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Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 29 May 1987 (UK)
Realistic story of working class Yorkshire life. Two schoolgirls have a sexual fling with a married man. Serious and light-hearted by turns.


Alan Clarke


Andrea Dunbar, Andrea Dunbar (based on the stage plays by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Holmes ... Sue
Siobhan Finneran ... Rita
George Costigan ... Bob
Lesley Sharp ... Michelle
Kulvinder Ghir ... Aslam
Willie Ross Willie Ross ... Sue's Father
Danny O'Dea ... Paddy
David Britton David Britton ... Rita's Brother
Mark Crompton Mark Crompton ... Rita's Brother
Stuart Goodwin ... Rita's Brother
Max Jackman Max Jackman ... Rita's Brother
Andrew Krauz Andrew Krauz ... Rita's Brother
Simon Waring Simon Waring ... Rita's Brother
Maureen Long Maureen Long ... Rita's Mother
Joyce Pembroke Joyce Pembroke ... Lawn Mower Lil


Realistic story of working class Yorkshire life. Two schoolgirls have a sexual fling with a married man. Serious and light-hearted by turns.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

29 May 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bob e as Suas Mulheres See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


First cinema film and breakthrough role of Siobhan Finneran. See more »


As they are walking down the street during the school trip the boom mic is visible in the bottom left shop window. See more »


Rita: We haven't got eggs inside us. We're not ducks, y'know!
See more »


Featured in WatchMojoUK: Top 10 British Cult Movies (2017) See more »


More Than Physical
Performed by Bananarama
Written and Composed by Mike Stock / Matt Aitken / Pete Waterman / Sara Dallin / Siobhan Fahey / Keren Woodward
Published by Warner Bros. Music Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

This is a vastly under_rated film
10 January 2004 | by dannyfitzukSee all my reviews

Someone has previously posted that this film is about class and social division which is certainly true and one of the many sub-texts of the screenplay. It interests me that reaction to this film also seems to be delineated along class lines and social division. When I've mentioned this film in passing to middle-class types they turn their noses up in horror and say this film is so 'depressing'. In contrast, to anyone from a hum-drum town anywhere in the British Isles (in my case Ireland) or inner city working class background, a mention of the film if they've seen it, brings on a laugh and smiles of recognition of shared experiences.

Hyper-realism may prevail in this film but there are many many reasons to watch it. The most important of which is to be reminded, if one needs reminding, what devastating changes took place during Thatcher's political reign during the 80's. The appalling errosion of social housing and services, and the introduction of the exploitative Youth Training Schemes which paid a pittance to participants. Overcrowded classrooms, and few opportunities to socialise meant teenagers had to make their own fun just like Rita and Sue.

To me no other film evokes the 80's like this film, it always brings me out in tears of laughter as I recognise the characters from my own life. Practically every girl in my home town dressed exactly like Rita and Sue, bare legged and white stillettoed. I can't remember any other film that captures the teenage mischieve-ness and innocence of 80's teenagers. That scene where they go to the museum with the other school girls and exiting onto a cobbled Yorkshire street Sue utters the immortal line: '..she called me a slag so I hit her!, after assaulting a virgin classmate, is a real hoot. For me the funniest scene is when Rita and Sue start giggling in embarassment as Bob and The Wife start having a barny after returning home after a night on the tiles. (N.B. if Rita and Sue have been hired as babysitters how come we never see the kid they're babysitting?)

This film is not depressing. The two main protagonists (Rita and Sue) are finding fun, excitement and adventure (isn't it better to be walking around in cow dung getting fresh air and a 'jump' from the middle class neighbour in a car than loitering around a dreary housing estate?) as an antidote to their hopeless circumstances. They don't feel anymore more victimised than Bob's wife. They maybe poor and working class; but they're getting bonked regularly unlike Bob's missus!

The performances are absolutely sterling, there are no false moves or corny lines. And Lesley Sharp is truly comical as she jumps on Bob's suit and calls him every name under the sun. For me the actor who shines most is Michelle Holmes, and I always love watching her whatever role she's playing ever since seeing her in this film.

I wish the bourgeois critics could put aside their own prejudices and snobberies and see this film for what it really is. A gritty realistic picture of 80's England and a precursor to the highly successful 'Full Monty'. It is also a great heart warming film for adults that was way ahead of its time when it was being made in the mid 80's. Every time I see it I laugh out loud - if you're ever feeling a bit down, watch this film! It will blow the cobwebs away completely, trust me!

As far as I'm concerned this is up there with 'Brief Encounter' as a classic British film. I'm serious!

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