Local Hero

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

We saw this movie back in the 1980s, a VHS tape rented (probably) from a long-gone Dover video store. (Space now occupied by a trendy bar/restaurant.) But the Criterion Collection decided to Collect it, it showed up at Netflix, and I remember being charmed by in over 30 years ago, so…

I'm still charmed.

Peter Riegert (Boone from Animal House!) plays MacIntyre, a deal-negotiator with Knox Oil, which is looking to locate a new oil terminal and refinery in a picturesque bay in Scotland. The CEO (Burt Lancaster!) picks Mac to go to Scotland to negotiate the sale of the entire area, including the cute little village. (He's picked because of his Scottish-sounding name, but he notes his parents are Hungarian immigrants, and they chose the name because it sounded American.)

You might expect the movie to go one way… but then it goes another, because the villagers are onto the deal, and they are enthusiastically looking to sell out to Big Oil.

But things don't go as planned.

Random Notes:

  • I'm not sure Burt Lancaster was ever funnier.

  • I'm still not sure what the title means. Who's the Local Hero? Ben, maybe. I could probably Google it, but at my age you come to appreciate not knowing certain things.

  • I just love the Mark Knopfler soundtrack. His first, apparently.

  • That guy playing Gordon, the town's negotiator/hotelier/etc. Very familiar, where have I seen him before. Look on IMDB… oh, right.

    And then I found out he's in another movie… one that's in theaters right now… darn, that was kind of a spoiler, I should avoid IMDB.