Educating Rita (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Educating Rita1983

Educating Rita (1983)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Educating Rita Photos

Movie Info

A trio of Oscar nominations and a pair of Golden Globes went to this acclaimed romantic comedy-drama based on the play by Willy Russell. Julie Walters stars as Rita, a witty, 26-year-old working class British hairdresser who decides to seek an education at Open University. Rita needs a tutor, and she selects Dr. Frank Bryant (Michael Caine), an alcoholic college literature professor whose life is a shambles. Divorced, Bryant's new lover is now having an affair with his best friend and he's increasingly depressed, seeking solace in whisky. Bryant's domestic turmoil is mirrored by Rita's, as she has opted for college over motherhood, a source of friction between her and her husband. As Rita blooms intellectually under the tutelage of Bryant, she realizes that what she really lacks is self-confidence, not education, and a gentle romance blossoms between her and Bryant. At home, however, Rita's newfound self-respect and intelligence cause her even greater pain. Director Lewis Gilbert and writer Russell teamed again six years later on the similarly-themed Shirley Valentine (1989).


Michael Caine
as Dr. Frank Bryant
Julie Walters
as Rita / Susan
Godfrey Quigley
as Rita's Father
Pat Daly
as Bursar
Kim Fortune
as Collins
Mark Drew
as Disco Manager
Des Nealon
as Invigilator
Marie Conmee
as Customer in Hairdresser's
Derry Power
as Photographer
Alan Stanford
as Bistro Manager
Gerry Sullivan
as Security Officer
Patricia Jeffares
as Rita's Mother
Liam Stack
as Sandra's Fiance
View All

Critic Reviews for Educating Rita

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

If only I'd been able to believe they were actually reading the books, then everything else would have fallen into place. But I didn't believe it.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Time has not been kind to "Educating Rita."

April 17, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Inspired by Pygmalion and other works about mentor-pupil troubled/rewarding interaction, Lewis Gilbert's film is too theatrical, betraying its origins, but it's elevated by sparkling performances from Michael Caine and paricularly newcomer Julie Walters

November 6, 2007 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Michael Caine is perfect.

August 24, 2007 | Rating: 4/5

...a thoughtful thematic treatise on cultivation and learning and a charming character study of two lost souls from different worlds finding a common need in one another.

January 21, 2006 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Lewis Gilbert has taken a two-person play from stage to screen and cracked it open

December 3, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Educating Rita


If you are either in college currently or are thinking about going soon, you should see this movie. It's a very thought provoking, realistic, unique movie about education and life. I highly recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

An insightful storyline of education, a merging of classes, pretentious dreams and a meeting of minds. Educating Rita is a (reasonably) modern day ?My Fair Lady? with character and ambition. Both main roles interesting and played well by Michael Caine and Julie Walters. One of the British 80?s greats.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

Julie and Caine work very well together in this, she makes Rita's journey a terrific ride.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Educating Rita Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features