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Local Hero is a 1983 Scottish comedy-drama film written and directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Fulton Mackay and Burt Lancaster. Produced by David Puttnam, the film is about an American oil company representative who is sent to the fictional village of Ferness on the west coast of Scotland to purchase the town and surrounding property for his company. For his work on the film, Forsyth won the 1984 BAFTA Award for Best Direction.

Plot

"Mac" MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) is a typical 1980s hot-shot executive working for Knox Oil and Gas in Houston, Texas. The eccentric chief of the company, Felix Happer (Burt Lancaster), sends him (largely because his surname sounds Scottish) to acquire the village of Ferness in the Scottish Highlands to make way for a refinery. Mac (who is actually of Hungarian extraction) is a little apprehensive about his assignment, complaining to a co-worker that he would much rather take care of business over the phone and via telex machines. Happer, an avid astronomy buff, tells Mac to watch the sky, especially around the constellation Virgo, and to notify him immediately if he sees anything unusual.