One of my favorite movies ever. I remember seeing it in Westwood (by UCLA) when it first came out in 1983, finding it incredibly magical and beguiling. It made you want to chuck it all and move to Scotland (which I still dream about).
Written and directed by Bill Forsyth, it starred Pieter Riegert, probably best known for “Animal House”, who is sent by his boss, an eccentric oil tycoon played by Burt Lancaster, to a remote coastal village in northern Scotland (the town of Pennan) to buy it and build a refinery. He teams up with an odd local rep played by Peter Capaldi (later “Doctor Who”) and both proceed to fall in love with the village and beautiful seascapes, although they find the locals are not so enamored. It’s got a touch of magical realism to it, and just a touch of magic, really.
Note for Stars Wars geeks, Denis Lawson has a major part in the film and he was also Wedge Antilles in Episode IV, plus it’s rumored he’ll reprise his role in the upcoming “The Rise of Skywalker”.
With an evocative score by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and the Scottish setting, I always thought that “Local Hero” would have made a great stage musical, and now I think “Once” and “Come From Away” have paved the way for this to seem like a good idea.
The musical debuted last spring at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and will move to London next July at The Old Vic, with music and lyrics by Knopfler and book by Bill Forsyth and David Greig. Don’t know if I can swing a trip to London just to see it but hopefully it’ll move to Broadway.
Here’s a great photo I found of the cast of the musical visiting the original, stunning location in Scotland.
And here’s Knopfler performing the theme song live: