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Shirley Valentine (1989)

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Shirley's a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband's chip'n'egg, wondering what happened to her life. She compares scenes in ... See full summary »



(play), (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Keaveney ...
Tracie Bennett ...
Ken Sharrock ...
Karen Craig ...
Gareth Jefferson ...
Gillian Kearney ...
Young Shirley
Young Marjorie


Shirley's a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband's chip'n'egg, wondering what happened to her life. She compares scenes in her current life with what she used to be like and feels she's stagnated and in a rut. But when her best friend wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece for two, Shirley begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one thought she had the courage. The nerve. Or the lingerie.


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

30 August 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shirley Valentine - Auf Wiedersehen, mein lieber Mann  »

Box Office


$6,353,913 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was filmed during late September, October, November and December 1988. See more »


In the US version of the film, when Gillian encounters Shirley choosing underwear for her holiday the phrase "garter belt" is dubbed over the words "suspender belt". See more »


[first lines]
Shirley Valentine: Hiya Wall.
[to the camera]
Shirley Valentine: Well what's wrong with that? There's a woman three doors down talks to her microwave. Talking to a microwave! Wall, what's the world coming to ?
See more »


Referenced in Movie Connections: Shirley Valentine (2009) See more »


Written by Igor Stravinsky
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User Reviews

Finding your own reality
13 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just recommended this movie to a friend who's having her mid-life crisis. Just like Shirley, she can't stop taking care of other people at her own expense. Everyone who reviews this film focuses on its heart-warming qualities, making it sound like Pollyanna. The reality of Shirley Valentine is that it's very grounded in reality. Every moment of the film is fraught with ambiguity, moral and emotional. Shirley's trip to Greece and subsequent adventures are not Hallmark moments. She realizes quite clearly that her fantasies are superimposed on the necessities of reality. She doesn't marry a tycoon: she gets a waitress job. She realizes from the get-go that her relationship with Costas is a good-natured fraud. The ending of the movie doesn't answer any questions except "How does Shirley feel right at this moment in time?" This is not a film about escaping to a fantasy. It's about finding a reality that works for who you really are. Every human being on earth who's dissatisfied with their life should watch this film.

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