Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine

Lewis Gilbert (1989)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This is the movie that brought cinema stardom to Pauline Collins at an age when actresses are often resigned to sitcom suburbia. Collins's performance as the long-suffering housewife who decamps to a Greek island and Tom Conti is quite sublime and carefully crafted. Director Lewis Gilbert manages to retain the best of Willy Russell's theatrical devices - Collins talking to the kitchen wall, for instance - while opening out the action to embrace a big-screen atmosphere. The supporting cast, particularly Bernard Hill as Collins's Neanderthal husband, is equally convincing, with only the hammy Conti (glistening teeth and appalling accent) striking a momentary false note.


A Liverpudlian housewife is trapped in a humdrum existence and a dull marriage. Fed up, she decides to go on an unheard-of holiday by herself to a Greek island, where she starts to enjoy life again - especially when she is romanced and seduced by a smooth-talking fisherman. Comedy, adapted from Willy Russell's stage play, starring Pauline Collins, Tom Conti, Bernard Hill, Julia McKenzie and Alison Steadman.

Cast & Crew

Shirley Valentine Pauline Collins
Costas Caldes Tom Conti
Gillian Julia McKenzie
Joe Bradshaw Bernard Hill
Marjorie Joanna Lumley
Jane Alison Steadman
Headmistress Sylvia Syms
Dougie George Costigan
Director Lewis Gilbert
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK)Guidance: Swearing and brief nudity.Available on: video and DVD