An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected.




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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Chancer ...
Rikki Fulton ...
Jennifer Black ...
Christopher Rozycki ...
Gyearbuor Asante ...
Rev Macpherson (as Christopher Asante)
Cal (as John Jackson)
Tam Dean Burn ...


Oil billionaire Happer sends Mac to a remote Scotish villiage to secure the property rights for an oil refinery they want to build. Mac teams up with Danny and starts the negotiations, the locals are keen to get their hands on the 'Silver Dollar' and can't believe their luck. However a local hermit and beach scavenger, Ben Knox, lives in a shack on the crucial beach which he also owns. Happer is more interested in the Northern Lights and Danny in a surreal girl with webbed feet, Marina. Mac is used to a Houston office with fax machines but is forced to negotiate on Bens terms. Written by Matthew Stanfield <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

oil | beach | shack | village | scotland | See All (76) »


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

18 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A kisvárosi hõs  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Victor first radios the general store, he announces himself as "Vulgar Boatman". This is a subtle pun on the title of the popular Russian tune known in English as, "Song of the Volga Boatmen". See more »


During scenes on the beach, snow appears and disappears on the mountains of Rhum in the background between shots. See more »


Urquhart: [bouncing on his bed] Oh boy, are we going to be rich!
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Referenced in Outsourced (2006) See more »


The Rocks and the Thunder
Written by Mark Knopfler
Performed by Alan Clark
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Quirky brilliance
26 May 2002 | by (Rossville, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

Some may be turned off by the apparent disregard of plot. Amazing characters, scenery and music make this a truly brilliant movie. It's a movie that may not be fully appreciated until you've seen it three or four times. Burt Lancaster steals the show in a small role. Peter Riegert is perfectly cast as a lost American who finds a place where he belongs. The memorable scenes are countless: the aurora borealis show, the eccentric beachcomber who offers to sell for a dollar per grain of sand in his hand, the injured rabbit, Riegert proposes to trade places with Gordon, etc., etc., etc. Mark Knofler's music is worth the price of admission alone. Definitely one of my all-time favorites.

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