Shirley Valentine

Film, Comedy
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
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Shirley Valentine
Willy Russell transforms his one-hander into a superior kitchenette adventure which roams from Liverpool to Mykonos, finding room for all the characters who in the more satisfying theatre version were figments of Shirl's imagination. 42-year-old Shirley (Collins) is so raddled by life that she talks to the wall of her strip-pine kitchen, and wonders 'Why, if they give us so much life, aren't we allowed to make use of it?' Hence an improbable plot device by which her feminist friend wins a holiday for two in Greece, and Shirley, after much guilt, doubt and abuse from her plankish husband (Hill), decides to go. But the virtue of Russell's writing is that, for all the cracks, occasional duff lines, and tendency to simplify and stereotype, few can match his ability to make us laugh, cry and ultimately care. Loneliness creeps with Shirley to the Med, and only after a brief dalliance with a Greek local (Conti) does she start to live for real: self-respect and self-reliance beat sex on a boat anyday. Collins is magnificent, and though the film's sexual politics may not be to all tastes, it deserves to be seen for its glowing belief in the worth of personal rediscovery.

By: SGr

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Screenwriter: Willy Russell
Cast: Pauline Collins
Tom Conti
Julia McKenzie
Alison Steadman
Joanna Lumley
Sylvia Syms
Bernard Hill
George Costigan

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Sareta P

I can't believe I hadn't seen this film before today! It's a brilliant film that not only showcases some fine British talent, including the fantastic Tom Conti, but which transports you back to the '80s. Those red bed covers! Retro chic aside, the film has a fantastic message to never just live your life, especially for others, and to really follow what you want to do. There's humour based around Brits abroad - sadly some things don't change - and a great appearance from Joanna Lumley. I really recommend this film!


A film that holds significance with most married couples.collins is mesmerising in the lead role.


A film that holds significance with most married couples.collins is mesmerising in the lead role.


There was way too much nudity, it was just unnecessary. No ending, the viewer is supposed to choose what they think happened but it you feel like it's unfinished. It wasn't that bad but it wasn't good either.