Monday, 11 October 2010

The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)

This movie by Frank Lauder and Sidney Gillett is a sort of prototype of the St Trinians movies - and indeed features many of the same stars. In The Happiest Days of Your Life, Alastair Sim plays Wetherby Pond, long-suffering Headmaster of Nutbourne College for boys. Due to a Ministry of Education blunder, another school is to share their building for a while - a move much opposed by Pond and his staff, all the more so when it turns out that the other school is - of all horrors - a girl's school! Determined to throw them out immediately, Pond finds opposing Headmistress Muriel Whitchurch (Margaret Rutherford) and her staff immovable.

Chaos ensues, all the most so when it becomes necessary to make one set of people believe that it is a school for girls, and another group believe it to be a school for boys, both on the same day! The movie dawdles along and really makes little of its potential until this point, about 20 minutes from the end, but those last 20 minutes are a riot.

With the likes of Sim, Rutherford, Joyce Grenfell and Richard Watiss in the cast, it's a shame that the writing wasn't up to the job. Even so, The Happiest Days of Your Life is a largely enjoyable, if pedestrian, movie which is worth watching the slow build-up for the joyous insane finale.

Related Links:

The Belles of St Trinian's (1954)

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog

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