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St. Trinians - The Belles Of St. Trinians [DVD]

Alastair Sim , Joyce Grenfell , Frank Launder    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

St. Trinians - The Belles Of St. Trinians [DVD] + St. Trinians - Blue Murder At St. Trinians [DVD] + St. Trinians - The Great St. Trinians Train Robbery [DVD]
Price For All Three: 30.85

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Product details

  • Actors: Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, George Cole, Hermione Baddeley, Beryl Reid
  • Directors: Frank Launder
  • Producers: Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRMZC4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,063 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The first and best of a series of films based on the cartoons of Ronald Searle depicting a demonic girl's school, 1954's The Belles Of St Trinians is a pleasantly anarchic romp. However, it's indebted to film makers Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat's own, wittier 1950 movie The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, which also featured Alastair Sim and Joyce Grenfell in starring roles. Here, Grenfell again sparkles as a clumsy young bluestocking. She's a police sergeant gone undercover to investigate the dubious goings on at Millicent Fritton's establishment for young ladies, which turn out to include the use of a chemistry lab as a liquor distillery and low tactics on the hockey field which are rather less than jolly. The plot involving the nobbling of an Arab Sheikh's racehorse is negligible, while the schoolgirls shine en masse rather than as individuals. George Cole is a decent spiv but it's Sim who carries the day in a dual role as dodgy bookie and his sister, headmistress Ms Fritton. Sim's performance is a wonderfully plausible tour de force of female impersonation, which considerably outshines later such efforts by the likes of Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie)and Robin Williams (Mrs Doubtfire). --David Stubbs

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: A new term opens at 'St Trinian's School for Young Ladies', striking terror into the local residents and even the police. The school is heavily in debt and the teachers haven't been paid for months, but they stay on as no other school would touch them. The headmistress attempts to relieve an Arab sultan's daughter of her one hundred pounds 'pocket money' in order to 'invest' it and clear the school's debts. The police plant an undercover officer as a games mistress, who is appalled by what she finds; including gin manufacture in the chemistry laboratory. The girls became embroiled in a plot with the Arab princess and her father's racehorse to gamble on the upcoming "Gold Cup" horse race. The Fourth Formers want the horse to win, but the Sixth Formers want to keep it from racing so that another racehorse can win. The headmistress bets on the horse to save her beloved school. The situation pits the Sixth Form and Fourth Form against each other in a mle involving former pupils. The horse wins and the headmistress gets the school out of debt, reclaiming the sports trophies, which had been pawned. The girls also seduce the Ministry of Education inspectors sent to investigate the school. ...The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Choose your fate: The terrible tykes of the fourth form, playing practical jokes that involve axes, or the...ummm...well-developed girls of the sixth form, who discovered some time ago cigarettes, gin, sex and how easily men can be led astray. The problem is that one set comes with the other. They are all there at St. Trinian's, that remarkably easy-going English school for girls led by headmistress Millicent Fritton (Alastair Sim). As Miss Fritton is fond of pointing out, "In other schools girls are sent out quite unprepared into a merciless world, but when our girls leave here, it is the merciless world which has to be prepared." Miss Fritton sounds something like a melding of Julia Child and Eleanor Roosevelt, and definitely has Sim's droll and deadpan comic genes.

In The Belles of St. Trinian's, a sly, chaotic comedy from the team of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, St. Trinian's is, as usual, on the brink of financial disaster. Salvation may be at hand, however, when a rich sheik sends his daughter to join the fourth form and receive a proper English education. The sheik also is a horse owner and one of his prize racers, Arab Boy, is being trained near the school for a race. It's only a matter of time before the fourth-form girls form a racing pool and bet heavily on Arab Boy, with Miss Fritton adding to the pool what funds the school has left. (Much of the fourth-form girl's money comes from the gin they make in chemistry, then bottle and lower by rope to Flash Harry (George Cole), a Cockney fixer, for distribution. "It's got something...I don't know quite what," says Miss Fritton on sampling the stuff, "but send a few bottles up to my room.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flaming poetry! 15 Jan 2008
Yes, it's a genuine work of art.

Inspired by cartoonist Ronald Searle, who caricuatured his hideous Japanese POW camp guards as horrible little English school-"gels", St Trinians is typically English. It also contains every filmic cliche known to man, and then some!

Despite which, its' charm,mirth and general appeal remain undimmed. A distinguished cast totters between completely inspired anarchic lunacy, surreal interruptions from staid educational Civil Servants, the inimitable Spiv, Flash Harry, and occasional realisations that they are actually supposed to be the voice of authority-well, intermittent realisations, anyway!

Not only should it never have worked, despite Alistair Sim,Joyce Grenfell, Beryl Reid, Hermoine Baddeley and George Cole in the cast, it should, after 54 years, be fit for the dustbin. Is it hell! I've just laughed my socks off at it for the 99th time this weekend, which is not bad for someone who never attended such an establishment(good job, with MY five-o-clock shadow!!).

Please give yourself a treat soon and relive a truly funny film-it's an enduring gem;as Shirley Bassey sang-Diamonds are Forever!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny 19 Sep 2007
The opening section of this film is very funny. After the school holidays end the St Trinians girls return to their school. This causes panic in the local town. Shops are being boarded up, the local Policeman starts taking tablets and in the end the town is deserted. This is the best section of the film and you wouldn't expect it to maintain such a high standard. However it nearly does and laughs are to be had throughout the whole film.

The cast are a joy. The inimitable Alistair Sim stars as both Head-Mistress Millicent Fritton and her bookie brother Clarence. A young George Cole is Flash Harry. Amazingly Cole's character is very Arthur Daley like. I wonder if this was the original inspiration for Minder? With Joyce Grenfell, Irene Handl and Joan Sims as well the cast alone should have you watching.

The plot revolves around a race-horse owned by the father of one of the pupils. Naturally it is stolen and various factions of the St Trinians girls are involved. If you haven't seen the film for many years, this a great reminder of a classic period for British films. Wonderful comedy from a different era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars St. Trinian's School For Young Ladies. 26 July 2014
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Still funny
I love these movies don't like the modern version with Russell Brand can't stand the man ,the very very first of these movies are the best Alastair SIMM wonderful
Published 6 months ago by Malcolm Griffiths. Cheshirekat
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia Just Ain't What it Used to Be
I suppose I'll get panned, but I do have nice 'memories' of sitting down in the East Midlands in the 60s and watching this in the afternoon on BBC2 when I'd managed to wangle a day... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mario
4.0 out of 5 stars Belles of St Trinians
Period piece with the great Alastair Sim and George Cole. If you like old Britsh films and Ealing comedies, you'll enjoy this!
Published on 22 Jun 2010 by Mr. Mark N. Pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear. I told Bessie to be careful with that nitro-glycerine!
Oh dear. I told Bessie to be careful with that nitro-glycerine!

The beauty of the internet is that you can look up to see who are in films but I didn't spot Barbara... Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2009 by Peter Wade
4.0 out of 5 stars Not available is USA
As a lad growing up I remember the wonderful antics of the girls from St Trinians. I remembered more of the pranks than the sexy undertones that also were provided. Read more
Published on 18 May 2009 by Rene Torres
3.0 out of 5 stars not the first actually.........
Although this little comedy is well worth a view, and is certainly better than the sequels that follow it is not as stated on this site the first in the "st trinians" series of... Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2007 by philip freeman
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