Rita, Sue and Bob Too

Director: Alan Clarke
Screenwriters: Andrew Dunbar

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


Rita, Sue and Bob Too offers the best of British filmmaking: strong and original characters, a gritty locale and a hard-hitting plot with more than a few comic overtones. Amidst a seedy middleclass setting of boarded up houses, overgrown gardens and everpresent pubs, two teenage girls, Rita and Sue, are on the lookout for new adventures. They become embroiled in a menage et trois with Bob, a slightly older, not-so-happily married man. It begins as a laugh,m a scintillating diversion, but soon escalates into a series of confrontations and disappointments.

While never hitting us hard with an overt message, the social significance of Rita, Sue and Bob Too is everywhere present. The film is really about destiny; how middle class dread redirects personal desire to the consolations of drink, the self-righteousness of racism and the monotony of indifference. The sublime desire of its two leads, Rita (Siobhan Finneran) and Sue (Michelle Holmes) is ultimately to secure a friendship that will outlast these and other circumstances.

Screening Details

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