Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here Information

Wish You Were Here is a 1987 British drama/comedy film starring Emily Lloyd and Tom Bell. The film was written and directed by David Leland. The original music score was composed by Stanley Myers.


Sixteen-year-old Lynda Mansell (Emily Lloyd) lives in a small English seaside town in the early 1950s. She is feisty and precocious and always shocks other people with her vulgar and saucy tongue (her favourite insult is "Up yer bum"). She is also naive and easily taken advantage of. Bored with conventional jobs (which she frequently loses) and her town's dull young men, Lynda has her first sexual experience with Dave (Jesse Birdsall) but after she has slept with one of her father's middle-aged friends (Tom Bell), her life changes. She becomes pregnant and her father, a somewhat rigid and conventional man, disowns her. Desperately she tries to seek an illegal abortion but in the end decides to become a mother.

"Wish you were here" is a sigh Lynda makes because of her dead mother, who understood her and protected her from her intolerant father. Beneath her cheeky exterior, Lynda is a vulnerable girl who seeks love and a place in life; she lives in a time when it was difficult for teenagers like her to do that in their own way.

This movie was based loosely on the memoirs of the British madam Cynthia Payne as an adolescent growing up on the Sussex coast. It was filmed in the Sussex towns of Worthing and Bognor Regis.


  • Emily Lloyd as Lynda Mansell
  • Tom Bell as Eric
  • Jesse Birdsall as Dave
  • Clare Clifford as Mrs. Parfitt
  • Barbara Durkin as Valerie
  • Geoffrey Hutchings as Hubert Mansell
  • Charlotte Barker as Gillian
  • ChloŽ Leland as Margaret
  • Charlotte Ball as Lynda (aged 11)
  • Pat Heywood as Aunt Millie
  • Abigail Leland as Margaret (aged 7)
  • Geoffrey Durham as Harry Figgis
  • Neville Smith as Cinema manager
  • Heathcote Williams as Dr. Holroyd
  • Val McLane as Maisie Mathews
  • Susan Skipper as Lynda's Mother
  • Lee Whitlock as Brian
  • Sheila Kelley as Joan Figgis


Wish You Were Here has an overall approval rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Awards and honors

  • 1987: Evening Standard British Film Awards Emily Lloyd for Best Actress
  • 1987: National Society of Film Critics Emily Lloyd for Best Actress
  • 1988: BAFTA Award David Leland for Best Screenplay
  • 1988: BAFTA Award Nomination Best Actress

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