Local Hero

‘It’s not a high concept movie, there’s actually no story there really. It’s what happens in between the story that’s important’ – Bill Forsyth

Regularly named one of the best British films ever made and loved by generations of fans around the world, Local Hero is the seemingly simple story of American businessman ‘Mac’ MacIntyre (Peter Riegart) who is sent to Scotland by his boss, Happer (Burt Lancaster), to buy the tiny village of Ferness with the aim of turning it into an oil refinery. 

In time for its 40th anniversary, Jonathan Melville checks into Urquhart’s Hotel – watching out for motorbikes – and examines director Bill Forsyth’s early career before spending time with the cast and crew of Local Hero to find out how the classic film was made. 

Along the way he’ll also look at the collaboration between Forsyth and Glasgow-born musician Mark Knopfler, the environmental themes that are even more relevant today, and Local Hero’s legacy with filmmakers and fans.

Jonathan Melville is a freelance arts journalist whose previous book, 2020’s highly acclaimed A Kind of Magic: Making the Original Highlander (also from Polaris), was called ‘An engrossing read with plenty of on-set anecdotes and insight’ by Total Film. He has contributed to The Scotsman, BBC Radio Scotland, The Guardian and SFX among others. He lives in Edinburgh.

Publication 2022. To stay up-to-date with news on the book, please sign up here

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