Picks and Pans Review: Local Hero

updated 03/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

Bill Forsyth wrote and directed this enchanting story of a young oil conglomerate hotshot, played by Peter (Animal House) Riegert, who is dispatched from Houston to sweet-talk residents of a Scottish coastal village into selling drilling rights to their land. With the same offbeat, idiosyncratic humor that made his Gregory's Girl a winner, Forsyth immerses Riegert's computer whiz in the hypnotic rhythm of life in a remote corner of the world. The village life is so beautifully textured it has the same seductive effect on audiences as Riegert experiences in the film. Some scenes—when actors are silhouetted against the deep blue twilight horizon, shimmering clear water and distant mountains—verge on the mystical. (The sound track, by Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, flows hauntingly, too.) Indeed, after Riegert phones home to talk about the northern lights with childlike wonder, his boss, Burt Lancaster, choppers in to see Paradise Found for himself—providing the setup for an utterly transporting climactic twist. (PG)

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