Pennan

Pennan

Released in 1983, ‘Local Hero’ is a whimsical comedy, written and directed by Bill Forsyth (Gregory’s Girl, Comfort and Joy). Among a stellar cast, Burt Lancaster portrays Felix Happer, a star-gazing Houston oil tycoon who wants to build a refinery in a picturesque Scottish coastal village. Happer sends a company rep, Mac, to buy the village. Happer is an astronomy obsessive who insists Mac calls in with sky reports: "Anything out of the ordinary, you telephone me. Night or day." Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits provided an evocative soundtrack for 'Local Hero'. The setting for the village in Local Hero is Pennan, which clutches the shoreline between Fraserburgh and Banff, north-facing on to the unforgiving Moray Firth. A single row of cottages, with gables flush to the North Sea, Pennan lies at the foot of a steep brae under cliffs prone to mud and landslides. A century ago Pennan was a prosperous fishing community, like its neighbours to the west, Crovie and Gardenstown.

A listed building, the most famous red phone box in the world (+44013466210) was actually a plywood prop further along the quayside in the film. The interior shots of the pub were captured in the Ship Inn at Banff. The beach scenes were set 150 miles away on Camusdarach Beach, between Morar and Arisaig on Scotland’s west coast.

The film was possibly inspired by a 1970s real-life saga of land speculation and profiteering by Cromarty Petroleum on the Moray Firth. The obvious modern-day analogy is the blowhard millionaire Trump on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire. Trump is ranting about a proposed wind test centre in Aberdeen Bay, turbines spoiling the view from his destructive golf resort. He will not build a 'five-star' hotel if the windfarm goes ahead. Felix Happer ends Local Hero happier, engrossed in viewing the Northern Lights, his refinery plans abandoned. He takes a collection of sea-shells back to the States with him. If only real life would imitate art. There are unexploded shells buried in the dunes at Menie..

Pennan provides a backdrop for 'Whistle My Lad', another film by a team of award-winning movie-makers. Billed as a tragic story of forbidden love set against the deep-rooted traditions of a fishing community in the early 1900s, it was produced by the crew behind the BAFTA-winning 'No More Shall We Part', also shot in North-East Scotland. Scriptwriter Richard Burke used to live on the Banffshire Coast and worked as a coastal salmon fisherman at Macduff. He and the team have revisited the area and settled on a number of locations around Pennan.
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Pennan

Pennan

Released in 1983, ‘Local Hero’ is a whimsical comedy, written and directed by Bill Forsyth (Gregory’s Girl, Comfort and Joy). Among a stellar cast, Burt Lancaster portrays Felix Happer, a star-gazing Houston oil tycoon who wants to build a refinery in a picturesque Scottish coastal village. Happer sends a company rep, Mac, to buy the village. Happer is an astronomy obsessive who insists Mac calls in with sky reports: "Anything out of the ordinary, you telephone me. Night or day." Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits provided an evocative soundtrack for 'Local Hero'. The setting for the village in Local Hero is Pennan, which clutches the shoreline between Fraserburgh and Banff, north-facing on to the unforgiving Moray Firth. A single row of cottages, with gables flush to the North Sea, Pennan lies at the foot of a steep brae under cliffs prone to mud and landslides. A century ago Pennan was a prosperous fishing community, like its neighbours to the west, Crovie and Gardenstown.

A listed building, the most famous red phone box in the world (+44013466210) was actually a plywood prop further along the quayside in the film. The interior shots of the pub were captured in the Ship Inn at Banff. The beach scenes were set 150 miles away on Camusdarach Beach, between Morar and Arisaig on Scotland’s west coast.

The film was possibly inspired by a 1970s real-life saga of land speculation and profiteering by Cromarty Petroleum on the Moray Firth. The obvious modern-day analogy is the blowhard millionaire Trump on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire. Trump is ranting about a proposed wind test centre in Aberdeen Bay, turbines spoiling the view from his destructive golf resort. He will not build a 'five-star' hotel if the windfarm goes ahead. Felix Happer ends Local Hero happier, engrossed in viewing the Northern Lights, his refinery plans abandoned. He takes a collection of sea-shells back to the States with him. If only real life would imitate art. There are unexploded shells buried in the dunes at Menie..

Pennan provides a backdrop for 'Whistle My Lad', another film by a team of award-winning movie-makers. Billed as a tragic story of forbidden love set against the deep-rooted traditions of a fishing community in the early 1900s, it was produced by the crew behind the BAFTA-winning 'No More Shall We Part', also shot in North-East Scotland. Scriptwriter Richard Burke used to live on the Banffshire Coast and worked as a coastal salmon fisherman at Macduff. He and the team have revisited the area and settled on a number of locations around Pennan.
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