Shirley Valentine (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shirley Valentine (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Since its London and Broadway stage debut, playwright Willy Russell's +Shirley Valentine has proven an excellent showcase for any number of talented actresses (Loretta Swit won the 1989 Sarah Siddons Award for her work in the Chicago production). In the film version of Shirley Valentine, Pauline Collins re-creates the role that had previously brought her theatrical fame and a Tony Award. Spending the bulk of the film speaking directly to the audience, the titular Shirley (Collins), a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, reveals her innermost thoughts and fears in a manner that is both insouciant and poignant. Once an incorrigible anti-establishment rebel, Shirley now chafes under the plodding insensitivity of her husband, Joe (Bernard Hill). Her life enters a new and exciting phase when, after her best friend, Jane (Alison Steadman), wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece, Shirley is given the opportunity to travel to faraway places without her husband. Shirley Valentine represents the second felicitous collaboration between playwright Willy Russell and director Lewis Gilbert; the first was Educating Rita (1983).
R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Home Video


Pauline Collins
as Shirley Valentine-Bradshaw
Tom Conti
as Costas
Julia McKenzie
as Gillian
Joanna Lumley
as Marjorie
Bernard Hill
as Joe Bradshaw
Sylvia Syms
as Headmistress
Gillian Kearney
as Young Shirley
Catherine Duncan
as Young Marjorie
Tracie Bennett
as Milandra Bradshaw
Gareth Jefferson
as Brian Bradshaw
Anna Keaveney
as Jeanette
Ken Sharrock
as Sydney
Karen Craig
as Thelma
Cardew Robinson
as Londoner
Honora Burke
as Londoner's Wife
Marc Zuber
as Renos
Deborah Yhip
as Sharon-Louise
Ray Armstrong
as Executive Type
Annee Blott
as Chambermaid
Matthew Long
as Teacher
Ruth Russell
as Veronica
Sarah Nolan
as Maureen
Elaine Boisseau
as Woman in Taverna
Sheila Aza
as Cooking Teacher
Alex Wright
as Kid in Car
Ged McKenna
as Van Driver
John Hartley
as German Tourist
Marlene Morley
as German Tourist
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Critic Reviews for Shirley Valentine

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (2)

An obnoxious and thoroughly tedious piece of work...

Full Review… | January 12, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

think of Shirley Valentine as "Educating Rita under the Tuscan Sun."

Full Review… | April 30, 2007

Pleasantly quirky comedy-drama.

May 12, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Collins' terrific performance bouys this somewhat awkward adaption of the play.

October 14, 2002
Lawrence Journal-World

This witty, buoyant comedy explores the wild strategy a middle-aged Liverpool matron comes up with to love just being herself.

Full Review… | January 15, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Shirley Valentine


Just a tad bit too silly. Your mom will love Pauline Collins. The rest of the audience, perhaps not. Non a dull sort of way.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Severely dated, but its power is time immemorial. Familiar, funny, realistic and Pauline Collins is mesmerising.

Sarah Burton
Sarah Burton

Super Reviewer

Caught this old favorite yesterday on TV and what a pleasure to see it again. Shirley magnificently throws off the roles inflicted upon her by society and embarks on a two week holiday in Greece. She rediscovers herself and finds liberation and romance. Quite possibly one of the few "chick flicks" that I have enjoyed.

Audrey Lush
Audrey Lush

Super Reviewer

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