Review: ‘Soft Top Hard Shoulder’

Scotland gets its first road movie with Soft Top Hard Shoulder, a wafer-thin but likable addition to the genre.

Scotland gets its first road movie with Soft Top Hard Shoulder, a wafer-thin but likable addition to the genre.

Gavin Bellini (scripter Peter Capaldi) is a crazy Italo-Scot trying to make it as an illustrator down south in London. Meeting his Uncle Sal (witty Richard Wilson) by chance, he learns he has 36 hours to make it to his father’s surprise 60th birthday party in Glasgow if he’s to collect a chunk of family money.

Hitting the highways in a bronchial old auto, he quickly meets kooky hitchhiker Yvonne (Elaine Collins), a resourceful Glaswegian. Rest of pic follows the familiar route of the pair’s love-hate relationship, stopovers and breakdowns, capped by a happy ending.

Capaldi’s script comes up with plenty of incident. When it’s good, it’s very good, with plenty of dry Scots humor, but other sections lack zing.

Soft Top Hard Shoulder

UK

Production

Gruber Bros./Road Movies. Director Stefan Schwartz; Producer Richard Holmes; Screenplay Peter Capaldi; Camera Henry Braham; Editor Derek Trigg; Music Chris Rea; Art Director Sonja Klaus

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Peter Capaldi Elaine Collins Frances Barber Simon Callow Phyllis Logan Richard Wilson
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