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Local Hero

  PG Closed Captioning

Bill Forsyth

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Plot Summary

Screen legend Burt Lancaster gives an outstanding performance as an eccentric oilman who orders a young executive ("Crossing Delancey"'s Peter Riegert) to purchase a quaint Scottish village as the site for a giant oil refinery. Produced by David Puttnam ("Chariots of Fire," "Midnight Express"), with a musical score by Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler ("The Color of Money," "The Princess Bride"). New York Magazine called this "'Brigadoon' without bagpipes, a wonderful movie that creates magic without resorting to special effects" and the Daily News said "this entrancing comedy proves hard to resist...a warmly refreshing movie." Received Best Screenplay Awards from both the National Society of Film Critics and the N.Y. Film Critics, and won a place on the "top ten" lists of 16 publications including, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Newsweek. Maltin dubs this "a little gem." Recently selected by the prestigious American Film Institute as one of the 400 greatest American films of all time.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 31
  • Fresh: 31
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 8.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: It demonstrates Mr. Forsyth's uncanny ability for making an audience sense that something magical is going on, even if that something isn't easily explained. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Sep 3, 2010

Fresh: [It's] loaded with wry, offbeat humor and is the sort of satisfying, personal picture that is becoming an increasingly rare commodity these days – Todd McCarthy, Variety, Sep 3, 2010

Fresh: Here is a small film to treasure, a loving, funny, understated portrait of a small Scottish town and its encounter with a giant oil company. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Sep 3, 2010

Fresh: The thematics are rather cloying, but the mood -- profoundly relaxed, bemused -- eventually conquers. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Sep 3, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A quiet visit to heaven, with gentle laughs

Simply stated, my favorite movie ever. Then again, a film in which Houston is a vision of hell and Scotland is heaven is hard to resist. Gentle. Lovely. Quietly funny. There are rich touches that you will only see on the 50th viewing or so. Trust me. And at the end, when the phone is ringing, the happy ending is left to your imagination. Perfect.


I probably saw two to three films a week during my college years at revivals, festivals, and new releases. I saw this movie only once back then, yet it is one of the few that I vividly remember. What makes Bill Forsyth in general and Local Hero in particular so unusual is that there is almost no plot or narrative direction in this movie, an almost sure sign of a snoozefest, yet it is so engrossing. Every other enchanted place movie has to tell you repeatedly before, during, and after visiting the enchanted place that the place is enchanted. Not here, and it is unnecessary. This movie is really truly a unique experience.

See this movie, then rent either In The Loop or The Thick of It. You will see a range of Peter Capaldi similar to Ben Kingsley in Ghandi and Sexy Beast.

And iTunes, Gregory's Girl please!

This is my favorite movie

I loved this film since i saw it in in 1984 in Scotland. I also had the pleasure to work with Peter Capaldi and Peter Reigert after this film on other projects. I want to do little bits of business. Sit, relax, drink in this film.

FYI This has to be one of the worst trailers ever made, if you can possibly avoid watching it before the movie, you will be much better off, By all means get the movie but the trailer kinda gives away too much. Watch after.

I'm buying it now.

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Local Hero
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 1983

Customer Ratings

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