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Thread: Local Hero

  1. #1
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    One of my favourite recent films is "Local Hero"(1983)written and directed by Bill Forsyth.( Gregory's Girl)A lovely Ealingesque comedy full of dry wit and humour,excellent photography and superb music by Mark Knopfler.The films tells of a large American oil company who want to buy an entire Scottish fishing village so they can build an oil terminal there.The casting is magical, Peter Riegart stars as a reluctant negotiator sent to Scotland by madcap oil baron Burt Lancaster to buy the village from the supposedly unwitting locals.On arrival he comes up against wily local solicitor, hotelier and village leader Dennis Lawson,who has already informed the locals of the deal and are desperate to rip the Americans off for millions!Watch out for the scene where Riegart trys to buy the beach from hermit Ben,brilliantly played by the wonderful Fulton Mackay,it.s Bill Forsyth at his very,very best.Burt Lancaster is hilariuos as the oil baron who finally turns up in Scotland with some great scene stealing moments as Riegart is sent back to America depressed and forlorn now that he has become completely besotted with the village.This film works brilliantly because of the small fry outwitting the giants and the host of hilariously believable characters,if you have a couple of hours to spare,watching this film will fill them very pleasurably indeed! :)

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    Err sorry Deckard i just did you whole posting again (i'm new to this lark) you wouldn't think i worked for a computer firm would you. Anyway i just wanted to agree wholeheartedly with what you said about Local Hero. This is a film i could watch time and time again, it is an incredibly feel-good movie but not in an american crass way. I love the way that the place draws Riegart in....and i often wonder at the end when the telephone box rings...is that Riegart ringing to you think from America cos he misses the place? i hope so....great film.

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    i meant is that that Riegart ringing 'do you think' - i'll check my English in future...

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    Hi JustJane

    Local Hero is definately one of my favourite Brit films of the last twenty years,as I tend to champion Brit films pre 1970's.

    It is probably one of the most successful attempts to be an Ealing comedy. I like the little scenes in it,such as the old villager and his attempts to impersonate Hollywood greats and two other old men,slightly rejoicing over their soon toget wealth. The motorbiker just riding about,the scatty brained teenage girl and indeed the late,great Fulton MacKay. Burt Lancaster did not stampede his Hollywood status over the rest,but merely relished being in such a fine comedy with a fine ensemble of actors.

    On the end of the emotion scale,my other favourite British film of the last twenty odd years is The Killing Fields.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

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    Although,set in the north west of Scotland,I believe the film was filmed on the north east coast.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

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    Indeed Decks - very Ealingesque, but true to the Scottish brogue!



    Gibbie

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    I have to mention this great film, if only to admit the greatest Homer Simpson "D'OH!" moment of my life.



    The village scenes were filmed at Pennan, near where I lived at the time in 1982. I was a huge fan of Dire Straits, with the "Love Over Gold" album having recently been released, and when a taxi driver friend told me that Mark Knopfler was staying at the Banff Springs Hotel, I had to get right round there with my girlfriend.



    Unfortunately, it was clearly a wind-up, because when we got there, there was only one lonely guy sitting at the bar (drinking a Newcastle Brown Ale - a clue, stupid).



    Since we were there anyway, me and the girfriend (now my wife) ordered a drink (while standing right next to the guy) then went to sit down at the other end of this huge lounge.



    Minutes later, an entourage walked in, including Hal Lindes (who went on to write lots of TV/movie theme music), the Bass Player from Dire Straits (wearing red leather trousers), and surrounded the guy at the bar who was, of course, Mark Knopfler.



    We were so embarrased that we couldn't even bring ourselves to go up and say "oops, sorry, never recognised you!"



    The wonderful movie (with Knopler's incredible soundtrack and theme music) is a slice in time for me - I remember those summer evening skies like they were yesterday, and can still recognise faces of local friends who were extras in the film.



    Strangely enough, they still look young, while I've gotten older - weird, that . . .




  8. #8
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleyn
    I have to mention this great film, if only to admit the greatest Homer Simpson "D'OH!" moment of my life.

    The village scenes were filmed at Pennan, near where I lived at the time in 1982. I was a huge fan of Dire Straits, with the "Love Over Gold" album having recently been released, and when a taxi driver friend told me that Mark Knopfler was staying at the Banff Springs Hotel, I had to get right round there with my girlfriend.

    Unfortunately, it was clearly a wind-up, because when we got there, there was only one lonely guy sitting at the bar (drinking a Newcastle Brown Ale - a clue, stupid).

    Since we were there anyway, me and the girfriend (now my wife) ordered a drink (while standing right next to the guy) then went to sit down at the other end of this huge lounge.



    Minutes later, an entourage walked in, including Hal Lindes (who went on to write lots of TV/movie theme music), the Bass Player from Dire Straits (wearing red leather trousers), and surrounded the guy at the bar who was, of course, Mark Knopfler.



    We were so embarrased that we couldn't even bring ourselves to go up and say "oops, sorry, never recognised you!"



    The wonderful movie (with Knopler's incredible soundtrack and theme music) is a slice in time for me - I remember those summer evening skies like they were yesterday, and can still recognise faces of local friends who were extras in the film.



    Strangely enough, they still look young, while I've gotten older - weird, that . . .



    Well he's probably hard to recognise without the headband and the day-glo outline



    Steve

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    I remember the buzz as an Art student in Dundee Scotland regarding Bill Forsythe's proposed follow up to Gregory's Girl, another film made in Scotland and starring Burt Lancaster! We were impressed! Its a great movie and not often seen on TV. I read an article about the red phone box at the location being given a listed/tourist attraction status, I always thought it was a prop phone box positioned as required? I guess as you lived near the town you could shed light on that? Maybe the local council has erected one on the site of the movie phonebox! It must be a bit of a surprise for visitors looking for the beautiful sandy beach near the town of Pennan to discover that the scenes on the beach were filmed on the opposite west coast of Scotland several hundred miles away! But possibly not as suprising for visitors to the South West of Ireland looking for the beach from Ryans Daughter, much of that was filmed in South Africa! The magic of movie editing!.....

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    I love Local Hero for all kinds of reasons but the main one I think is that, like Amelie, it is incredibly life-affirming. Its hard not to feel happier and more pleased to be human after having watched it. Although its in a lower league to Local Hero I'm also a big fan of Forsythe's next film Comfort and Joy which seems to have been largely forgotten about - a shame as it has some wonderfully funny, quirky moments and a great performance by Bill Paterson as a DJ on the skids who gets his self-respect back by brokering peace between rival factions in a Glaswegian ice cream van war.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marky B
    Although,set in the north west of Scotland,I believe the film was filmed on the north east coast.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B
    Yes it was filmed in both those locations, the small town of Pennan was on the North East of Scotland near Aberdeen and all the beach scenes were filmed on the opposite side of Scotland North West, so you are right on both counts actually!....

  12. #12
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    Great film and if you like it(mad not too) watch the Maggie. The Maggie is in my opinion the most underated Ealing film. The Maggie is like Local Heros Grandfather.

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    I agree that this is a great film but, curiously for me, I was not moved the first time I saw it. I think this may have been because too many people told me how wonderful it was. Same thing happened to me with Butch Cassidy (but in that case I'm still not moved). But I have seen Local Hero a few times since and it really does grow on me. Well worth repeated viewing and a great film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404
    Yes it was filmed in both those locations, the small town of Pennan was on the North East of Scotland near Aberdeen and all the beach scenes were filmed on the opposite side of Scotland North West, so you are right on both counts actually!....
    Just for the record, the village scenes were set in Pennan, a village halfway between Banff and Fraserburgh - which has not changed one iota since the movie - and believe it or not, still has that famous red phone box there - people still come to see it.



    The beach scenes, were shot at the White Sands of Morar, near the Knoydart peninsula on the West Coast of Scotland. It's apparently part of a private estate, but in Scotland, we now have "right to roam" laws, which means that no land owner can stop you walking over their land - unless it is classified as their "private garden".



    Go there in summertime - it stays light until well after 11.00 at night, and it really does look that beautiful.



    There . . . bloody tourist board should pay me for that!

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    There was an article in the Daily Express this morning.Apparently Donal Trump wants to build a golf course and leisure complex near Aberdeen.However his plans are being thwarted because a local farmer will not sell his land.It all sounds very much like Local Hero.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deckard
    One of my favourite recent films is "Local Hero"(1983)written and directed by Bill Forsyth.( Gregory's Girl)A lovely Ealingesque comedy full of dry wit and humour,excellent photography and superb music by Mark Knopfler.The films tells of a large American oil company who want to buy an entire Scottish fishing village so they can build an oil terminal there.The casting is magical, Peter Riegart stars as a reluctant negotiator sent to Scotland by madcap oil baron Burt Lancaster to buy the village from the supposedly unwitting locals.On arrival he comes up against wily local solicitor, hotelier and village leader Dennis Lawson,who has already informed the locals of the deal and are desperate to rip the Americans off for millions!Watch out for the scene where Riegart trys to buy the beach from hermit Ben,brilliantly played by the wonderful Fulton Mackay,it.s Bill Forsyth at his very,very best.Burt Lancaster is hilariuos as the oil baron who finally turns up in Scotland with some great scene stealing moments as Riegart is sent back to America depressed and forlorn now that he has become completely besotted with the village.This film works brilliantly because of the small fry outwitting the giants and the host of hilariously believable characters,if you have a couple of hours to spare,watching this film will fill them very pleasurably indeed! :)
    i saw this movie last year and loved it, it was quite refreshing and funny, with the landlord being the only pub owner , the only lawyer and many other things...

    so funny...

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    Quote Originally Posted by orpheum
    There was an article in the Daily Express this morning.Apparently Donal Trump wants to build a golf course and leisure complex near Aberdeen.However his plans are being thwarted because a local farmer will not sell his land.It all sounds very much like Local Hero.


    Yes, the guy is holding out and refusing to sell, but the trouble is, Trump owns all the 500 acres around the guy, so does not really need his land, but wants the place tidied up (because its a mess!). If he does not manage to buy the man out, he says he'll build around him and hide him.



    Trump has now offered the guy �1million lump sum, plus a salary (for doing nothing) of �50,000 a year. His croft is only a few acres and is not worth much, so the question is -



    WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN HIS SHOES?



    Me? I'd take the dosh and run away laughing . . .



    :

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleyn
    Yes, the guy is holding out and refusing to sell, but the trouble is, Trump owns all the 500 acres around the guy, so does not really need his land, but wants the place tidied up (because its a mess!). If he does not manage to buy the man out, he says he'll build around him and hide him.

    Trump has now offered the guy �1million lump sum, plus a salary (for doing nothing) of �50,000 a year. His croft is only a few acres and is not worth much, so the question is -

    Me? I'd take the dosh and run away laughing . . .



    :
    You'd wouldn't see me for dust .... think of all the films you could buy!



    Bats.

  19. #19
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    I couldn't find another thread?

    Anyway, this film is being given away with the Guardian at the weekend, I believe.



    I haven't seen it for a long while, but I remember really enjoying it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: UK image45's Avatar
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    I never trust these give aways, plus you wonder why they are doing it while making the films feel so old and forgotten that they can only give them away now. I was amazed to see Alfred Hitchcocks 1965 version of 'The 39 Steps' been given away the other week. I am sure I will not be giving my DVD version away in the near future!

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