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Accidental Hero (released in the US as simply Hero) is a comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy García, Chevy Chase, and Joan Cusack. It was released in the United States on 20 October 1992.
Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) is the scum of the earth; a lowlife minor criminal and lifelong cynic who only looks out for himself first and foremost. However, by chance, Bernie happens upon the site of a plane crash and, upon an appeal to what remains of his better nature by a young survivor looking for his father, ends up rescuing the passengers from the wreck, including star TV reporter Gail Gayley (Davis), losing a shoe in the process and discarding the other.
Upon learning of the anonymous hero who selflessly risked his life to save others, the media leaps on the story and issues an appeal for the hero -- complete with reward. Upon learning of the reward, Bernie decides to come forward, only to face several problems; he's in jail, absolutely no one believes he's capable of being a hero, and the 'hero' has already come forward -- John Bubber (Garcia), a homeless veteran who not only appears to be the perfect hero, but has the only proof of who was there in the form of Bernie's discarded shoe...
Accidental Hero provides examples of:
- Accidental Hero: Bernie Laplante. Heck it is even the name of the movie.
- And the Adventure Continues...
- Blackmail: First subverted, then played straight. Gail thinks that Bernie is blackmailing Bubber, who is only trying to prove that he is the real hero. However when he meets Bubber, Bernie really blackmails him.
- Cassandra Did It: Inverted. Bernie really saved all the passengers. However nobody believes that he did it.
- Cassandra Truth: See above example.
- Clear My Name: Inverted. Bernie is trying to prove that he is the real hero.
- Driven to Suicide: Bubber tries to jump from a building, because he can't stand lying to everyone.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: John Bubber. Subverted that Bubber really is a hero- even Bernie tells him that he would have saved passangers if he was there. It just that he didn't really do it.
- Jerkass: Bernie most of the time.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bernie again.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Bernie. Nobody except his son believes that Bernie could really be the hero and risk his life to save others.
- Only in It For the Money: Bernie only wants to prove that he saved the passengers because of the million dollar reward.
- Rousseau Was Right: In the end both Bernie and Bubber become real heroes.