Monday, May 12, 2008

Gregory's Girl (1981)


Anonymous said...

I actually really like that film and still do. And it is very funny. Gregory's sister is fantastic with her "wise woman" act.

"Bella, Bella"....

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

Wasn't there some nasty "20 years on" remake/"Whatever happened to Gregory and Gregory's Girl" (I presume) lottery-funded flop?

Darren said...


Brilliant film. One of my all time favourites. Unfortunately, the version I cite above happens to be the version that was released in the States. Yep, a dubbed soundtrack with accents that were supposedly more palatable for an American audience.

Watching it was painful.


Harsh. Very harsh.

I was once cynical like your good self. Saw the film in the cinema when it was first released and hated it with a passion. How dare they mess with one of my all time favourite films?

Fast forward a couple of years and I pick up a copy of the video in the bargain bin of a blockbuster for a couple of quid. I decided to give the film another chance and have since warmed to the film.

Yep, it's a bit creaky in places and it could never match the belly laughs of Gregory's Girl - christ, I love that film - but the idea of John Gordon Sinclair's character becoming an English teacher at the very school where he was once a pupil is a sweet idea.

Throw in the business of him being a subscriber to New Internationalist, whose been known to spend his Saturday nights alone watching Chomsky videos but who chances upon a sing-song and a booze up with some political exiles from Pincohet's Chile in deepest Cumbernauld and you have a half-decent and gently subservise film.

I'm glad that my scratch card addiction contributed in some small way to the cultural landscape of the country.

Now, if I could only get a copy of the film in the States - never been released on video or dvd over here - I could then pepper the blog with snatches of dialogue from the film for the next six months.

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

I enjoyed the original though. And, of course, it was Gordon John Sinclair in those days.

Darren said...


According to the film poster, you're right. Weird that. I've always thought of him as John-Gordon.

If you ever get the chance, check out Forsyth's first film, 'That Sinking Feeling'.

Just as funny, if not more so.

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

Is it set in a new town?

Darren said...

Nah, it's set in Glasgow before it smiled better.

Anonymous said...

But couldn't bring myself to watch the follow-up as NO Clare Grogan.

The inhumanity comrades!!!

Darren said...

"But couldn't bring myself to watch the follow-up as NO Clare Grogan.

The inhumanity comrades!!!"

Aah, the Claire Grogan fixation. I never really got that but that might be because I wasn't of a certain age when Altered Images decided to squat Top of the Pops for a few months back in the early eighties.

However, I did once get on a train at Euston Station that was traveling to Lancaster, and she happened to sit down diagonally across from me. To stop myself from burbling my love for all things Gregory's Girl and thus weirding her out, I had to pretend I was asleep for three hours.

I was a strange youth.

Highlander said...

Don't see the attraction of Claire Grogan myself (even with my eyes half-closed at fourty paces) but I do remember Gregory's Girl being on at the Dominion Cinema in Edinburgh (Morningside way) for, what seemed like, most of the 80s. I swear it was on for years.

Darren said...


Don't get me wrong. I've got a lot of time for Altered Images. Loved their early wannabe Siouxsie and the Banshees phase and even liked their segue way into sugary pop. ('Don't Talk To Me About Love' is one of the classic singles from '83.)

And could I just state for the record that I got into 'That Sinking Feeling' before 'Gregory's Girl'. I don't want anyone thinking that it was a case of 'second album syndrome'.

That might have been my experience with Heaven 17, but it wasn't my experience with Bill Forsyth.

Will said...

Re: Claire Grogan

I saw her at Edinburgh airport about three weeks ago - she was sitting by herself outside the international arrivals area.

No lie.

Darren said...


why would you lie?

Now if you said it was Sarah Silverman, I would have known you were bullshitting, 'cos three weeks ago I was stalking her in the East Village.

Duncan Money said...

I was a strange youth.

I played Gregory when we did 'Gregory's Girl' as a school play when I was in Year 11.

I still cringe about that.

Darren said...

"I played Gregory when we did 'Gregory's Girl' as a school play when I was in Year 11."


Yeah, but that's what got you into Oxford. And there was you thinking that it was your A Level results that gained you a free pass into the Bullingdon Club. Daftie ;-)

Your accent couldn't have been any worse than the one I heard on the dubbed version made for an American audience.

Though IMDB refuses to come clean on the matter, I swear I recognised one of the dubbed voices on the film. I'm sure that it was Brian Pettifer who did the voice of Robert Buchanan's Andy character in the American version of the film.

That's fine if you like schoolboy actors sounding like 45 year olds with a smoker's cough, but I wasn't convinced myself.

And the bloke overdubbing the actor playing Gregory's dad? His accent was posher than that of the late Nicholas Fairburn. If the film had been made in 1991 rather than 1981, I seriously think that they would have got Hugh Grant in to do the overdub of John Gordon Sinclair's voice. ;-)

JC said...

Clare Grogan.....the girl I once plucked up the courage to dance with at Strathclyde Students Union....then I made an arse of myself by jokingly proposing that she marry me forthwith.

No real surprise that she very impolitely turned her down.

My wife knows of the Clare fixation that I've had all my life. But she put my gas at a peep by saying that the 45/46 year old Clare (its one or the other), bears a frightening resemblance to the very creepy UK TV presenter Gillain McKeith.

Look here and decide for yourself....

(especially the photo that publicises 'The Food Bible'

Darren said...

" . . . frightening resemblance to the very creepy UK TV presenter Gillain McKeith."

I think that's a bit harsh myself. It's a bit like saying that I look at bit like George Clooney 'cos he had an overgrown beard in Syriana.

Can I expect some Altered Images in your top ten? Like I said before, 'Don't Talk To Me About Love' is one of the most perfect pop songs of the early eighties in my book.

Oh, and now I think about it: Didn't John Gordon Sinclair appear in the video for 'Bring Me Closer'?