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Educating Rita (1983)

Adapted from Willy Russell’s play, Educating Rita retains its charm and poignancy in this cosy film version.

Rita, (Julie Walters) a working-class hairdresser with a sharp wit, is married to Denny, and at 26 doesn’t want a baby. She wants to discover herself, so she joins the Open University.


Dr Frank Bryant (Michael Caine) is a disillusioned university professor of literature. His marriage has failed, his girlfriend is having an affair with his best friend and he can’t get through the day without downing a bottle or two of whisky.

He refers to himself as an appalling teacher of appalling students. What Frank needs is a challenge – along comes Rita.

As Rita’s intellectual perspective extends, she becomes torn between her oppressive home life and the attractive, but pretentious, world of her amorous tutor.

Dr Frank Bryant
Michael Caine

Julie Walters

Michael Williams

Maureen Lipman

Jeananne Crowley

Malcolm Douglas

Lewis Gilbert