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
From the writer of Shirley Valentine.
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Did You Know?
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
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
[Frank walks on campus and addresses some students
Dr. Frank Bryant
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy See more