Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Local Hero: Monday, April 23 2018

I made sure my Film Group had what we all wanted to drink, whether white or red wine, or Perrier water, and a good supply of chips, or chocolates, or popcorn, before we settled down to watch the film. Lorna had lent us the DVD, for which many thanks.

Local Hero (1983) is a Scottish comedy-drama film, directed and written by Bill Fulton, who had already directed and written Gregory's Girl (1881). It's a gentle comedy about an American Oil Company sending "Mac" McIntyre (whose family were from Hungary, and changed their name to McIntyre) to the north of Scotland to buy the seaside village of Ferness, and the surrounding area, as it wants to install a refinery. Money being no object, the majority of the villagers want to sell, while, of course, the old curmudgeon, Ben Knox, doesn't want to sell his beach, which was granted to his ancestors by the Lord of the Isles, in the dim and distant past. He is very happy where he is. The big, American boss arrives, hears the problems, and resolves the situation. The refinery will be built off shore, and an oceanographic marina and astronomical observatory built at Ferness instead. All's well that ends well, as Shakespeare said so long ago (1623).

Peter Riegert (Born 1947) played Mac, the American representative of the Oil Company, and Peter Capaldi (Born 1958) plays Danny Oldsen, the Scottish representative of the Company. They both look so young as they begin their careers. Fulton Mackay (1922-1987) was already a well-known Scottish actor, and was ideally cast as the holdout, Ben Knox. Burt Lancaster (1913-1994) was almost seventy when he played the part of Felix Happer, the Oil magnate. It was a pleasure to see him in such a different part, and he played it well. Jenny Seagrove (Born 1957) as Marina was appropriately beautiful. Dennis Lawson (Born 1947) as Gordom Urquhart, is so young in this part. He is the uncle of another Scottish actor, Ewan McEwan. The scenery is beautiful, and the wonders of nature, such as the aurora borealis and showers of shooting stars, so amazing, the location adds greatly to the film.

How different the world seemed then: no fanatic anarchists screaming and shouting like big bullies in the streets; no polarization of groups by rabid agitators; rational discussion leading to a solution acceptable to everyone. Civilized!

This is an entertaining film that leaves the audience feeling good.

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