197 user 43 critic

Local Hero (1983)

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 »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Felix Happer
... Mac
... Ben
... Urquhart
Norman Chancer ... Moritz
... Oldsen
Rikki Fulton ... Geddes
... Watt
... Marina
Jennifer Black ... Stella
Christopher Rozycki ... Victor
Gyearbuor Asante ... Rev Macpherson (as Christopher Asante)
... Cal (as John Jackson)
... Donaldson
Tam Dean Burn ... Roddy


Oil billionaire Happer sends Mac to a remote Scottish village 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 <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

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  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,567, 21 February 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ben's aside when sand slips through his fingers while he negotiates with Macintyre was improvised by Fulton Mackay. See more »


Victor, who "has been coming here for years", and is very familiar with all of the townsfolk, is introduced to Ben (the morning after the ceilidh) as though a stranger (and even though Ben was present during Victor's song). See more »


[Mac is buying shampoo]
Mrs. Wyatt: Dry, normal or greasy?
Mac MacIntyre: Normal. Extra normal.
See more »


Referenced in Beverly Hills, 90210: Local Hero (1999) See more »


Wild Theme
Written by Mark Knopfler
Performed by Mark Knopfler and Alan Clark
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Technophile goes to remote village and finds the real world.
20 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

What a lovely, quiet film this is. Mac personifies modern man--out of touch with nature,out of touch with his own soul, who needs "electricity" to function. He is all technology of that period. Although he is a "telex man" (this was before the computer-cellphone era), he reluctantly goes in person to buy a village in a remote area of Scotland for the glory of oil production. The place he finds is paradise. No urban sprawl. No locked doors. Gradually, Mac is seduced by nature, which culminates in the death of his electronic watch--it drowns in a tidal basin after he removes it in order to collect sea shells. By degrees, he sheds his identity, represented by his business suit and fashionable shoes, and becomes a beachcomber. He is amazed when he sees the Northern Lights for the first time, a celestial phenomenon the locals take for granted. Mr. Happer the president of Knox Oil and Gas, is Mac's opposite--Happer inherited the family oil business and has done well, but his eyes are on the stars, the things of nature. He allows others to run the company while he watches the sky in search of comets. What makes a film memorable are great moments, and this film is a series of great moments that stay with you long after the film is over. I will offer no plot summary. You must see this magical film for yourself. But be forewarned: if you are in love with all that modern technology can offer, you will not like this film. You may find it too slow; too outdated; too sentimental. But, if (like me)you yearn to be away from the horror that modern technology has created in us and around us, you will love and dream of your own remote village by the sea. And it is very funny, too. Wonderful characters.

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