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The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Family | 29 October 1954 (Ireland)
The schoolgirls of St. Trinian's are more interested in racing forms than books as they try to get-rich-quick. They are abetted by the headmistress' brother.

Director:

Frank Launder

Writers:

Frank Launder (screenplay), Sidney Gilliat (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Alastair Sim, Peter Barkworth, Maurice Colbourne
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alastair Sim ... Millicent Fritton / Clarence Fritton
Joyce Grenfell ... P.W. Sgt. Ruby Gates
George Cole ... Flash Harry
Hermione Baddeley ... Miss Drownder
Betty Ann Davies ... Miss Waters
Renee Houston ... Miss Brimmer (as Renée Houston)
Beryl Reid ... Miss Wilson
Irene Handl ... Miss Gale
Mary Merrall ... Miss Buckland
Joan Sims ... Miss Dawn
Balbina Balbina ... Mlle de St. Emilion
Jane Henderson Jane Henderson ... Miss Holland
Diana Day Diana Day ... Jackie
Jill Braidwood Jill Braidwood ... Florrie
Annabelle Covey Annabelle Covey ... Maudie
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Storyline

The arrival of Sultan's daughter Princess Fatima at England's famous and prestigious 'School for Young Ladies' precipitates even more chaos than usual. Her father's horse Arab Boy is due to run at the nearby Gold Cup so Clarence Fitton, bookie brother of headmistress Millicent, ensures his own daughter is on hand to report progress. At the same time Barchester police have planted sergeant Ruby Gates as a teacher, and the Ministry of Education are sending a third inspector down after the previous two disappeared without trace. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1954 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballade i pigepensionen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Flash Harry Edwards was born in 1928. When he was 12 years old in 1940, Miss Fritton employed him as a boot boy. See more »

Goofs

The shadow on the wall of Arab Boy seen by Ruby Gates is obviously made by a cut-out. See more »

Quotes

Arabella: Monica Drew wasn't expelled when she burnt down the gymnasium.
Miss Fritton: The gymnasium was insured! The sports pavilion was not.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Wildcats of St. Trinian's (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
St. Trinian's School For Young Ladies.
26 July 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Belles of St. Trinian's is directed by Frank Launder and co-written by Launder, Sidney Gilliat and Val Valentine. It stars Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, George Cole, Hermione Baddeley and Betty Ann Davis. Music is by Malcolm Arnold and cinematography by Stanley Pavey.

Inspired by the cartoon drawings of Ronald Searle, The Belles of St. Trinian's is the first part of a franchise that still thrives even today. With 7 films currently under the Trinian's banner, the roguish behaviour of the girls and their manner of dress sense passed into pop culture and is still going strong today. Either for sexual titillation (the St. Trinian's look has always been popular at fancy dress parties) or as a tag for unruly girls in British schools, it's hard to believe that Searle envisaged the ever lasting appeal of his creations. Unfortunately the films are a mixed bunch, with a couple of them just plain bad. This however is not a problem with The Belles, the best of the bunch by some margin.

The Barchester Bedlam.

Pic is fronted by Sim in a dual role of brother and sister. The art of drag has been tarnished over the years by some of the more stuffy members of the human race, but in the right hands it often works so well, as evidence by the wonderful Sim here. The plot involves a gambling sting at the big horserace on the horizon, with Flash Harry (Cole) aided and abetted by the terrors of St. Trinian's. It's all very chaotic and horsey, both in the equine sense and in horseplay terms. Grenfell is the policewoman who goes under cover as a teacher in the school, where the staff roster is populated by British stars of the future like Beryl Reid, Joan Sims and Irene Handl.

The girls, of various stages of their schooling, smoke, toke, drink and take every opportunity to cause mischief. Their reputation precedes them, as the train that carries them inward bound for the new term approaches, the town citizens start to board the place up, even the chickens run off into hibernation! This is the on going joke that works right to the film's conclusion, sadly it would run out of steam by the time The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery pulled into the station in 1966. But Belles is great fun, very British of course and very clever. From Sim being dry as the Sahara and Grenfell's Duracell Bunny performance, to those rascal girls, the school is open for frolics and energised bedlam. Enjoy. 8/10


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