Knox Oil and Gas of Houston is far removed from the North Sea oil it desires - and the sleepy Scottish seaside village it wants to buy and replace with a refinery. So Knox sends it ace dealmaker (Peter Riegart) to negotiate. He finds cheerful future millionaires, awesome northern lights, a lusty innkeeper, a stubborn beachcomber and a mermaid with webbed toes. Forsyth's touch is perfect: whether showing us a tycoon (Burt Lancaster) with his head in the stars or bridging generations at an all-night ceilidh dance.
Everything about it is so good: the dialogue by Bill Forsyth shines, the music by Mark Knopfler is knockout, the story, the cast, the setting....it's Scottishness was so on the money...the only bit I find tedious is the psychoanalyst..... it's not really a criticism, just doesn't add anything to the plot in my view.
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Two stars for the music and scenery, none for the rest
- Local Hero review by CH
This 1980s film seems really dated and not in a good way. Terrible roles for the female characters. Terrible trousers for the men. Nice music and scenery. The sort of plot that Ealing Studios would have handled so much better in its day.
Perhaps Bill Forsythe's best film, with a touch of the Ealing Comedies about it (Whisky Galore comes to mind). It's a wistful reflection on Scottish identity, the virtues of small-town life and the value (or not) of money. It's sentimental, but (imho) in a really good way, with lovely performances by the main actors and a fabulous supporting cast. Well worth seeing (or seeing again. And again).