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Gregory’s Girl (1982, John Gordon Sinclair, Claire Grogan)

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The widely acclaimed second feature from Bill Forsyth is an evergreen classic that offers an affectionate take on adolescent romance with a wonderful wry humour.

The witty and endearing screenplay, by director Bill Forsyth, casts JOHN GORDON SINCLAIR as an appealingly daft 16-year-old Scottish schoolboy with two burning passions – football and how to get a girlfriend. His passions coincide when his place on the school football team is taken by a 16-year-old schoolgirl, DEE HEPBURN, with whom he falls in love. The film engagingly charts the inventive process of Sinclair’s hopeful courtship, ending with a date that turns out to be very different from his expectations.

Forsyth’s first film, That Sinking Feeling (1979), was a low budget gem about a group of out-of-work Glaswegian youngsters who, deciding that there has to be “more to life than committing suicide”, carry out a lunatic scheme to steal several hundred stainless steel sinks. This finding of humour in unlikely situations was replicated in Gregory’s Girl, Local Hero (1983) and the tale about the ice-cream wars in Glasgow, Comfort and Joy (1984).

Gregory’s Girl exactly captures teenage angst and found favour in America, with Roger Ebert finding, ‘This movie is a reminder that we tend to forget a lot of things about adolescence. For example; that boys are absolutely helpless in the throes of teenage romance, whereas girls tend to retain at least some perspective… The movie contains so much wisdom about being alive and teenaged and vulnerable that maybe it would even be painful for a teenager to see it… Maybe only grown-ups should see this movie. You know, people who have gotten over the pains of unrequited love (hollow laugh).’

production details
UK | 91 minutes | 1981

Writer and Director: Bill Forsyth
Script: Bill Forsyth,

cast
Alex Norton as Alec
John Gordon Sinclair as Gregory (as Gordon John Sinclair)
Dee Hepburn as Dorothy
Jake D’Arcy as Phil Menzies
Clare Grogan as Susan
Robert Buchanan as Andy
Billy Greenlees as Steve (as William Greenlees)
Allan Love as Eric
Chic Murray as Headmaster
Caroline Guthrie as Carol
Allison Forster as Madeline
John Bett as Alistair
Dave Anderson as Gregory’s Dad
Douglas Sannachan as Billy