7.2/10
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Educating Rita (1983)

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

Director:

Lewis Gilbert

Writers:

Willy Russell (screenplay), Willy Russell (stage play)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Dr. Frank Bryant
Julie Walters ... Rita
Michael Williams ... Brian
Maureen Lipman ... Trish
Jeananne Crowley Jeananne Crowley ... Julia
Malcolm Douglas ... Denny
Godfrey Quigley ... Rita's Father
Dearbhla Molloy ... Elaine
Patrick Daly Patrick Daly ... Bursar (as Pat Daly)
Kim Fortune Kim Fortune ... Collins
Philip Hurd-Wood ... Tiger (as Philip Hurdwood)
Hilary Reynolds Hilary Reynolds ... Lesley
Jack Walsh ... Price
Christopher Casson Christopher Casson ... Professor
Rosamund Burton Rosamund Burton ... Denise
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Storyline

In Liverpool , twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins a literature course in an open university and is tutored by the middle-aged Dr. Frank Bryant, an alcoholic and debauched professor from the upper-class whose life has left him emotionally drained, without self-esteem. Frank lives with Julia, who's also a professor, and have a loveless marriage; Julia has a love affair with the Dean Brian. Rita's humor and determination to improve herself is contagious; she gives motivation to Frank who helps prepare her for the exams to join the university, and be able to leave Denny. Will she succeed in the exams? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Raves For Rita! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Educando a Rita See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,518, 25 September 1983

Gross USA:

$14,648,076

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,648,076
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Acorn Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was a huge hit at the Irish box office. It played for over a year at one theater. See more »

Goofs

When Rita first enters her shared flat, a record is playing on the turntable. The needle is extremely close to the end of the record, yet the song continues playing in the background for at least another two minutes with no sign of stopping. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

In a version screened on British TV in the '80s and '90s, Frank tells the imaginary Morgan to 'p*** off', not 'f*** off'; Michael Caine's voice is quite badly dubbed. See more »

Connections

Featured in Granada Reports: 5 January 2017: Evening Bulletin (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, 2nd movement Andante
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (uncredited)
[Record played in Julia's flat]
See more »

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User Reviews

A superb and deeply touching movie
9 August 2004 | by ReviewShopSee all my reviews

People who have experienced the mid-life crisis will be at home with this movie, as 26 year old hairdresser, Rita (Julie Walters), is pressurised into settling down with boyfriend Denny. Not only is this an un-needed pressure, but her father is plaguing her about when she is going to have children, but all Rita wants to do is find herself and take up something new. Her common touch and wonderful idiosyncrasies bring a breath of fresh air to snotty high class life, but when she goes to Dr. Frank Bryant (Michael Caine) to not only improve her lexicon, but to improve her image she begins a journey of blood and tears. Frank is assigned to tutor her, and from the start their personalities resonate the human touch.

Dr. Frank Bryant's marriage has gone down the pan, and his current girlfriend is playing away. On top of this he has hit the bottle and can only get through the day of teaching the young toffs, with a blend of his lecturing skills and the drink. He is jaded, he is tired of the same lecture routines, and he cannot understand why these students want to discuss the finer points of Blake. But Rita is new and fresh, initially Rita doesn't possess the skills required to write analytical essays; but she is different, she is vibrant, she is funny and she is unbelievably up front. As their relationship blossoms and Rita starts to find herself, she becomes increasingly drawn to the student way of life, and when Franks life is enriched because of her presence and her willingness to learn he sends her to a summer camp, to be educated at a greater level.

However, Rita's return with a change of character surprises Frank, and soon they drift away from their zany, affectionate meetings. Educating Rita is funny, expressive, sentimental, poignant and sad, as Frank must come to terms with the young bird fleeing the nest, whilst Rita begins to realize what she is becoming. With one thing gained, many other things are lost, and with Frank's increasing drinking problem because of Rita's character change, the two are headed for disaster. Both Caine and Walters give amazingly touching performances, and throughout I felt myself urging them to each other, only to know deep down that the age gap is just too much. Not many films make the audience care enough about relationships and circumstances, but this brilliant movie not only gets the audience committed to their plight, but also feels the full range of emotions.

When Rita gives her own interpretation of what assonance is, Bryant finds himself chuckling away to himself and realising that she is indeed right. What is especially touching is the way that Bryant wants Rita to stay as she is, because life has so little characters left for him. What she wants to become is everything that Bryant wants to forget, and there begins a sentimental tug of war. In between the funny moments, and plot directions is the feeling that life has more to offer than just being able to talk fluently about past authors, something which Bryant is driven to distraction over. But the movie nevertheless doesn't miss a moment to entertain and take the characters to our hearts, ensuring that Educating Rita remains a film classic.


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