Local Hero

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That is, the film, which I really need to see again. There's no thread for it or Bill Forsyth yet, thus. Just reminded of it by a guy on a mailing list I'm on who recalls meeting Burt Lancaster during the filming. First saw it on HBO in the early nineties when I was 12 or something, and remembered being unduly excited that the guy who played Wedge Antilles was in it.

Stellar ensemble cast, beautifully shot, some of the best underplayed/understated humor ever written for and caught on film, and quite possibly the closest anyone in the English language cinematic realm has gotten to that much used/abused concept from South American lit, magical realism. Also pretty much the film that has made me a low-key Peter Riegert fan to this day.

Still, perhaps nothing can beat Norman Chancer as abuse therapist Moritz.

"I'm still HERE, Happer!"

Agree or disagree with any of that as you like.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 5 August 2006 16:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Thinking of the cinematography made me look up Chris Menges -- now that's an interesting mix of work!)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 5 August 2006 16:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

From yr friends @ ILF

The films of Bill Forsyth - C or D/S & D ?

Picnics and Pixie Stix (Charles McCain), Saturday, 5 August 2006 16:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Rah! But that's ILF. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 5 August 2006 16:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I saw this film in its original theatrical release, loved it at once, and have probably seen it six or eight times since then. If this film has a cult, I could be numbered among its followers.

Aimless (Aimless), Saturday, 5 August 2006 16:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I know. I actually looked that thread up last week cuz I pulled "Gregory's Girl" out of my finally starting to shrink pile of "DVDs to Watch". All sorts of wonderful, that one. If he'd made a couple of different career moves, Forsyth might have become Scotland's answer to Truffaut (in the best possible sense). I need to see Local Hero now.

x-post

Picnics and Pixie Stix (Charles McCain), Saturday, 5 August 2006 16:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you were 12 in the early '90's Ned?

jel -- (jel), Saturday, 5 August 2006 17:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hahaha, good call! ;-) "Eighties," excuse me.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 5 August 2006 17:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

agreed on many fronts. is it actually magic realism or does it flirt/joek with the idea? and i'm sure there are closer examples? like field of dreams (is that just fantasy or do we hesitate to apply the term to cornfieldsball)?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 5 August 2006 17:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I saw this for the first time a few years ago - what a terrific film. As is Forsyth's Comfort and Joy.

Jaq (Jaq), Saturday, 5 August 2006 17:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

is it actually magic realism or does it flirt/joek with the idea?

I suppose it has to do with whether the one character is really a mermaid...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 5 August 2006 17:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Burt Reynolds as buglar film is, I believe, called Breaking In. It was shot here in Portland, Oregon and was utterly flat and uninteresting. I don't think Forsyth had a clue how to succeed in the Hollywood industry and they ground him up and spat him out. I wish he'd have gone the Van Sant route and put together his own little projects on the side.

Aimless (Aimless), Saturday, 5 August 2006 17:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i've still never seen this movie. but i would love to.

s1ocki (slutsky), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Blimey, I've just been discussing this film on another thread. As I said then it's my favourite film of all time ever. I re-watch almost every year but haven't seen it on the big screen since it first came out when I went on a date with my now wife (which might explain partly why it's my favourite film ever).

I was just up on the west coast of Scotland a couple of weeks ago and it is as beautiful as it looks in the film - although the village (for reasons I dont understand) is on the east coast. I visted that place a few years ago and took a picture.
http://static.flickr.com/47/113817823_d4b363f7c2_m.jpg
And there's a plaque...
http://static.flickr.com/48/113817824_568c5ebec3.jpg?v=0

Ned, what did the guy on the mailing list do on the film? And what did he think of Lancaster? I'd love some background.

It does have a magical element esp. when Happer turns up in a helicopter and saves the day (and possibly Fulton Mackay's ass). Which reminds me - it's a lovely performance by the man Mackay, in fact the performaces all round are great. It;s just...er...great.

Keep watching the sky, MacIntyre!


Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you like hal ashby s1ocki?

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

There's some discussion on this thread too. (Good British comedy directors - can you help me?)

xpost - that's the one Ned T is referring to.

Breaking In is no worse than Being Human. Or Gregory's Two Girls. Perhaps he should have stopped in about 1984.

ailsa (ailsa), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ned, what did the guy on the mailing list do on the film?

This was actually music writer T0mmy Ud0, so I'm gathering this was an earlier (and obviously more general) freelance assignment when he was starting out. Sez Burt was a gentleman and a half but he doesn't remember too much about the evening given its overall bibulousness.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thanks Ned.

I heard at the time that BL took only expenses (and obviously a trip to Scotland) - probably a bit of myth making but it fits in with the general vibe of the film.

Mrs Trifle is away tonight being pampered and so I think I deserve another viewing. And it's a good excuse to open my new bottle of Laphroaig.

Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Did you cook my rabbit?"
"Yes."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"It had a name - two names..."

Classic...

Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

blount - - yeah sure, but i haven't seen an ashby film in AGES.

s1ocki (slutsky), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

although the village (for reasons I dont understand) is on the east coast

Er, no it isn't. Assuming you're talking about Pennan.

ailsa (ailsa), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

s1ocki i haven't seen local hero in ages but what i remember of it it had a similar, um, tone to hal ashby or michael ritchie comedy

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(it's on the north-facing bit of the first north-east corner of Scotland, sort of north-west of Aberdeen)

http://www.robinwilson.net/pennancu/pennan.html has a lovely panoramic picture you can scoot around and have a nosey.

ailsa (ailsa), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

OTM, Ned. This is a fantastic film, one my favourites from that blasted decade, although my favourite character is by a distance the naive Scottish dude (forget the name) who tries it on with sexy webfoot Marina...

Louis Jagger (Haberdager), Saturday, 5 August 2006 18:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah i like this a lot, probably seen it 5 or 6 times. so many funny little details. (like the fact that riegert's character gets tapped for the mission for his presumed scottish heritage, which turns out to be fake. and the arrival of the russians.) one of the best renditions ever of the outsider-in-a-small-town scenario -- and it doesn't even do anything spectacularly different from any other rendition, it just does it all better. the village's quirks feel lived in, not just layered on for laffs.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Well ailsa yes, the north-facing bit, etc. but definitely east of where the beach shots were filmed. I just call the coast south off John O'Groats the east coast and south of Cape Wrath the west coast! Obv. you are being more specific in your definition of east coast. And I respect that :)

Here's a mildly diverting article by an American visitor to the locations of Local Hero - complete with pics also.

Obv. you are being more specific in your definition of east coast. And I respect that :)

Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oops I under edited that last bit while adding in my html...sorry.

Ned T.Rifle (nedtrifle), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

S'okay. I am a Scottish geography pedant :-) The beach bits were filmed round the Arisaig/Morar/Loch Moidart area. Which is very definitely West Coast.

Useless bit of trivia. The phone box is a prop, as the real phone box in Pennan was in a less photogenic place.

ailsa (ailsa), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(also, someone should pay respect to mark knopfler here, so i will.)

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, yeah, that title music (Going Home?) is magnificent. I love it. It does lump-in-the-throat things to me every time I hear it.

ailsa (ailsa), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's also Newcastle United's running-out-of-tunnel song (more useless trivia, this time soccer-related).

Louis Jagger (Haberdager), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Aw, the plaque! That's really sweet. Also, "Comfort and Joy" seconded.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"That Sinking Feeling", folks. Lovely film.

(Stew, when you get to this thread, as I'm sure you will, do you still want to borrow that off me?)

ailsa (ailsa), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It does have a magical element esp. when Happer turns up in a helicopter and saves the day

well yes, that's what i was referring to - but it's just a helicopter

I suppose it has to do with whether the one character is really a mermaid...

touche

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 5 August 2006 19:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"You're my eyes and ears, MacIntyre."

Ruud Haarvest (Ken L), Saturday, 5 August 2006 20:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like it when Denis Lawson is always shagging.

Alba (Alba), Saturday, 5 August 2006 22:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

My favorite Forsyth film is Housekeeping, but Local Hero is one of the few films about local-yokels which doesn't condescend to them; and any film in which Burt Lancaster gets a chance to tap the starcrossed poetry in him has my blessing.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 5 August 2006 23:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Well, I'm sold. I've added it to my LoveFilm queue.

g00blar (gooblar), Sunday, 6 August 2006 15:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Burt Lancaster day on TCM tomorrow.

Ruud Haarvest (Ken L), Sunday, 6 August 2006 16:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I love this film; I studied the credit obsessively to see where it was filmed, and committed Arisaig to memory. In 2000, I borrowed a friend's camper van and went driving around up the west coast and finally got to Arisaig on a late summer's day. It was beautiful. I nearly died several hours later when I fell off a small cliff onto rocks but managed to hold onto some shrubs and get pulled up, but no matter. Later camped out in a car park on the edge of the sea in a car park in Mallaig, rocked by the wind. It was magical. Everytime I hear the song, I get goosebumps.

Dave B (daveb), Sunday, 6 August 2006 17:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

Reviving being I'm using the Capaldi casting in DW as an excuse to tell more people about this film.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 5 August 2013 14:41 (five years ago) Permalink

it's p good; i'll take lair of the white worm instead

johnny crunch, Monday, 5 August 2013 14:53 (five years ago) Permalink

LH is one of the best Hollywood-produced films of the '80s.

Which cast member appeared the same year in Return of the Jedi?

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Monday, 5 August 2013 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

I'd guess Dennis Lawson

nate woolls, Monday, 5 August 2013 15:04 (five years ago) Permalink

Denis Lawson

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Monday, 5 August 2013 15:05 (five years ago) Permalink

gah xp

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Monday, 5 August 2013 15:05 (five years ago) Permalink

I mentioned on another thread seeing a lousy film from a couple of years ago called
Bitter/Sweet. It's basically an attempt to remake Local Hero--Thailand instead of Scotland, coffee instead of oil, James Brolin instead of Burt Lancaster--with a love story worked in.

clemenza, Monday, 5 August 2013 15:09 (five years ago) Permalink

still get a huge kick out of the bit with the hammering on the roof. that and "I'll be a good Gordon, Gordon".

piscesx, Monday, 5 August 2013 15:45 (five years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

I've been meaning to see this for decades and finally did. What a sweet film. Felt a little like it was a little rushed, though, which was odd for a film so much about taking your time, but I can't imagine back then Forsyth getting away with making it even slower and longer. I suppose he might have swapped all the broad goofy therapist stuff for even more of the town and its people.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 9 June 2019 12:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink

it's amazing a Hollywood studio backed it. Never happen now.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 9 June 2019 15:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Josh: try to see his follow-up, Comfort and Joy. As much as I love Local Hero, I love Comfort & Joy even more.

clemenza, Sunday, 9 June 2019 15:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Says upthread that Chris Menges shot this, which I had forgotten/never known/pvmic

TS The Students vs. The Regents (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 9 June 2019 15:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink

there's a forthcoming stage musical adaptation

conrad, Sunday, 9 June 2019 15:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I'm glad it wasn't made any longer or slower. It's perfectly compressed yet leisurely as is, with so many subtle character details just fleetingly hinted at. Only on repeated viewings do you appreciate them. I first saw it on The Movie Channel soon after it played in theaters. They ran it over and over for a month, and I would catch at least some of it whenever I had the TV on. It was like getting to know characters on a TV series as dear friends.

I've only seen it maybe twice since then. The last time, when I introduced a friend to it. I was disappointed that she didn't want to watch it again right away.

I love the understatedly bittersweet ending when Mac is back in Houston in his yuppie bachelor's apartment pinning snapshots to the wall, looking out over the drab cityscape, and it briefly cuts to the Scottish village with the red telephone box small and off to one side. Under the music you can almost hear it ringing. In a typical Hollywood film, the box would have filled up the screen, and the phone would have drowned out the music. And kept ringing through the credits.

punning display, Sunday, 9 June 2019 17:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

YISSSS

https://www.criterion.com/films/28709-local-hero

Ned Raggett, Monday, 17 June 2019 20:46 (one week ago) Permalink

xpost I still don't know what to make of all the Burt Lancaster stuff. He seems to take up a huge percentage of the film for having no real point, at least not until the very very end.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 17 June 2019 20:53 (one week ago) Permalink

smdh

Burt is the eccentric face of capitalism

another studio wd've cast DJTrump

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 June 2019 21:55 (one week ago) Permalink

Well, yeah. I guess I mean as an erstwhile villain, symbolic or not, I could have done without all the broad therapy stuff.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 17 June 2019 22:00 (one week ago) Permalink

having seen this since i was young but literally every other bill forsyth film I've seen or rewatched as an adult has been bad.

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Monday, 17 June 2019 22:40 (one week ago) Permalink

he's not the villain, no one is, it's a bill forsyth joint

he's on-screen a lot bcz he's great on-screen, and forsyth wrote a film for him to be on-screen a lot bcz this was amazing to able to do from where BF was standing at that point

this is far and away his best film (gregory's girl is nice but no one can act)(jenny seagrove can't act in local hero, it's a bill forsyth joint)

mark s, Monday, 17 June 2019 22:55 (one week ago) Permalink

Housekeeping is a great film imho, Christine Lahti should've hauled in all the awards

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 02:03 (one week ago) Permalink

Mark: I keep plugging Comfort and Joy--have you seen that? Seems very few have.

clemenza, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 02:28 (one week ago) Permalink

not since the 80s! i think i liked it but not as much as local hero

the ice-cream truck jingle is still stuck in my head but i remember very little else ("hullo folks!")

mark s, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 09:10 (one week ago) Permalink


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