Soft Top Hard Shoulder

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Soft Top Hard Shoulder
2013 on demand movie release poster
2013 on demand movie release poster
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Produced by Richard Holmes
Screenplay by Peter Capaldi
Music by Chris Rea
Release date
  • 15 January 1992 (1992-01-15) (general release)
Running time
90 minutes
Country British
Language English
Budget £175,000

Soft Top Hard Shoulder is a 1992 British comedy drama film directed by Stefan Schwartz, produced by Richard Holmes, written by and starring Peter Capaldi and also starring Frances Barber, Jeremy Northam and Richard Wilson.[1]


Gavin Bellini is a Glaswegian artist who left Glasgow for London some 8 years previously, has since neglected to stay in touch with his family in Glasgow. Gavin's family were ice cream makers who had a factory in Glasgow and have recently sold it as Gavin's father is in poor health. By chance he meets his Uncle Salvatore in a London Italian restaurant who sits him down to talk to him about his absence, and gives him the ultimatum that he be in Glasgow in 2 days time at 7:30pm sharp for his Father's 60th birthday party. If he fails to show up, he gets cut out of his father's will.

This then leaves him the problem of how to get to Glasgow as he is broke apart from the £30 that his Uncle Salvatore gives him. He then remembers he has a 1971 Triumph Herald given to him by a Country & Western group for doing the graphics for their album. The story then follows him on his journey from London to Glasgow with lots of comedy, mishaps and an attractive hitchhiker with a story to tell along the way.

The score and title track were composed by Chris Rea.



The film was a surprise hit,[2] and won two Scottish BAFTAS. Critics noted its similarities to Bill Forsyth films.[3]

A re-mastered version was released in December 2013 on Vimeo On Demand.[4]


Year Awards Award Recipient Result
1992 London Film Festival Audience Award Stefan Schwartz Won
1993 BAFTA Scotland Award Best Film Richard Holmes Won
Best Actor Peter Capaldi Won
Best Actress Elaine Collins Nominated


  1. ^
  2. ^ McLean, Marc. "Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi : My wife has been the foundation for my career". Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  3. ^ A, G. "Soft Top, Hard Shoulder". Time Out. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Soft Top, Hard Shoulder - double BAFTA-winning comedy starring Peter Capaldi". Vimeo. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 

External links[edit]