Film: Local Hero

Film Poster: Local Hero

1983; Bill Forsyth, Director

Whenever I need a lovely, Scotland fix, one of my fav films to turn to is “Local Hero.” If you haven’t seen it, put it on your list. When it was released in 1983, it received wonderful reviews. Now, given the pervasiveness of cellular phones, this film looks sweetly dated by the ever-present (and all important) red phone box. In the film, an American oil company sends their man to a remote, Scottish town, with a directive to buy the entire village, so a refinery can be built in it’s place. The film is filled with wonderful characters, and the kind of humor that ensues when a “sophisticated outsider” has a bit to learn about small town life.

Only 2 or 3 locations were used to shoot this film, all of which are places you can visit yourself. The village is portrayed by the small town of Pennan, in Aberdeenshire. There is not much to the town, which perches on the edge of the sea, at the base of a cliff, facing North. Just enough room for a short road running the length of the village, with buildings on one side and the sea on the other. Lovely in idyllic weather. Intimidating to say the least, when an arctic gale blows straight into the harbor. If you love the film, it’s worth a visit. The phone box is still there, as is the Pennan Inn. A good stop for a cuppa’ and a phone call.

The village of Pennan.

The beach used in the film can be found on Scotland’s West coast, at Camusdarach, Morar.  Being on the West Coast implies more frequent rainy weather, but it still looks worth the trip. Besides, there’s no traveling to Scotland without the best rain gear, so you’ll already be prepared!

I’m not sure about Netflix DVDs, but the film is available on Amazon as a free, streamable movie through their Amazon Prime program.

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