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Educating Rita (Remastered) [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Michael Williams, Maureen Lipman, Jeananne Crowley
  • Directors: Lewis Gilbert
  • Writers: Willy Russell
  • Producers: Lewis Gilbert, Herbert L. Oakes, William P. Cartlidge
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Oct. 2003
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CZVH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,422 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Working-class hairdresser Rita (Julie Walters) enrols for an adult education course in literature at her local university, determined to expand her mind. She is assigned alcoholic lecturer Dr Frank Bryant (Michael Caine), and as Rita's horizons broaden she begins to feel stifled by her home life. Simultaneously, Frank's academic career takes a turn for the worse as his drinking increases. Caine and Walters both received Oscar nominations, as did Willy Russell's screenplay.

From Amazon.co.uk

Michael Caine and the knockout Julie Walters deliver a pair of wonderful performances in this endearingly bittersweet tale of a boozily burnt-out professor's tutoring of (and subsequent tutoring by) a free-spirited hairdresser determined to improve her lot in life. The basic plot won't exactly surprise anyone who's ever seen a movie before but the ace cast (particularly Caine, who's rarely this subtle) continually finds new directions to spin off from the rather rote path. Although the end result is perhaps just a little too convinced of its own adorability to attain classic status, this remains a rarity in the genre--a feel-good film that earns its emotions honestly. A nice change of pace for director Lewis Gilbert, who is perhaps better known for his contributions to the James Bond series. --Andrew Wright

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 Dec. 2001
Format: DVD
I am a great movie fan and a tough critic, but this is without doubt one of the best films I have ever seen. It is a real British classic. Julie Walters and Michael Caine produce excellent performances and a great on screen chemistry. Parts of the film made me howl with laughter. Julie Walters character is so witty and lovable. If you're any sort of movie fan then this is a film that you just HAVE to see!
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Format: VHS Tape
An incredible love story where the two main characters never kiss. They love each other in different ways. It's also a tragedy. One of the characters has a fatal flaw, and you can see throughout the movie how the flaw will keep him from what he wants. He wants many things. Poetry. Love. Youth. Hope. The movie is also about choice, and about life. It is a laugh-out-loud comedy too. You Must See This Movie! What the heck. Just go ahead and buy it, like I did. It's well worth it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
**THIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

Educating Rita is a 1983 drama/comedy film directed by Lewis Gilbert with a screenplay by Willy Russell based on Russell's stage play. The film stars Michael Caine, Julie Walters, and Maureen Lipman. It won multiple major awards for best actor and best actress and was nominated for three Oscars.

Liverpudlian working-class young woman Rita (Walters) wants to better herself by studying literature. Her assigned Open University professor, Frank Bryant (Caine), however, has long ago openly taken to the bottle, and soon develops misgivings about Rita's ability to adapt to academia. Bryant is a jaded university lecturer, who describes his occupational ability as 'appalling but good enough for his appalling students'. His passion for literature is reignited by Rita, whose technical ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education but whose enthusiasm Frank finds refreshing.

The film focuses on Rita's unhappiness with her life in her blue-collar, working-class environment including with her husband who wants to have a family, as well as her struggles to fit into a new educated middle-class existence in academia, while seeking a "better song to sing". Rita's original preconceptions that the educated classes have better lives and are happier people are brought into question throughout the film through Frank's failing social life and alcoholism and her flatmate Trish's attempted suicide. Rita, her search, and her search's meaning for her all evolve as she adapts to academia and grows as a person.

Despite not having seen this film before buying it on DVD, I really enjoyed watching Educating Rita, a film which relied on a very well-written storyline and very good direction, and also relied on a wealth of talented actors.
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Combining an excellent script with brilliant acting from Michael Caine and Julie Walters and a good supporting cast marks this film out as a class act. The story line of a bored housewife, Rita, suffocating within her restricted world and then deciding to try and do something to expand her horizons and discover new aspirations is both funny and sad in equal measure, beautiful pathos. She signs up for Open University English Literature course and finds herself saddled with a drunken lecturer, Frank, who seems to have settled for letting the rest of his life pass him by.

Both of the lead characters are expertly played as vulnerable, confused and complicated personalities, Rita looking for something new, a challenge to stretch and find herself whilst Frank has settled for a drunken path of least resistance and is suddenly awoken by the fresh purity and honesty of Rita's take on various pieces of 'deep' classical English Literature and life in general.

As the story evolves and they spark new interests in each other about the world around them, they both blossom for a while and then nearly fall to the bottom of the pit again before getting their acts together in a common cause in the end. Overall it is an uplifting film about breaking away from a rut and discovering what you want out of life rather than the role others expect you to play in life.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this film again for the first time in many years, and find it still rings true today. This is the story of a young woman, Rita, played superbly by Julie Walters, who is a hairdresser who wants to learn and to find a more fulfilling way to live, and of her tutor, Frank, an alcoholic, disillusion university lecturer who becomes Rita's tutor, played very convincingly by Michael Caine.

This is a heart warming, often funny, sometimes sad, and utilmately uplifting, look at the lotteries of life, and how we can escape the roles assigned to us - even those assigned by ourselves

A wonderful film - well worth watching for the first time - or again.
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Format: DVD
By far one of my favourite films this superbly written and performed film, based on the stage play, really does make a sharp point about society, class and self-worth. Walters is terrific as jaunty Rita, an unfulfilled hairdresser who finally decides to go for the education she so desperately yearns for. And the somewhat underrated actor Michael Caine does wonderfully as her depressed, alcoholic tutor jaded and disappointed by life and also longing for a breath of fresh air. Together, they strike up a friendship and through eachother learn to live again. The way we see Rita develop as she goes through the course compliments the change going on inside her and her struggle to co-ordinate her growth with her already established life is superbly displayed. Match that with a comic sub-story of Caine's partner having an affair with his friend, a dazzling cameo by Maureen Lipman and Caine's portrayal of a man growing increasingly fond of his protegee and you have a very good film indeed. I also loved the way Russell didn't take advantage of the fact that his protagonists were of the opposite sex and make them a couple like so many playwrites fall into the trap of doing.
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