BFI introduction to this special screening:
Newly remastered and reissued, Rita, Sue and Bob Too is a controversial comic drama about two adolescent school girls who start seeing a married man with no initial concern for the consequences. Directed by Alan Clarke and written by playwright Andrea Dunbar, the film has 1980s Britain running through it, and boasted the strapline ‘Thatcher’s Britain with her knickers down’. For some it was uncomfortable, and for others joyful, but either way, it’s a striking piece of writing and filmmaking. We will be joined by some of the people who made it all possible as we re-evaluate its importance as a great British film.
Chicago Reader review:
Rita (Siobhan Finneran) and Sue (Michelle Holmes), two teenagers in the north of England who are the best of friends, lose their virginity to Bob (George Costigan), a suburban husband they sometimes baby-sit for, and before long their amicable three-way relationship is scandalizing the neighbors and members of their families, including Bob’s wife Michelle (Lesley Sharp). Shot in and around the town of Bradford in long, loping takes, this sprightly comedy, adapted by Andrea Dunbar from her own play, has some of the energy that one associates with the better exploitation films that used to be produced by Roger Corman. Television director Alan Clarke has a fine time showing how the working-class white and Pakistani communities rub shoulders with the middle class, and although the plot has curious omissions — we never discover, for instance, what Bob does for a living — the spirited acting and direction turn this into something of a lark.
Here (and above) are extracts.