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Great Soundtracks to Great Scottish Movies

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Well, the movies were set in Scotland, at least.  I’m talking about the classics Local Hero, with music by Mark Knopfler, and Restless Natives, with music by Stuart Adamson and Big Country.

Which soundtrack is better?  I’m not going to be the one to call it.  Sure, Knopfler is one of the great guitar players, period, and he has a way with a song, and the main theme to Local Hero is a work of great beauty.  But the musical accompaniment Adamson and Big Country have created for the events of Restless Natives is in its own way unparalleled.  The soundtracks are both very well produced, too, but I’d have to give the production nod to that of Restless Natives; Tony Butler’s resonant, relentless bass comes off particularly well.

Haven’t Seen Them?

Okay, I guess we would now have to call both of them “old movies” – Local Hero came out in 1983 and Restless Natives in 1985.  But they are essential movies.  Both have a quality that is rare, if not unknown, in movies in our time: gentleness.  They are gentle through and through.  Sure, Local Hero is about an oil executive trying to buy an entire Scottish harbour town, and Restless Natives is about two young men who rob tour buses; but each movie is a study in careful character portraiture and the understanding of human nature.  And, oh yeah – the music in each is brilliant, simply brilliant.

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