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Scotland, PA (2001)

Cast: James LeGros, Maura Tierney, Christopher Walken, more...
Director: Billy Morrissette
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Showtime Entertainment
Genre: Comedies, Independent, Parodies
Running Time: 104 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

What happens if you take one of William Shakespeare's darkest tragedies and move it to a burger joint in the early 1970s? The answer can be found in the satiric comedy Scotland, PA, the first feature from writer and director Billy Morrissette. Mac McBeth (James LeGros) is a hard-working but unambitious doofus who toils at a hamburger stand alongside his wife Pat (Maura Tierney), who has a significant edge in the brains department. Pat is convinced she could do a lot better with the place than their boss Norm Duncan (James Rebhorn) is doing, so she works up a plan to usurp Norm, convincing Mac to rob the restaurant's safe and then murder Norm, using the robbery as a way of throwing the police off their trail. Though two stoners (Andy Dick and Timothy Speed Levitch) and a would-be fortune teller (Amy Smart) warn Mac that bad luck awaits him, he gathers his courage and goes through with his wife's scheme. At first, things seem to have gone just as Pat hoped, and after Norm's sons (Geoff Dunsworth and Tom Guiry) sell the restaurant to the McBeths (they pay for it with the money they stole from Norm), business takes off. But vegetarian police detective McDuff (Christopher Walken) is convinced there's foul play at the new center of the fast food universe, and when the McBeths fear that fry cook Banco (Kevin Corrigan) knows more than he's letting on, Pat decides another murder is on the menu. Scotland, PA premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival; incidentally, Shakespeare does receive screen credit for his contribution to the story. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
For a, uh, slightly more faithful take, check out Polanski's version

An earlier James Le Gros dark comedy, lower budget, even more subversive

GreenCine Member Reviews

Carnivore meats Vegetarian by KSchultz September 29, 2004 - 10:38 PM PDT
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Wicked little flick! The brooding, oh so dying to please LeGros will stop at nothing to ensure Tierney's love and happiness. He tragically succeeds, she humbly bleeds. This clever far-out film manages to capture the feel, look, and flavor of the 70s better than any I have seen since the 70s. If you are a carnivore you will sink your teeth into yhis film and if you are a vegetarian you will find it righteous. It is a feast filled with multiple layers of wit. Bon Appetite!

Fast Food Notion by underdog January 21, 2003 - 10:34 AM PST
15 out of 16 members found this review helpful
Surely Shakespeare would have envisioned his MACBETH as set in the 1970's cutthroat fast-food world -- had such a world existed in his time. No? Well, just in case, we have this very odd, hard-to-define, occasionally hilarious, just as occasionally flat, comedy with the MacBeths a couple of fast food employees in rural Pennsylvania, who have more ambitious plans than their boss knows what to do with. It's great to see the underrated LeGros and Tierney finally given some lead time, but they don't always seem to know what to do as the tone and pacing shifts. Best of all is Christopher Walken as the detective MacDuff -- he clearly had a ball and it shows. There are quite a few moments of inspired, deadpan black comedy making this definitely worth a rental -- the second half is better than the first so stick with it; once Walken appears, the story takes off. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want fries with that.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.30)
99 Votes
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