Local Hero

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Local Hero Movie Poster Image
A poignant, funny tale of a simpler life.
  • PG
  • 1983
  • 111 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages
Violence
Sex

Gordon and his wife have frequent (off-screen) sex; McIntyre uses a mild epithet when he's angry at his former girlfriend.

Language

Mild.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A great deal of social drinking; McIntyre gets drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has the feel of a fairy tale, but there are some odd moments that may bother some kids. Happer hires a "therapist" for a bizarre "abuse therapy." Danny saves a rabbit that is then cooked and served to Danny and McIntyre by Gordon.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

McIntyre (Peter Reigert), an ambitious executive with Texas-based Knox Oil & Gas, is dispatched by Happer (Burt Lancaster), the company's eccentric billionaire chief executive, to a remote corner of Scotland to acquire a fishing village named Ferness and the land surrounding it for an oil refinery and storage facility. Most of the residents are delighted at the prospect of being bought out; the only hitch to finalizing the deal is Ben, a reclusive beachcomber who lives in a shack by the shore. He owns several miles of beach and refuses to sell.

Is it any good?

LOCAL HERO is to be noted less for its messages or themes than its magnificent cast of quirky, delightfully observed characters and gorgeous location photography. There is a touch of magic in the story, with a marine biologist who seems to be part mermaid, and a deus ex machina happy ending for most of the characters.

This movie has the feel of a fairy tale, but there are some odd moments that may bother some kids. Happer hires a "therapist" for a bizarre "abuse therapy." Danny saves a rabbit that is then cooked and served to Danny and McIntyre by Gordon. And the very un-Hollywood resolution, with McIntyre back in Texas by himself, should prompt some discussion of what kids think may happen to him.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how McIntyre's life in Houston is cluttered but empty. What does McIntyre list as the requirements for an excellent life in Houston? Do the villagers agree with him, since all but Ben are anxious to sell? Why does the girl with the punk outfit say that she likes McIntyre? Why didn't Ben want to sell? Why, when McIntyre calls the village pay phone at the end of the film, does no one answer?

Movie details

For kids who love oddball characters

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate