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Educating Rita

Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Produced by Lewis Gilbert
Written by Willy Russell
Starring Michael Caine
Julie Walters
Editing by Garth Craven
Distributed by J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors
Release date(s) 1983
Running time 110 minutes
Country  United Kingdom
Language English

Educating Rita is a 1983 film of Willy Russell's play of the same title directed by Lewis Gilbert and stars Julie Walters, Michael Caine, and Maureen Lipman with a screenplay by Russell.

Contents

Premise

An English working-class girl wants to better herself by studying literature. Her assigned Open University professor, however, has long since openly taken to the bottle, and soon develops misgivings about her ability to adapt to academia. Frank (Caine) is a jaded university lecturer, who describes his occupational ability as 'appalling but good enough for his appalling students'. His passion for the subject is reignited by Rita (Walters), an Open University student, whose technical ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education but whose enthusiasm is found by Frank to be refreshing. The film focuses on how Rita struggles to interact anymore with the largely uneducated and sub-literate peers from her own background, but similarly struggles to interact with the educated classes. Rita's original preconceptions of the educated classes having better lives and being happier people are brought into question throughout the film through Frank's failing social life and alcoholism and Trish's (Lipmans) attempted suicide. (More details in Educating_Rita#Plot_summary).

Difference from the play

The original play is for two actors and is set entirely in Frank's office at the Liverpool university; the filmed version includes a number of minor characters who are only talked about in the stage play and takes place in a number of mainly Liverpool and Dublin locations.

Cast

Production

Starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters, who reprises her role from the stage production, it was also Walters's feature film debut.

Although the setting of the film is Liverpool, the film was shot in Dublin. Trinity College, Dublin is used as the setting for the university, and University College Dublin in Belfield, Dublin is used for Rita's summer school. The rooms used by Bryant as his office and tutorial room were those of the College Historical Society and the University Philosophical Society respectively, and while the building was considerably refurnished, the production chose to leave portraits of Douglas Hyde and Isaac Butt and committee photographs in the former and a bust of John Pentland Mahaffy in the latter. Houses in the South Lotts area of Ringsend and Dún Laoghaire were used for Rita's in the film, and one in Rathgar for Bryant's. The scene in France was filmed in Maynooth, outside Dublin, and Pearse Station and Dublin Airport were also used. The scene in the pub was shot in The Stag's Head pub on Dame Court in Dublin. However, the pub which Rita enters is Lloyd's pub on Amiens Street.

The film won the 1983 BAFTA Award for Best Film. Caine and Walters each received an Oscar-nomination, but neither won.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gandhi
BAFTA Award for Best Film BAFTA award for best actor BAFTA award for best actress
1983
Succeeded by
The Killing Fields
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