Shirley Valentine (1989) - full transcript

Shirley's a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband's chip'n'egg, wondering what happened to her life. She compares scenes in her current life with what she used to be like and feels she's stagnated and in a rut. But when her best friend wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece for two, Shirley begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light.

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Hiya, wall.

Well, what's wrong with that?

There's a woman 3 doors
down talks to her microwave.

Talking to a microwave!
Wall, what's the world coming to?

I know, I'm wicked, aren't I? ...drinking.

I like a glass of wine
when I'm doing the cooking.

Don't I, wall?

Don't I like a glass of wine when
I'm preparing the evening meal?

Chips n' egg.

Oh, God!

What'll he be like, eh, wall,... my fella?

What'll he be like when he finds out,

he's only getting chips n' egg for his tea?

Well, it's Thursday, you see,

and when it's Thursday it has to be steak.
It's The 11th Commandment.

Moses declared it:

"Though shalt give thy fella steak every Thursday,"

"and if though doesn't, thy fella will
have one big gob on him all night long."

I wouldn't mind, it's not even
my bloody fault about the steak.

You see, this morning, Gillian came 'round.

I don't normally have much to do with Gillian.

I'm not saying she's a bragger,
but if you've been to Paradise,

she's got a season ticket.
She's that type Gillian, you know...

If you've got a headache,
she's got a brain tumour.

Oh, hello, Shirley. It appears your bell isn't working.

Do you think perhaps there's
something wrong with it?

That's how she talks, Gillian.
You know, she begrudges you the breathe.

I dunno. There must be a power-cut.

Ah, well, there you see,
Eric and I have installed solar energy.

Now, we would never be
caught out by a power failure.

Shirley, I've come to ask a favour.
Can you come over for a minute?

Oh yeah, yeah, sure.

You see, Eric and I have to
go away for a couple of days.

Eric's doing a paper in Brussels.
Bloody Brussels!

I said to him, why couldn't it
have been Paris, or even Amsterdam?

- I really find Brussels such a bore.
- Yeah, must be,... all those sprouts.

I made arrangements for
mummy to feed Claymore,

but she finds now, she can't do this evening.

So, if you could manage...

Now, we keep Claymore's food in here.

Now, it's terribly simple, Shirley.

You simply mix his muesli
with about half a pint of milk.

- Doesn't he have meat?

- Oh, Shirley, we haven't had
meat in this house for years!

Didn't you know we'd become vegans?

No, I thought you were still Church of England.

Now, it's one bowl, Shirley...
One bowl, twice a day.

Claymore loves his muesli,
don't you, Clay darling?

A vegetarian bloodhound!

Come on, that's it, Claymore darling.
There... hmm?

Oh, Claymore darling, it's your favourite!

I hope you're not sick.

You only had to take one look at that
dog to see it was well and truly sick...

Sick of the sight of muesli!

Awww, you're off your food?
Because mummy was 5 minutes late with it...

Is that it?

He orders dinner sharp at 17:10,

and then he has a run in the garden.

C'mon, Clay, c'mon. Oh, look, lovely dinner!
That's a lovely dinner!

C'mon, eat it up. C'mon, Clay, c'mon.

Aww, it's not natural, is it?

I mean, if God had wanted
to create a vegetarian dog,

he wouldn't have made you
a bloodhound, would He?

He'd have made you a yogurthound,
or a veggie burgerhound.

You're a bloodhound! You need meat!

Wait 'til ya see what I've got for you!

Mmm, what's this?

You wait 'til you taste this, Clay!
Nice dinner.

You've never tasted anything like this...

Now then, you get your chops 'round this!

C'mon, Clay.

It's your birthday.


Ooo, is that lovely?

Greedy guts! That's Joe's tea you're guzzling!

I think chips n' egg's nice
for a change, don't you?

Mind you, I don't think Joe
will see it quite like that.

Oh, sod it!
Have another glass of wine, Shirley.

I never used to drink wine.
It was our Millandra got me started on this.

She said to me, she said,

everybody drinks wine now.
- I like rum and coke.

For God's sake!
Rum and coke went out with the ark!

Didn't it, Sharon Louise, hmm?

Anyway, they don't sell rum and
coke in here. It's a wine bar!

- Look,... they sell wine.
- What, just wine?

- For God's sake!

But, there's thousands of different
varieties of wine, Mrs. Bradshaw.

- I like Alsatian wine.
- Well, that's what we're gonna have.

Kids! They know everything, don't they?

Our Millandra shares a flat with Sharon Louise.

They're fascinated by sex.

Well, I suppose I'd have been the same
if I'd been born into their generation,

'cause they discovered it, you see...

The clitoris.

"The clitoris kids", I call them,
and good luck to them.

I don't begrudge them a thing.

Mind you, it was different in my day.

D'ya know, d'ya know, when I was a girl,

we'd never even heard of the clitoris.
- Noone had.

In those days, everyone thought it was a case of

in out, in out, shake it all about.

Stars would light up the sky,
and the earth would tremble.

Hey, the only thing that trembled
for me was the headboard on the bed.

D'ya know, the first time I read about it,
I thought it was pronounced "clit-oris"?

I think it sounds nicer that way.

That even sounds like it could
be a name, doesn't it, eh?.

Oh, hiya, Clit-oris, how are ya?

That makes it sound a bit crude somehow.

Oh, shut up. Why not?

Plenty of men walking 'round called Dick.

Well, anyway, that's the way
I thought it was pronounced

when I first mentioned it to Joe.

Ya know, we'd sit there in the front
room one night, and I said to him,...

I said, "Joey". I said, "Joe",

"Have you ever heard of the clitoris?"

He didn't even look up from his paper.

"Yeah", he said,
"But it doesn't go as well as the Ford Escort".

Ah, they were great those mates.

I don't see them anymore.

Ah, well, that's the way it goes.

And now Millandra's gone and,
our Brian's left home as well.

He's living in a squat now in Kirby.

It's like Beirut on a bad day.

Do you like it, mum?

- Well, it's got that lived in look.
- We're gonna plant flowers!

Ah, son!

If you're gonna live in a squat,
couldn't you pick somewhere nice?

Ya know, somewhere like Walton or Childwall?

Mother, Childwall is no place for a poet.

- A what?
- A poet, mum. I've become a poet.

I went down the Jobcentre today,
and signed-on as a poet.

Britain's first ever street poet.

Is there much call for that
sort of thing 'round here?


"Don't rob cars, it's mad, it's bad".

"Think of ya ma's, it'd make 'em sad".

"Ya mothers would get a broken
heart if you got smashed up".

"Get wise, get smart,... don't rob cars!".

- Piss Off!

Poets have always had a hard time of it.

I do miss them though, the kids, don't I, wall?

There's only me and him now.

What's he like,... my fella?
What's he like, eh, wall?

Well, he walked in one night
with a smile on his face,

and we didn't recognise him.
Thought we had a lodger, didn't we?

He used to laugh, Joe. We both did.

Hey, wall, do you remember
when we first moved in here?

Oh, that seems like a long time ago.

We hadn't long been married.



I can do me own makeup, thank you very much.

Oh, sorry, well it's only a speck.

You're bound to get a bit of paint on
you doing a job like this, aren't ya?



- You did that on purpose, didn't ya?
- What?

Little bugger,... you did this!


- No, Shirley, stop!

You bugger!

Ta da!

- No, don't!
- I'll get you!


For you, "Van Gogh".

- This is for you, "Mona Lisa".
- No!

No, don't! Ah, no don't, Joe.
Oh, Joe, please!

You're a bloody nutcase, you!
You're loop-the-loop!

No, you're not kissing me like that!

- Go on!
- Oh, alright.

It's up me nose!

Aren't we the daring young things,
getting a bath together?

- Does this mean we're perverted?
- You're a nutcase, you are!

I love you, Shirley Valentine.

Remember that, wall?

He used to love me
because I was a nutcase.

Now he just thinks I am a nutcase.


It's lovely that. It's not too dry.

Some of it'd strip the palate off ya,
wouldn't it, but this is lovely.

D'ya know what I'd like to do, wall?

I'd like to drink a glass of wine,
in a country where the grape is grown.

Sitting by the sea, just... sipping wine,
and watching the sun go down.

What's going on here?

- Who the bloody hell are you talking to?
- To the wall.

- To the what?
- The wall. Any objections?

Never mind the bleedin' wall.

It's nearly 6 o'clock. Get on with gettin' me tea.

Oh My God!
It's 6 o'clock, and his tea isn't ready!

Will the government collapse?

Does this mean the end of
civilization as we know it?

I always have me tea at 6 o'clock.

So, just think how exciting it'd be,
if for once you had it at 6:15?

It'd make the headlines.
"World Exclusive"... "Joe Eats Late!".

I think... you're going 'round the bend.

Oh, I do hope so, I've always wanted to travel!

- Now, listen...
- No, you listen!

Go and get washed, and go
and sit and watch the telly.

You'll have your tea when it's ready.

I always said I'd leave him when the kids grew up.

But by the time they'd grown up,
there was nowhere to go.

I'm not saying he's bad, my fella.
He's just no bleedin' good.

I don't hate men. I'm not a feminist, not like Jane.

Jane's me mate.

I was having tea with her
in a cafe the other day.

Now, Jane is a feminist.
Well, she likes to think she is.

She reads Cosmopolitan, and she says...

All men are potential rapists.

- Even the Pope?
- Of course,... all men, without exception.



- Him.
- What about him?

Since we arrived, he hasn't taken his eyes off us.

He's spent the whole time undressing us.

Go away!

Good job I put me clean underwear on.

Jane divorced her husband.

I never knew him, it was before I met her.

Apparently, she came home from
work unexpectedly one morning,

and found him in bed with the milkman.

Honest to God! The milkman!

Well, from that day forward, I've noticed...

she never takes milk in her tea.

Shirley, listen.

I went in for a magazine competition, and I won it!

A fortnight's holiday for two in Greece!
How about that?!

Jane, what am I gonna do without you for 2 weeks?

You're the only one I ever talk to.

- I won't half miss you.
- No, you won't,

- because you're coming with me.
- What?

I've got it all fixed. Tomorrow morning,

- we go to the travel agents and pick the tickets up.
- Oh, but Jane, I can't!

- Yes, you can!

- And I don't want a vote of thanks
or a speech about how grateful you are.

You'll be doing me a big favour by coming with me.

All set.

Tuesday week,... and we're off!

I don't suppose you've got a passport, have you?

- No, but Jane, I...
- C'mon.

But, Jane, what about Joe?
Jane, it's impossible.

Of course it's possible. It's perfectly possible.

Just forget about Joe.
You're married to him, not joined at the hip.

Has he ever taken you abroad?

No, he... he'd never go abroad.
He hates travelling.

He gets culture shock when we go to Chester.

Well, that's alright then,
because he's not going, and you are.

D'ya know, if I told Joe I was
going to Greece for a week,

he'd think I was going for the sex.

Well, let him.

- I wouldn't mind, but I'm not
particulary fond of it, sex.

I think sex is like supermarkets.
You know, overrated.

Just a lot of pushing and shoving,

and you still come out
with very little at the end.

You get them out of here.

Listen, Jane, what about Joe?

Look, Shirley, if Joe doesn't want to go abroad...

If he wants to behave like every
other boring, insular, Englishman,

then that's his prerogative.
But you do want to go abroad...

You've said so on many occasions,
and now you can.

That's your prerogative. It's no problem, Shirley.

It's perfectly logical.

I know it's logical. Dead logical,...

but, you can't bring logic into this.
We're talking about marriage.

Marriage is like the Middle East: There's no solution.

Oh, God! Ugh, I look like
the back end of a tram smash!

Right, now then... Come on, bikini.

Bikini? With my stretch marks?!

I'd be arrested for bringing
human form into disrepute!

- Oh, get away!

Listen, Jane, how am I going to tell Joe
that I'm off to Greece for a fortnight?

Oh, by the way, Joseph, umm,...
I'm just popping off to Greece for a fortnight.

Yeah,... I just thought I'd mention it
so you can put it down in your diary.

You won't mind doing your own washing and
cooking for a couple of weeks, will you, doll?

There's nothing to it, babe.

The brown blob on the right of
the kitchen is the washing machine,

and the white blob on the left is the cooker.

And don't get them mixed up,
or you might end up with socks on toast.

Some chance, eh, wall? Some chance.

Jesus, if I go to the bathroom for 5 minutes,

he thinks I've been hijacked!

Still here then, are we?
Haven't forgotten me then, eh?

It won't be long now.

See what I mean?

Oh, I knew I shouldn't have taken the
bloody tickets off her in the first place.

I'll phone Jane tomorrow.

She'll easy find someone else to go with her.

And there was me when I was a girl...

The only thing I ever wanted to do was travel.

I wanted to be a courier, or an air hostess.

But it was only the clever ones
who got to do things like that.

The ones like Marjorie Majors.
I used to sit next to her in class.

- Marjorie?

Miss, although it's often assumed
that Niagra Falls are the highest,

I think in fact it's actually the Angel Falls.

Marjorie took private elocution lessons.

Can you tell me in what country
we would find Angel Falls?

Venezuela, Miss.

- Excellent!
25 house points.

That makes 4 billion house
points she's got so far.

- And let us address
ourselves to my next question.

What was man's most important invention?

Oh, do put your hand down, Shirley.
You couldn't possibly know the answer.

- But, Miss...
- Lorraine?

- It's "Sputnik", Miss?
- No.

But I knew I had the right answer,...

Is it the automatic washing machine, Miss?

- No.

'cause I got it from me dad,...
- The aeroplane, Miss?

and he got it from the "Encyclopedia Britannica".

Well, come along, Marjorie.

The internal combustion engine, Miss.

- No, Marjorie.
- Miss?!

I was nearly wetting myself,
knowing I was on the point of receiving...

43 thousand house points,
a blessing from the Pope,

and the OBE thrown in.

Oh, very well, Shirley. You might as well
get it wrong along with everybody else.

- What was man's most important invention?

Miss, it was the wheel.

Miss, it was the wheel!

Man's most important invention was...
- Somebody must have told you!

Well, how the bleeding hell else could I learn it?

- Be quiet!
- Well, Miss, it's not fair!

Miss. Lloyd, the hymn!

And all me house points,
and me blessing from the Pope

just disappeared before me eyes.

I was never really interested in school after that.

I became... a rebel.

I used to wear my school skirts so high,
you'd have thought it was a serviette.

I was marvellous!

I used to exude boredom out of every pore,

and I hated everything.

- What did you have last lesson?
- Science.

- It's garbage, science.
- It's boring.

What did you do in it?

She showed us this film of
these rabbits having a screw.

- Any good?
- Super boring.

- I don't even like them in stew.
- I hate them,... rabbits.

I hate the world. I hate everything.
It's all garbage. It's last.

It's crap, and I hate it.

But I didn't really hate anything.
The only thing I hated was me.

Hey,... d'ya wanna drag?

- Do you think she'll tell?
- She's a cow, she give me the irrit's.

- Shirley Valentine!

Shirley, I didn't give you away, honestly,
but you shouldn't smoke...

Smoking can damage your health.

And I can damage your health!

God, can't you be evil when you're a kid!

I used to pick on Marjorie something rotten.

And all the time I suppose I
really wanted to be like her.

- Your report is excellent, as usual.

I'm particulary delighted to hear that you're
going to stay on with us to do your A-levels,...

which will lead to your eventual entry into university.

- Congratulations, my dear.

Thank you, Miss.

- And now we come to Miss. Valentine.

Well, Shirley,... naturally, you are leaving us.

And a brief glance at your report
confirms my deep suspicion,...

that you will not go far in life.
Which perhaps is just as well,...

given your marks in geography, you'd truly get lost.

Well, tickle my tits 'til Friday!

- Miss. Valentine, will you please come back!

Of course, after I left I never saw
any more of her, Marjorie Majors...

Then, a few weeks ago,
I was on my way home from town...

You know, loaded down with shopping...

Taxi! Taxi!

Oh, you sod!

I'm terribly sorry.

Forgive me for asking, but...

didn't you used to be Shirley Valentine?

Marjorie Majors.

I'd recognise those elocution lessons anywhere.

It is! It's Shirley!

My God, you're drenched!
Come in and have tea.

Well, Marjorie,... you've waited
a long time for your revenge,

but you got me in good style now.
Well, go on,

dig the knife in quick,
and let's get it over with.

Tell me all about you being
an air hostess on Concord.

I can't believe it, Shirley. After all these years!

I know, and I haven't changed a bit, have I?

Still kept my youthful complection.

We've got to get you out of those wet things.

Here we are.

Thanks, Marjorie.

Oh, that's better.


Now, I want to know everything
that's happened to you.

I want the whole story, from A to Z.

Got a postage stamp? I'll write it down for you.

Won't you sit down, Shirley.

- Do you have children?
- Yeah.

Tell me about them. Are they like you?

Well, our Millandra's a bit of a mare,
and Brian's a headcase,

so, yeah, they are like me.

- Well,... this is great, isn't it?
- Yeah.

- Er,... so, where are you off to next?
- Paris...

- Tonight, I'm afraid
- Is that where you live now?

No, I'm based in London, but er,... I travel all over.

- From Paris, it's Athens, I think.
- It's Greece, isn't it?

- Yeah.
- I remember that from geography.

- All those islands!
- That's right.

- Shall I pour now, Madam?
- Please.

This is my friend Marjorie.
We were at school together.

Marjorie's an air hostess now,... on Concord.

Pardon, darling?

An air hostess?

My God, Shirley, whatever gave you that idea?

I said I travel widely, but I'm not an air hostess.

Darling, I'm a hooker... I'm a whore.

Oh, Madam, I'm, I'm so sorry.
Erm, I'll get you some more.

- Nevermind, just leave it.
What do we want tea for anyway?

This calls for a celebration.

I just can't believe it...
You, a hooker? Honest, Marjorie?

Yes, honest.

And all that money your mother
spent on those elocution lessons!

Do you know something?
I always hated the way I had to speak, I still do.

I think you speak lovely.

- You, Marjorie Majors, a hooker!
- A top class hooker, of course.

Mind you, I always was...
top of the class, wasn't I?

- Are you shocked, darling?
- No... no, I'm not.

I'm just thinking about all those house points!

- I've found it!

- Is that our class?
- Yes.

Oh, God, look at me hair!

- There's your favourite
- Yeah, that cow, Miss. Dearden.

Remember, Marjorie,...
smoking is bad for your health!

- God, what a pain in the neck I was.
- No, you weren't.

You know, I never forgave myself

for what I did to that beautiful souffl? of yours.



Oh, right...

Tell him I'll be down in 5 minutes.

Hell, that's my car for the airport.

Oh, I wish I didn't have to go.
It's been such a lovely afternoon.

Yeah,... and d'ya know when I
first saw you, I almost fled.


Ah,... I thought you'd come lording it over me.

Me, lording it over you?

Don't you realise, I wanted to be like you?

And I wanted to be like you!

If only we'd known.
We could have been great mates...

You know, real close.

- It's been fun, hasn't it?
- Yeah.

Anyway, you're off to Paris now. That's lovely.

Yes, but I'd rather be here, talking to you.

Well then.

- Can we give you a lift?
- No, I'm fine, thanks.

I've still got a bit more shopping to do.

Well then.

And there was real affection in that kiss.

It was the sweetest kiss I'd known in years.

Goodbye, Shirley.
Goodbye, Shirley Valentine.

"Goodbye, Shirley Valentine".

What happened to her?

What happened to Shirley Valentine?

She got married... to a boy called Joe,...

and even though her name
was changed to Bradshaw,

she was still Shirley Valentine for a while.

She knew who she was,...

but somewhere along the way,

the boy called Joe turned into "Him",....

and Shirley Valentine turned into this.

And what I can't remember
is the day, or the week,

or the month, or... when it happened.

When it stopped being good.

When Shirley Valentine disappeared,
and became just another name

on the 'missing persons' list.

He says he still loves me, you know?
But, he doesn't...

It's just something he says.

It's funny, isn't it? "I love you".
It's like it makes everything alright.

Like,... like you can be beaten,
and battered, and half insane,

and if you complain, he'll say,
"What's wrong? You know I love you".

"I love you". They should bottle it, and sell it...

It cures everything.

And I know what you're thinking.

Why don't I leave?

Well, I'm terrified, if you want to know.

I'm terrified that if I left,
there'd be nowhere for me to go.

No place for me in the life beyond the wall.

When I was a girl, I used to jump off our roof.

- Is it ready then?

I get me tea at 6 o'clock, and it's
nearly 10 past. What's going on?

It's ready, sit down.

- What's this then?
- What?

What... is... this?

Well, it looks very like chips n' egg to me,

but maybe it's a trick question.

- It's Thursday.
We have steak on Thursday.

We always have steak on Thursday.

Well, alright it's Thursday,

but we're having chips n' egg for a change.

- You like chips n' egg.
- On a Tuesday...

I like chips n' egg on a Tuesday.

Today is Thursday.

- Well, pretend it's Tuesday.
- Where's me steak?!

- I give it to the dog!
- What dog?!

Gillian's dog, across the street!

Is this it?

Have you finally gone 'round the friggin' pipe?!

Look at me! I'm working from morning 'til night,

working me tripe out, and what do I find?

You, talking to the wall!

Giving me tea to any friggin'
stray dog that comes along,

and I'm expected to eat... this!

Well, I'm... not... eating... this!

I'm... not... eating... shite!

- Chips n' egg.

- Chips n' friggin' egg!

- I'm working all the hours that God sends!

- I don't know why I bother.
- I don't know what I'm doing it all for!

- What's that?
- It's a place.

It's a place I'm going to!

Ahhh, I get it.

That's the name of the game, is it?

I'm not getting fed properly,

because you're saving for a foreign friggin' holiday!

Well, I'm telling you now, you can just forget it!

I am not going to no Greece!

Get it?!

- Oh, hello, Shirley. What are you doing here?

- I'm just buying a few...
- They're quite nice, aren't they?

It's marvellous what they can do with
man made fibres these days, isn't it?

You'd almost think it was silk...

if you weren't familiar with the real thing.

Well, I expect they're quite nice for your Millandra.

Oh, no, Gillian, I'm not buying them for Millandra,

I'm buying them for myself.
Oh, these are better, yes.

Yes, umm, but I shan't be
wearing them for myself...

I shall be wearing them for my lover.

Yes, we fly out tomorrow, my lover and I,

for a fortnight in the Greek islands.

Just 2 weeks of sun, sand, taramasalata,

and whatever else takes our fancy.
Oh, well, I must be off now, Gillian.

Still got a few more things to buy.
I don't suppose you noticed

which counter the garter belts were on, did you?

No? Oh, nevermind, I'll find them. Tara, Gillian.

Passport,... tickets, money.
Passport, tickets, money.

4 o'clock Jane's picking me up. 11:10.

Ugh, I feel sick.

Those travel sickness pills mustn't be working.

I still feel sick, and I've taken 4 already,...

and I've only travelled up n' down the stairs.

Passport, tickets, money.

I got a full one, wall,... passport.

Well, you never know, Shirley,
this could be the start of something.

This year Greece, next year the world.

Oh, God, I knew I should have told him.

10 days I've been secretly ironing, and packing.

It's been like living in a bleedin' prison!

Cooking all his meat for the next fortnight...

They're all in the freezer.

My mother's got to come in and defrost them,

and do his cooking for him.

With a bit of luck,
he won't even notice I'm not here.

Oh, God!

God, look, I know I'm being cruel,

and I know I will have to
pay for it when I get back,

and I don't mind paying for it then,
but just... just do me a favour, God,

and don't make me pay for ir during the 2 weeks.

Keep everyone safe, please.

I hate that Sharon Louise! She's a mare!

I don't know why I ever went to
live with her in the first place!

Mother, I've come back to live with you!

Mother, make me some cocoa
and toast like you used to...

I'm going to me room.

She's a cow, that Sharon Louise.

I don't know why I ever left you, Mother.

Mother, you haven't put
enough sugar in this cocoa.

Will you go down, and get us another spoon?

What am I doing, wall?

She's only been back 5 minutes, and...

she's got me strutting 'round like R2 bleedin' D2!

Ah, thanks, Mother, that's brilliant.

God, I love being back home.

We'll go down town on Saturday,
shall we, Mother? Like we used to.

Do some shopping together, eh?
Just you and me.

- Yeah, that...
- Mother, do us a favour,...

- and bring the telly upstairs, will ya?
- Millandra...

Millandra, I'm really pleased you've come home...

You know, because I've missed you.
- And I've missed you, Mother.

I've been home sick, you know.

I mean, I've never said that.
I've never complained,

because I think kids should have their own lives,

but there's... there's been many a time I'd
loved to have sat and had a talk with you, or,

or gone to town with you, or had a meal,
or shared a laugh...

- Mother...
- Just like... like, not as your Mother, but

as another human being...

- Well, Mother, could you get the telly for us?

Playschool's gonna be on in a minute.

but I couldn't,... because you had your own life...

Your own interests, and your own friends...

None of it to do with me.

Yeah, well, that's okay
'cause now I've come back home.

Yes, you've come home, and that's fantastic,

and, and, you couldn't have picked
a better time for it, 'cause...

It'll be a great help having you
here to look after your Father.

- Why? What's wrong with him?
- Well, there's nothing wrong with him, it's...

it's just with me not being
here for the next 2 weeks.

- What?

- With me and Jane going to Greece,... today...

- You and...? Going to Greece? What for?!

- For 2 whole weeks.
- That Jane,... and you?!

- What's me Father had to say about it?!

- Well,... I haven't told him.

- I think it's a disgrace!
- What?

- Me own Mother behaving like that!

- Millandra, I thought you'd be made up for me.

- Made up? Made up?! I think it's disgusting!

- Hold on, what's disgusting about it?

- 2 middle aged women going
to Greece on their own?

- It's disgusting!
- Oh, don't be silly!

- Love, where are ya going?
- I'm going back to my flat.

- Greece, at your age! You and that Jane!

- It's obscene!

- You are jumping to exactly the
same conclusions as your Father would.

You think I'm off to Greece
on a grab-a-granny fortnight!

That's right, Millandra,
I'm going to Greece for the sex!

Sex for breakfast, sex for dinner,
sex for tea, and sex for supper!

Sounds like a marvellous diet, love!

It is! Have you never heard of it?
It's called the "F" plan!

"You, going to Greece. What for?".

What am I going for?

Shirley, you are one silly bitch!

You're 42, not 22.

Just another stupid woman,
looking for adventure,...

when the time for adventures is over.

Well, I'll phone Jane,... tell her I'm not coming.

- Oh, hello, Shirley, is Joe at home?
- No, Gillian, Joe isn't at home,...

and listen, if you've come to
spill the beans, don't bother...

Shirley, I haven't come to spill any beans.

I just wanted to check
that Joseph wasn't home...

before I gave you... this.

I want you to have it for your trip... to Greece.

Well, do open it.

It is silk. It's never been worn...

You see, I... was never brave enough.

- Oh, Gillian!
- I wish I'd had your bravery.

- Listen, today...
- Please, Shirley, don't say anything.

- It's yours. I just wanted you to know...
I think you're marvellous.

- Gillian!

Gillian really believes it!

All that rubbish about me, taking a lover!

She really believes it's possible!

In her eyes, I'm no longer Shirley Bradshaw,

middle aged housewife, beginning to sag a bit.

I'm Shirley the brave. Shirley the marvellous!

Shirley Valentine!

From now on, when I look in the mirror,

I'm not gonna say, "Christ, you're 42",

I'm gonna say, "Hey, Shirley, you're only 42!
Isn't that marvellous?!"

"Gone to Greece. Back in 2 weeks"




I bet you didn't recognise me.

I hardly recognise myself these days.

I love it here,... don't I, rock?

That's rock. We met the first day I got here.

I found this little place...
I found you, didn't I, rock?

I talk to you,... rock.

He's got his name running right through him.

Now, of course, I talk to rock,
but he doesn't talk to me.

He can't, you see, he's a Greek rock.

He can't understand a bleedin' word I'm saying!

I might have risked the main
beach if I'd have been with Jane,

but on me own, I felt a bit,...
you know, conspicuous.

'Cause Jane met a fella, didn't she.

Not here,... on the plane. Honest to God!

Ladies and gentleman,

would you now please observe
the no smoking sign,

and extinguish all lighted cigarettes.

- Where have you been?
- I told you, just to the loo.

I was beginning to think you'd fallen down it.

Shirley. Shirley,... see him?

What, the walking groin?

Shir', listen, he's just invited me out to dinner.

- What?
- Tonight.

He's got a villa on the other
side of the island from us,

with an olive grove.
Well, Shirl', it's only for tonight.

We'll still do all the things we planned.
You don't mind, do you?

Listen, Jane, I think you've probably blown the

'Feminist of the year' award,
so just leave it out, will ya?

I mean, obviously, it's been a difficult time for you,

since your fella ran off with the milkman,

and now you've got this opportunity,

I don't want you to give another thought to me.

You... you go to his villa, and enjoy yourself.
Give his olives a good pressing!

Shirley,... thanks for being so understanding.


Shirley,... where are ya going?

We said we'd gift you a lift to the ferry.

No, I'm fine on me own, thanks.

Alright, love?

Here we are, love. You sit here.

Oh, no, no, thanks.
I'd rather stand; you can see more.

I don't blame you, love.

You don't know what's
been on these seats, do ya?

D'ya know what I mean?

- We usually go to Laurette, don't we?
- We couldn't get booked, could we?

- Aye, we usually go to Majorca, but...
- Ah, yes.

The travel agent said we'd like it here.

- I'm a bit dubious myself.
- Where's the disco?

- Where's the bar?
- There's more life in a crematorium.

- Oh, Sydney.

It was like I'd come to the far side of Paradise,...

and I loved it.

Jane never did come back that night, you know,...

or the next morning.

At first, I was a bit scared, being on my own,

but then I found this little place.

I thought, why am I so
terrified of being on me own?

I'm and expert at it!
And then I started to relax.

She still hasn't come back, you know,
has she, wall?

They must be marvellous olives!

Funny, isn't it, that if you're a woman on her own,

it doesn't half seem to upset people.

- Hiya, Renos.
- Good evening, Madam,...

- and how are you this evening?

- Marvellous, thanks. How are you?
- Good, I'm good.

I feel a little pain in the back,

but I say to myself, "If I feel a little pain
in the back, at least it means I'm not dead".

Now, tonight I have for you some calamares,...

cooked with a little garlic, yes...
and butter and lemon. Plenty of Lemon!

- It's beautiful.
- Lovely.

- Bon appetit, Madam.
- Thanks.

Now, listen,... you can't go on like this.


It's not right!

We can't help noticing that you're on your own.


So we've arranged for another chair at our table.

Oh, no, no, thanks very much, but...

We want you to come and join us.

- No, no, thanks very much. I'd really much...
- Now, come on, love.

I'll take ya drink.

I wouldn't be surprised if they
all burst out into applause,

'cause I've been rescued from loneliness by

Jeannette and Dougie,... from Manchester.

- Make yourself at home.

Now,... have you got a "jacuzzi"?

- Er,... no.
- Well,...

maybe it's just the thing you've been waiting for,...

because you always wanted a jacuzzi,
didn't you, Jeanette?

I'd had dreams about getting a jacuzzi.
Michael Caine's got one, ya know.


- So, we get this jacuzzi, like,

but what we found was,
we couldn't fit it in our bathroom,...

so, what I did was...

- We built an extension!
- I built an extension, didn't I?

It's a good job we're not having soup,

or I'd put my head in it, and drown myself.

- Finished?
- Well, I couldn't eat that!

You can say what you like...
It's not Laurette, is it?

- Aye, but the thing is, Dougie,
I could like Greece, I could,...

if it were more like Spain.

- I take your point, yeah.

- But, it's not, is it?
- No, it's not, and I'll tell you why...

I'll tell you why Greece isn't like Spain.

Because Greece... well, it's all too Greek.
Take me point?

And that's what's wrong with Greece.

- It's like them fishing boats out there in the bay...

I said to her this morning, didn't I, Thelma?

- I said to her, "If you take a
close look at the side them boats"...

- "You know the bit where it says
the name of the boat builder?"...

- "And I 'll bet you a pound
to a penny, it says Noah".

Didn't I say that to ya? I bloody did!

Okay, excuse me.

You do watch the Olympic games, I take it?

And you do realise it was the Greeks
who invented the Olympic games?

Oh, yes, Jeanette, they invented
a lot of things, the Greeks.

Where do you suppose your jacuzzi came from?

- K-Mart.
- Yes, but who invented it?

The Greeks! Actually, the Greeks.

And it was the Greeks, I'll have you know,

who were responsible for the most
important invention of all... The wheel!

The English? Don't talk to me about the English,

because while the Greeks were building
roads, and cities, and temples,

what were the English doing?
I'll tell you what the English were doing,

they were running around in loincloths,

ploughing up the earth with
the arse bone of a giraffe!

- Madam.

Hey,... mate,... what is this?

- It's calamares, Sir.
- I know that,

but what I'm asking you,... Zorba...

is, what is it?

Sir, it's calamares.

It's a... type of fish!

Well, it don't look much like fish to me.

Sir, I can promise you, it's fish.

This fish was pulled fresh from
sea this evening by my brother,...

in a boat, called, "Noah".

- Enjoy your meal.

They're that type, you know...
If they'd been at the last supper,

they'd have asked for chips.

Very nice the squid, isn't it?


I say, the squid, the octopus,... it's really quite nice.

- Madam...

- You will join with your friends?
- No, I don't think so, Renos.

After what I said at dinner time,
I don't think I'd be too popular, do you?

- Maybe not. Have a good evening.
- Thank you, Renos.

You like something?

Er, yeah, I'd like a drink please.

Sure... Gin, whisky, what?

Er, no, wine. Weak,... weak wine.

- Ah, retsina?

- Will I like that?
- It's Greek. I think you like.

Spiro, retsina.

Hey, hey, hey, excuse me.

I know this sounds a bit soft, but would you mind,...

I mean like, would you object if I was
to move this table and chair over there

by the edge of the sea?

You want I move table, chair to edge of sea?

- Yeah.
- Why?

You don't like my bar?


it's a lovely bar, it's,...

it's just that I've got this soft little dream about

sitting at a table by the edge of the sea.

Ah, a dream.

So, I move table to edge of sea,...

I make your dream come true?

Yeah, I think so.

Sure, it's no problem.

- Thanks.
- Oh, it's my pleasure.

I move table to sea, and tonight in my bar,

I can tell the customers, "Tonight...", er,...

"Tonight, I make someone's dream come true".

It's funny, isn't it?

You know, when you picture something,...

and you've imagined how something's going to be...

Well, it never turns out like that, does it?

I mean, for weeks I've pictured myself sitting here,...

sitting here, drinking wine, by the sea,

and, and, I knew exactly how I was going to feel.

Now I'm here, it doesn't feel a bit like that.

I don't feel at all lovely, and serene. I feel...

pretty daft, actually.

- And awfully,...

- awfully old.

- I've lead such a little life,...

and even that could be over pretty soon.

I have... allowed myself to lead this little life,

when inside me, there is so much more,...

and it's all gone unused,...

and now it never will be.

Why do we get all this life if we don't ever use it?

Why do we get all these...


and dreams, and hopes...

if we don't ever use them?

That's where Shirley Valentine disappeared to.

She got lost in all this unused life.


they are never in the place you expect them to be.

Come, I er,... I escort you to your hotel.


I am... I am Costas Demitriadis.

I'm Shirley...

- Hello.
- Hello.

Thanks for seeing me home.

No, I er,... I enjoy it.


Er,... tomorrow, you want come with me?


I... I take brother's boat. We go round the island.

Oh, no, no, thanks.

I mean, honestly, you've been really kind, but...

No, it's no problem.

It's no problem. It's my pleasure.
I umm, I come bring you early.

No,... no, no, really. I don't think I should, because...

- You're afraid.
- No, no, of course not.

You're afraid.

You're afraid that, I want make fuck with you.



Of course, I want make fuck with you...

You are beautiful woman...

A man would be crazy not to
want make fuck with you,

but... I don't ask you to fuck.

I ask to come on brother's boat.

Different thing.

Boat is boat,...

fuck is fuck.

- Absolutely... bloody... charming!

So, I er,... I come er,...
tomorrow morning 9 o'clock umm,

I bring food, I bring wine, and we go.

Er, tomorrow umm,... I just er,...
make you happy, eh?

No need to be sad.

- And no need to be afraid.
I give word of honour...

I don't try... to make fuck with you.



See ya in the morning.

Oh, God,... he's come up to me room!

Alright, I'm coming!

Oh, Shirley, can you forgive me?

I've been completely selfish, haven't I?

But I'm going to make it up to you.

- Oh, c'mon, say you forgive me.

- Let's make today the real start of our holiday.

I've hired the car. We'll tow the island...

- Stop off and have lunch somewhere really nice,
just the 2 of us.

Oh, Shirley, can you forgive me?

Of course I forgive you.

- Awww.

I know you must have been
having the most awful time.

I suppose you've just been sitting here,
talking to the wall, haven't you?

Nevermind, I'll do a quick change,
and we'll get straight off.

Yes, what is it, room service?

Shirley, did you order something?


Shirley, you come now?... You late!

I put umm,... food, wine on boat,
and I wait down, but you don't come.

Then... I realisation... umm...

Shirley and me, we are er,
going bed so late last night,


- probaby, she's er, overslept.

Oh,... yeah.

- So, umm,... you come now?

I er,... I wait down.

Please... Please hurry.

Oh, I... I umm, apologise for the interrupt...

You may now continue cleaning room.


What are you playing at?!

Me?! You're the one that went
off with the 'walking groin'!

Now, look, Shirley,
you've never been abroad before.

- You don't know what you're doing.
- Jane, he's just a kind man.

Oh, Shirley! Men like that,
these Greek islanders,...

they're just waiting for bored, middle aged women!

Don't you dare!


I just hope you know what you're doing.

I hope for your sake, you're going to be safe.

Oh, I'm sure I will. He's a very good sailor...

And anyway, he's given me his word of honour,

he won't try and make fuck with me.

Dougie! Jeannette! How are you both?

This is my friend Jane.

I was just telling her what
a marvellous couple you are.

Do you know what she said?

She said, she'd love to spend an
hour or 2 on the beach with you.

Bye, bye, Jane.

Well, we were just off to the beach, actually.

You come with us, love. You're more than welcome.

I'm steering the boat, you know.

Shall we try to pass in this direction...

Er, there we are going to find er, small bay.

Very beautiful...

There we are going to fish,...

er, we eat, drink,... talk.

Come on.

- ...but with the rope, you know...
- Ohhh...

- What is it with you, Costas?
- No, I don't, er...

You really know how to talk to women, don't you?

Well, I...

I mean, most fellas, you know,

they've got no idea how to talk to a woman.

- No?
- No.

They feel they have to take over the conversation.

I mean... I mean, with most fellas,
if you say something like...

like, "My favourite season's Autumn", they go,

"Oh, is it? My favourite season's Spring",

and then you've got 10 minutes of them
talking about why they like Spring,

and you aint talking about Spring...
You're talking about Autumn.

So, what d'ya do?

Talk about what they want to talk about,...

or you don't talk at all,...
or you wind up talking to yourself.

You don't do that.

No, I know...

I er,... I just like er, listen...

Also look.

For you, I umm,...

I happy.

Hey, Costas,...

how deep do you think it is down there?

- Oh, maybe a thousand metres.
- Go away!

Maybe er, maybe 10 thousand. Who knows?

Maybe... maybe it's so deep,

it will go on forever.

- I wanna jump in.
- Do you wanna swim?

I wanna jump off the roof!

I think umm,... Shirley Valentine is umm,

little bit crazy.


Shirley Valentine is loop-the-fucking-loop!


The only thing is, I... I haven't got me cozzy on.

Now, cozzy, what is?

My swimming costume.



It's marvellous to be with such a good man.

I know whatever happens,
he won't take anything from me.

I know he'll keep his promise.

The truth is, I don't want him to.

Oh my God!...

Where did that orchestra come from?!



He kissed me stretch marks!

You kissed my stretch marks!

Oh,... my,...


don't be too stupid to try to hide these lines.

They... they are lovely,

because they are part of you,

and you are lovely,

so, don't umm,...

don't hide.

Be proud, eh. Show them.

These... these marks show that er,...

That you're alive...

That you survive.

Don't try to hide these lines.
They are the marks of life.

Aren't men full of shit?!

I think I've fallen in love.

Oh, for God's sake, Shirley!

You're acting like a stupid teenager!

I s'pose the next thing you're gonna tell me was that

the earth moved.

Jane, I thought there'd been an earthquake.

Oh, spare me the details,... please!

Oh, listen, Jane...

Jane, listen!

I... I haven't fallen in love with him.

It was sweet. It was a day full of... kindness,

but I haven't fallen in love with him!

- Pffft.

I haven't fallen in love with him,...

I've fallen in love with the idea of living.


I mean, why'd she have to do this to me?

If she wanted to go on holiday...

all she had to do was ask. I'd have let her.

There was no need for deceit.

I mean, I may not be the best
husband in the world,... wall,

but I love her.

I do, I love her... Honest!


- Are they good?
- Yes, good flowers.

- How much is it?
- 500

Here ya are.

- Thank you very much.
- Oh, thank you.

- Bravo, Miguelo! Bravo!

- Bravo, Miguelo!


Come this way, come... Join the family.

My neice is becoming married.

No, no, I can't.

- I would be interfering...
- Oh, come, come, look, please.

It's good... it's good that we meet here.


- You enjoy this wedding?
- It's wonderful!

The man that standing there, in the denim jacket...

I'll tell you something really funny...

For 2 years...
- Sorry, Madam, I need to borrow Costas!

Shirley... Shirley...

Where are you going?

You don't like my family, my friends?

Oh, no, Costas, they're lovely!

So, why... why you go?

I just... I just wanna be on my own for a bit.

Do you undertstand?

You... you are again sad?


No, I'm not sad, it's...

just that I go back home... soon.

Back to your own life.


Go on,.... go, go back, they're all waiting for ya!


- I... I see you tomorrow?
- Yeah, see you tomorrow.

I've got this thought in my head.

This shocking thought,

and it won't go away.

I keep trying to think of other things,...

to make this thought go away, but it won't.

It's always there, in me head.


if for some reason... I didn't go back home,...

who would miss me?


- 2 coffees, please.
- Oh, yeah.

Yeah, 2 coffees... Right.

I mean, look...

If I didn't go back, who would really care?

They... they... they'd notice I wasn't there,
but they wouldn'y miss me,... would they?

Why should I go back to being that woman,
when that woman isn't needed anymore?

I told ya,...

there's nothing else for me to do.


- Shirley, who are you talking?
- The wall, Costas...

Just the wall.

My God!

Excuse me, waiter.

I'm serious, Jane. I mean it.

Oh, for God's sake!
What about your children, for a start?!

What about them? They're grown up.

Jane, I've spent 20 odd years, rearing them,

looking after them 'til they were
old enough to make their own way,

and they have... They've gone.

Oh, I mean, they'll say it's awful...
They'll say it's terrible

to have a Mother who went on holiday,
and didn't come back, but...

they'll get over it.

I mean,...

would it cause anyone any real
suffering if I didn't go home?

- Would it, Jane?
- Shirley, every year,

millions and millions of people go on holiday,

and every year, those same millions and
millions of people have such a good time

that they don't wanna go back.

- Yeah, but just supposing...
- And that's all there is to it.

Now, if you don't mind, Shirley,
I'm trying to order lunch.

Can we have 2 Greek salads please?

- And... stuffed tomatoes.
- Yeah.

- And is the mussaka special?
- Yes.

- Yeah, mussaka special please.
- And one lamb with green beans.

- Yeah,...

because we don't do what
we want to do, do we?

We do what we have to do,
and pretend it's what we want to do.

And what I want to do is to stay here,
and be Shirley Valentine,...

but what I have to do is to go back,...

back to being Saint Joan of the kitchen sink.

- Shirley, come on, it's just going!
- I'm coming!

Goodbye, Renos... thanks.

Madam, you come back next year, I hope.

- Oh, Renos, I hope.
- Good trip, Madam.

Thank you, Renos.

- Shirley, your bags are onboard. Come on!

Shirley! There you go.

Costas,... we said goodbye.

Yes, but umm,... I am here.


Goodbye, Shirley...

Goodbye, Shirley Valentine.

See ya, Costas.

- Ohhh...
- Ohhh...

- There are 2 of you?
- Yeah, 2.

Thank you.

Right then.

Your attention please...

This is the last call for Olympic
Airways flight 259, to Manchester...

Closing now at gate number 1.


Shirley, where are you going?!


- She's gone.
- What d'ya expect?


- And tomorrow, we take my brother's boat...

Go all round the island. Afraid?

Afraid that I want try make fuck with you.


But I don't ask to try to make fuck with you, I...

I ask to come brother's boat.
It's different thing...

Boat is boat, and fuck is... fuck.

My goodness!
E... e... excuse me for one moment.

It's alright, Costas, you don't have to worry.

You lose the plane?

Don't worry, Costas, I haven't come back for you!

I've come back for a job. A job in this taverna.

- You sure? You... you want work here?
- Yeah, why not?

I mean, this place could do with someone to sort it out.

I mean, given the amount of time
you spend on your brother's boat.

Sorry, Joe,... she's not coming back.

...and I'll tell you what, and I'll tell you what,
I said, "Never again, Douglas".

Someone to see you on the telephone.

- Hello.
- You're a disgrace!

A bloody disgrace,... to... t... to the children,

to me,... to yourself!

I'm a laughing stock.
That's what I am, a laughing stock!

- Listen, Joe, umm, I can't talk now, I'm busy.

- Ya busy doing what? What ya doing?

I'm... I'm working. D'ya understand?

No, I bloody don't understand!

I've taken time from work because of you.

- Stop this arsing around,
and get yourself back home!

I've had just about enough...



Shirl', are you there?

- Here, Miss? Er, what's this er, klef...
- Kleftiko. It's very nice.

- Oh, you're English!
- Well, what a relief!

- Well, what is this klef... klef...?
- Kleftiko. Oh, it's lovely.

It's lamb cooked very,
very slowly in oregano.

- No, I... I... I don't think so.
- It's all bit umm, umm,...

Tell ya what. Listen er, it's not on the menu,

but would ya like me to do
ya both some chips n' egg?

- Ohhh, yes!
- Smashing!


- I'm phoning from work, because
our phone's out of order, that's why.

- Why?

It's costing me a bleeding
fortune this time of the day...

Now, listen to me, Shirl',...

you belong back here!

Don't put the phone down.
Don't... Hello, Shirley?

Now, listen,...

Jane's told me all about it, you know, about umm,...

about you, making a fool of yourself
with this holiday romance thing.

- No... no, Joe, you've got it all wrong.

- O... o... okay umm,... alright,
okay, it happens, okay,

middle aged women makes fools of
themselves when they go abroad,

but look, I'm prepared to
forgive ya, if you're prepared

to promise that you'll get yourself on a plane,

and get yourself back home.

Joe, will ya listen for one moment?
Will ya just listen?!

The only holiday romance I've had is with myself,...


and I think I've come to like myself really.

I think I'm alright.

I think if I saw myself, I'd say, "That woman's okay".

- But, Shirl', ya can't just run away from life.

- That's right, Joe, I agree with you!

And now that I have found some life,

I have no intention of running away from it.

- But you belong back here.

- Please, Joe. It's no good to keep phoning,

because I'm not coming back.

Can't you understand? I'm not coming home.

But, Shirley, don't you understand, love,...

you don't know what you're saying,

because you're going through the... the change of life.

That's right, Joe. That's exactly what it is...

It's a change of life.

Why don't you go and see her, Dad?

She's in Greece.
She's not down the soddin' road!

- So? Go to Greece!.
- Go to Greece...

I've got a business to run!

What is it with people when they get old?

Old?... Who's old? I'm only in my forties.

Yeah, I know,... but you're frightened, aren't ya?

Frightened of what?

You're frightened of anything that's different, Dad.

I used to like you,... I did!
You were great, you know...

Used to laugh, used to talk to us all.

You've not half become a boring bastard.

Oh, here she is!

- Chips n' egg?
- Smashing!

- Hello, Costas.
- Hello, Shirl'.


come for you, one telegram.

- Oh...

Bad news?


- No, not really, it's from Joe.
- Ah.

He's coming to fetch me, to take me back home.

God, love him.
He must have been watching "Rambo"!


- What, Joe is coming here?
- Yeah.

- When er, when he come?
- Er, Friday.

- Friday er,... tomorrow Friday?
- Yeah.

Yeah, that's, ohhh, it's pity because...
umm, I received telephone call,

I must go... er, in Athens.
Er, my sister's very sick... umm,....

she want me to... to be.


I sorry.

You understand, Shirley?

Ohhh, yeahhh, Costas, of course I understand!

Goodnight, Shirley.

- Goodnight, Julie. Goodnight, John.

Aww, I hope he stays for a while.

He needs a holiday.

He needs to feel the sun on his skin,

and to be in water that's as deep as forever.


I didn't recognise ya.

I know.

I used to be the Mother. I used to be the wife,...

but now I'm Shirley Valentine again.

Would you like to join me for a drink?



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