a significant role in Local Hero. The magic of nights spent under a sky full of stars or a view of the aurora borealis from the beach further emphasize the enchantment that Ferness has over Mac.

The film also benefits distinctly from its music. Dire Straits' frontman Mark Knopfler's haunting, melodic soundtrack feels intertwined with the movie's very fiber, setting the stage and serving as an identifying marker for various moods and moments throughout the film.

While Local Hero does revolve around a significant moral theme—the essence of community and the value of natural beauty over monetary wealth—it delivers it gracefully without losing its charm or entertaining value. The film moves you with simple anecdotes and humorous instances rather than grandiose speeches, making its impact more profound.

In conclusion, Local Hero strives less to be about good overcoming evil and more about the good within every individual. It’s not so much a story that describes change as it is a fable illustrating an awakening. It's a comedy, it's a drama, and it's something a little bit more. It's about slowing down, taking a look around, and maybe seeing things from a different perspective—it's about being a local hero.

This wonderfully charming classic movie leaves you engaged, smiling and perhaps even a little more appreciative of the world outside your little pond. Local Hero, with its quirky charm and touching narrative, will hold a unique place in the hearts of those who experience its delightful tale.

Local Hero is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 1983. It has a runtime of 111 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 84.

How to Watch Local Hero

Where can I stream Local Hero movie online? Local Hero is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Local Hero for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Bill Forsyth
Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Burt Lancaster
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