Friday, 30 April 2010

The Pure Hell of St Trinian's (1960)

George Cole (Flash Harry), Joyce Grenfell (Sergeant Ruby Gates) and Lloyd Lamble (Superintendent Samuel Kemp-Bird) are back along with a new set of girls and a few new cast members. The film starts with St Trinian's being burnt to the ground - by the girls, of course, and deliberately... of course. A funny courtroom sequence follows but thanks to one of the sixth formers catching the judge's eye, a proposition by psychologist Professor Canford (Cecil Parker) and headmistress Miss Harker-Parker (Irene Handl) to reform the school is chosen over tougher punishment - much to the chagrin of the Ministry of Education. Handl is delightfully dotty and Parker performs well, while as in The Belles of St Trinian's, Sid James is rather wasted.

In an effort to prove reform is genuinely taking place, Professor Canford decides to put on a cultural exhibition at the school. The results are predictably awful, but the new minister (played by John Le Mesurier) thinks the report is simply based on out of date ideas, and plans for the girls to go on a cultural holiday to the islands of Greece is approved. However the professor doesn't realise that his sleazy benefactor Alphonse O'Reilly (Sid James) has a different destination in mind, and much more neffarious purposes planned for the girls...

With the action switching from London to the Middle East, with Flash Harry, Sergeant Gates, Professor Canford, two men from the ministry of education, the forth form (Britain's fiercest fighting force) and even the British army involved in a rescure operation, the action is fast and furious. It's not quite as good as the first two movies, but still a lot of fun.

See also:

Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957)

The Belles of St Trinian's (1954)


CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog


Lee Cramond said...

Was that a very young Zoe Wanamaker I saw in the first couple of minutes into the film?

Dave Seaman said...

Possibly - I can't find any reference anywhere to her being in it though.