Shirley Valentine (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shirley Valentine1989

Shirley Valentine (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Shirley Valentine Photos

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).

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Pauline Collins
as Shirley Valentine-Bradshaw
Tom Conti
as Costas
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
Honora Burke
as Londoner's Wife
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
View All

Critic Reviews for Shirley Valentine

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (2)

There were moments during the movie when I cringed at the manipulative dialogue as the heroine recited warmed-over philosophy and inane one-liners when she should have been allowed to speak for herself.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Classic British comedy challenges gender stereotypes; sex.

January 23, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A marvelous women's film that gives us a '70s heroine instead of an '80s heroine.

September 9, 2019 | Full Review…

You don't have to be her age to appreciate her attitude, humor and candor.

August 16, 2017 | Full Review…

An obnoxious and thoroughly tedious piece of work...

January 12, 2011 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

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

April 30, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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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