Local Hero / one sheet / USA


Local Hero
Year of Film
Bill Forsyth
Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson, Norman Chancer, Peter Capaldi, Rikki Fulton, Alex Norton, Jenny Seagrove, Jennifer Black, Christopher Rozycki, Gyearbuor Asante, John M. Jackson, Dan Ammerman
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
A beautiful coastline... A rich oil man wants to develop it. A poor beach bum wants to live on it. An entire town wants to profit by it. And a real-live mermaid wants to save it... Only one of them will get their way.

One of the best British films of all time, and certainly one of the best comedies, Local Hero was directed by Scotsman Bill Forsyth and tells the story of what happens when a Texan company reveals plans to turn a tiny stretch of the Northern Scottish coastline into a massive oil refinery. Burt Lancaster plays Felix Happer, the head of Knox Oil and Gas, who sends one of his hot-shot executives Mac (Peter Riegert) to the tiny village of Ferness to make a purchase offer to the residents. Mac meets up with local Knox representative Oldsen (Peter Capaldi) and the pair start negotiations with the help of local solicitor and pub owner Urquhart (Peter Capaldi).

Despite the enthusiasm of the majority of the locals, who relish the idea of the money heading their way, things don’t exactly go to plan as Mac starts to enjoy life in the sleepy village, Oldsen meets and falls in love with a local girl (mermaid?) called Marina and an old beachcomber who lives in a shack on the beach reveals he has no plans to sell up and move on.

The film features a brilliantly sharp script full of memorable characters, hilarious exchanges and some wonderful sight gags; one in particular featuring an abseiling therapist spelling out a message on a window is perfectly done. It also features a very memorable score by Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler. Local Hero could rightly be called a treasure of a movie and I strongly urge you to check it out if you’re yet to experience it.

The village of Pennan near Aberdeen was used for the village location shots and is now a scene of pilgrimage for the fans of the film, particularly the red phone box that plays a prominent role in the story. In 2008, the British critic Mark Kermode travelled to the village with Bill Forsyth to interview him about the film and hold a special screening on the 25th anniversary of its release. The video of the event can be watched here.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork on this US one sheet but the UK quad also features a very similar image of Mac (with the addition of the phone box). If you have any ideas who might have been responsible please get in touch.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

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