Scotland, PA

Scotland, PA, a contemporary comic take on Shakespeare's Macbeth, is a film the studio actually did show to critics. Go figure. Debuting writer-director Billy Morrissette sets his tale in rural Pennsylvania, circa 1972. James LeGros stars as Joe "Mac" McBeth, a wage slave to Duncan (James Rebhorn), the owner of a fast-food dump who doesn't appreciate Mac. With the help of his ambitious wife, Pat (Maura Tierney), Mac deep-fries his boss and soon dazzles his town with new concepts such as combo meals and drive-through. Three witchy hippies (Andy Dick, Amy Smart and Timothy "Speed" Levitch) had predicted Mac would build a Big Mac dynasty. But guilt spoils success for the McBeths — that and Lt. Ernie McDuff (Christopher Walken), who vows to bring Duncan's killer to justice. Walken is so funny, he almost makes you forget this flick is one joke stretched thinner than Calista Flockhart.

From The Archives Issue 372: June 24, 1982