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Gregory's Girl (1980)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Cumbernauld. Gregory is among a group of boys who have chosen to spend their evening concealed in trees near a housing estate, watching a young nurse undress through her uncurtained window. The sight proves too much for Andy, who faints with excitement.

Later, Gregory comes off the football pitch following the school team's eighth successive defeat. Coach Mr Menzies declares it is time for some new blood. He will hold trials for Gregory's forward position; Gregory will be given a trial period in goal, replacing the hapless Andy.

On his way to school, Gregory narrowly avoids being run over by one of his father's driving students. His father extends an invitation to meet over breakfast later in the week.

At the football trials, one of the girls, Dorothy, turns up expecting to play. Ignoring Mr Menzies' objections, she proceeds to wipe the floor with her male rivals. Nevertheless, Mr Menzies is reluctant to offer her a place, telling her to wait and see. Gregory, watching, has no such doubts: he is completely smitten by Dorothy's grace and skill, and later tells his culinarily-obsessed friend, Steve, that he is in love.

In her first match, Dorothy scores. Gregory, who makes a less auspicious debut in goal, is horrified when even the opposing team rush to embrace her in congratulation. Later, Gregory is embarrassed when Dorothy enters the boys' dressing room looking for plasters, but exploits the opportunity to talk with her. Dorothy expounds on her desire to live in Italy, until they are interrupted by Gordon and photographer Eric from the school newspaper, there to conduct an impromptu interview with the new football star.

Hoping to impress Dorothy, Gregory enquires about learning Italian. In Science class, Dorothy and her friend Susan discuss Gregory. Dorothy thinks him slow and awkward, but Susan thinks he has a nice laugh. The English lesson is interrupted when ex-pupil Billy arrives to clean the windows. Meanwhile, Steve is in the headmaster's study, taking the latter's weekly cake order. The head is uncomfortable when Mr Menzies arrives to discuss Dorothy's position in the football team. After assurances from Mr Menzies that everything will be above board, the head concludes that it is an excellent idea.

While Billy waits for Steve, Andy and the others, Gregory's 10-year-old sister, Madeline, waits for her brother. Billy mistakes her for Gregory's girlfriend. When the others arrive, Billy boasts about a window cleaner's unique access to lonely women. Gregory and Madeline leave the others, and Madeline dispenses wise advice on how to handle Dorothy.

Gregory buys a portrait of Dorothy from Eric for 25 pence; he later discovers that Eric is doing roaring trade selling the pictures for 10 and 15 pence each. Dorothy asks Gregory to keep goal for some ad hoc football practice. Despite ineptly failing to stop any of her shots, Gregory ceases the opportunity to ask for a date; to his surprise and delight, she accepts for that night. Meanwhile, after another failed attempt to chat up girls, Andy tells his friend, Charlie, about the town of Caracas, South America, where there are eight women to every man.

After last-minute coaching from Madeline, and sporting Steve's white jacket, Gregory waits for Dorothy. Eventually, Carol, another girl from the school, arrives to tell him that Dorothy won't be coming. She agrees to walk with him to get some chips, but Gregory becomes uncomfortable when she goes into a phone box to change into a revealing outfit. At the chip shop, Carol passes a confused Gregory on to another schoolfriend, Margo, who, after a short walk, passes him on to a waiting Susan. Susan offers Gregory a date; after some consideration, he accepts.

In the Country Park, Gregory and Susan indulge in a spot of dancing while lying on the ground. They are interrupted by Eric and his young assistant, and they mock him for his obsession with numbers. Later, Gregory and Susan kiss on his doorstep while quoting random numbers to each other. Afterwards, Madeline coaxes the story out of a happy Gregory.

Andy and Charlie abandon their attempt to hitchhike to Caracas as Dorothy jogs into the night.