7.2/10
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Educating Rita (1983)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 28 October 1983 (USA)
In London, the twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins the literature course in an ... See full summary »

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(screenplay)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Rita
Michael Williams ...
Brian
...
Trish
Jeananne Crowley ...
Julia
...
Denny
Godfrey Quigley ...
...
Elaine
Patrick Daly ...
Bursar (as Pat Daly)
Kim Fortune ...
...
Tiger (as Philip Hurdwood)
Hilary Reynolds ...
Lesley
Jack Walsh ...
Price
Christopher Casson ...
Professor
Rosamund Burton ...
Denise
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Storyline

In London, the twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins the literature course in an open university and has tutorial with the middle-aged Dr. Frank Bryant that is an alcoholic and deluded professor from the upper-class without self-esteem. Frank lives with the also Professor Julia and they have a loveless relationship; Julia has a love affair with the dean Brian. The amusing Rita gives motivation to Frank to prepare her for the exams to join the university while she leaves Denny and moves to the house of the waitress Trish, who loves Gustav Mahler and is a cult woman. Will she succeed in the exams? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the writer of Shirley Valentine. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

28 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Educando a Rita  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julie Walters has said of this film to UK's Guardian newspaper: "Making the film was utterly different (to the 1980 stage production, in which Walters also starred). I made Rita a bit rougher round the edges and toned my performance down. The director, Lewis Gilbert, wanted me, but I'd never done a feature before, only a bit of telly, and they needed a star. There was talk of doing it with Paul Newman and Dolly Parton. But then Michael Caine came on board as Frank, and I was in. I remember his wife saying: 'You are very lucky it's Michael'. She was thinking of other people of that ilk, who were starry and not that easy. But Michael was lovely, so generous to me." See more »

Goofs

When Rita tells Frank that she will get her own flat, her position next to the table, and the way she holds her cigarette, change between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Frank walks on campus and addresses some students]
Dr. Frank Bryant: Good afternoon.
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Soundtracks

Wedding March
(uncredited)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
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User Reviews

 
singing a better song
2 February 2004 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

What a novel concept - a college movie that isn't about frat parties! Since "Educating Rita" is one of the only movies which explores the true value of schooling, it remains close to this nerd's heart. In fact, in a rather weird conjunction with "Rocky," it inspired me to leave my lousy office job and get a graduate degree - to better meself, as Rita might say.

What are the criticisms here - too long, too stagey, silly synth music? This is not my idea of a slow movie. I like the characters enough to stick with them, even if they aren't...well...moving around much! Surely their personal conflicts are interesting enough to keep me watching, even in the absence of car chases and explosions.

Walters and Caine are likable, the message is empowering (but realistic - Rita really suffers when she tries to change her life), and, just for a change, alcoholism is treated as a serious problem. Is it too sentimental? Well, I always cry. Or at least sniffle. I think that means the movie is moving, rather than sentimental.

Enough defensiveness - this movie is lovely! Where's the American DVD release, then?


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