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4.4 out of 5 stars
The St Trinians Collection [DVD]
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217 of 225 people found the following review helpful
Three of these films date from the 1950s, whilst the fourth The Great St Trinians Train Robbery dates from 1966.

The Belles of St Trinians started off this classic series in 1954 and stars that wonderful character actor Alastair Sim who plays a double role as the Headmistress Miss Fritton, and her twin brother a crooked bookie who is out to make a killing when the little horrors become caught up in a betting scam. The delightful Joyce Grenfall adds marvellous support as a policewoman and George Cole as shifty cockney character who gets involved in the betting scams. Its quite funny at times, although rather dated now. Still worth a look though. Look out for many character actors before they became household names such as Joan Sims before her Carry On years, she looks so young in it! And Sid James along with Beryl Reid and Hermionne Baddeley.

Blue Murder at St Trinians involves a crook played by Lionel Jeffries who is a jewel thief and tries to hide within the school much to his dismay. In the meantime, the little horrors win a UNESCO prize to Rome and are off onto their travels to Italy much to the consternation of the local Italians. This is a little better than the first one and is quite hilarious in parts. Once again, character actors abound; Dily Laye, Sabrina, and Terry Thomas who was probably one of the great British character actors in British film history.

Of the four films presented here, The Pure Hell of St Trinians is the best. Its a classic in its own right. The little horrors end up in The Old Bailey charged with burning down the school. However, they are saved from a long prison sentence when a strange couple from the Middle East (Cecil Parker and Irene Handle) take them under their wing. Little do the girls know that the gym slipped 6th Formers are being recruited for a Harem. The episodes throughout as once again Joyce Grenfall and co set out to find the girls in order to bring them home are very funny with some fabulous one liners. Look out for the hilarious dance scenes when many of the characters from the Ministry of Education, almost on the verge of nervous breakdowns, relax by dancing to a silly tune. These scenes are some of the highlights of the film.

The Great St Trinians Train Robbery was made seven years after The Pure Hell and is the weakest of the four. A gang of crooks hide the loot of stolen money on the school premises, and basically the story is set around them trying to get the loot back from the little horrors. Frankie Howard does save this film somewhat, along with George Cole, Reg Varney, Richard Wattis and Terry Scott. It does have its moments, but doesnt really come anywhere up to the standard of the previous three.

Overall, its a good box set to have, good value too considering how many films there are. Good picture and sound, the first three in glorious Black and White, with the final one being in color.

A pleasing box set of classic films although the only drawback is that there are no subtitles, nor any extras to speak off.
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135 of 140 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 December 2007
These four films, which date from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s, are a great collection to own. Not only do they contain some great British charactor actors - Alistair Sim, Terry Thomas, George Cole et al but they also define an era when life was very different to today. The first film is undoubtedly the best, although the 2nd pushes it fairly close. The fourth is clearly the weakest.

Special mention should go the music composed by Sir Malcolm Arnold which was a sort of comic suite. Particularly memorable was Flash Harry's (George Cole) theme, a funny little Piano piece that is first played when he appears from out of the bushes in the first film. In the first film 'Flash' always appeared from the bushes, which I always thought was quite surreal. Surely flash was an inspiration for Arthur in Minder many years later.

What you get then is inspired British lunacy, which at its best is very funny and even when its not funny the films are interesting to look as they show a caricature of Britain as it was forty to fifty years ago. There are two reasons the set doesn't get five stars. Firstly, and mainly, because the fourth film is a notch below the others and secondly there are no extras in this set which is a shame.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2007
This is an excellent value box set of all four 'St Trinian's' films. They are dated now, of course, but there are laughs aplenty. The first one is probably the best (the first three are in black & white and the last one (fairly weak) is in colour. These films are a British institution and, for this price, very good value.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 November 2008
This box-set is a must for fans of classic British comedies. It features the legendary Alastair Sim and that wheeler dealer George Cole, known to most for his Arthur Daley character in 'Minder'. I was not alive when these films were made and can't relate to much of 1950s-60s Britain but growing up in the 1980s I always looked forward to TV airings of the St. Trinians movies, and so I bought these to relive those moments. I was not disappointed.

There are 4 movies on offer; three 1950s films in black and white (The Belles of St. Trinians, The Pure of Hell of St. Trinians and Blue Murder at St Trinians) and one made in the 1960s ('The Great St. Trinians Train Robbery') in colour. The best one has to be 'The Pure of Hell of St Trinians' and the other two black and white ones are close behind. 'The Great Train Robbery' is the weakest but still a very enjoyable film.

There are no subtitles or extras but the picture quality is excellent, and at £13 it is an absolute bargain so I recommend it very highly.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2012
BEWARE! This box set contains all four of the OLD 1950s-60s films, the first three are in 4:3 [old style TV] format and are black & white and look and feel as though this could move to the theatre with little difficulty. The last, made in 1966 is in 16:9 format [for wide screen TVs] but it is in colour. All are MONO. Picture quality is decidedly of the day, speckles and all, which adds to the 'olde worlde' feel for me. If you can live with these factors then this could be for you.
That said, at around £8, this is the ideal gift for those who grew up in the 50s, 60s and even later...provided classic British humour and over the top character acting are to your liking. Politically correct this thankfully isn't. Alistar Sim [in drag] plays the unorthodox headmistress in the first two films, while George Cole the 'spiv' Flash harry -a character updated for the 70's TV series Minder, and a whole host of other character actors make their appearances in these films.
If you only know the 'modern' versions [good as they were] then your missing out on the true essence of what St, Trinans was all about. As the headmistress says, "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." In these early films the general rule of thumb is the smaller the girl, the more dangerous she is, the older she is, the more overtly sexual she becomes -traits seemingly weakened in the modern versions.
Origially published in the 1940's as a series of books by cartoonist Ronald Searle, these films are not as dark as the original publications. The pupils here are well armed with hockey sticks and tennis racquets but don't resort to the graphic pitchfork murders of the books, kidnapping and extortion are more the thing. The emphasis here is decidely on slapstick, situation comedy and one liners. The girls may be unruely, unorthodox, scruffy [especially the youngsters] and spread mayhem wherever they go, but their intentions are sincere and honest in the long run.
At the price, give it a try. The films have 'dated' and all the content has been seen in more modern films, but I'm sure you won't be disappointed. But, if you're PC minded, you may not want to let children watch it.... they might get some of those unorthodox ideas!!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2010
Being currently confined to my flat with a broken arm, I bought this 4 dvd set to cheer myself up - and it has certainly worked. These films are little gems of British silly comedy; funny, cute, slightly wicked (and, these days, very un-PC, although certainly Girl Power is very evident) with some lovely character acting, Alastair Sym of course as the Headmistress (and indeed her disreputable brother Clarence), Irene Handle (I loved her in Blue Murder at StTrinian's) as the dotty Headmistress, George Cole, etc etc etc and of course the girls themselves (the little ones very funny). There is so much to enjoy in these movies, with their now period charm, but the humour is still very enjoyable. Even the Ronald Searle drawings for the credits are very good and you should watch out for them (and I now know the words of the St Trinian's School Song - "trample on the weakest, glory in their plight..." !!!!) This is very English humour and I think either you love it or you don't. The whole set of films is very worth it.
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on 28 August 2015
Beyond brilliant! So good that my eleven year old daughter broke her NO BLACK AND WHITE rule to watch them all with me. Absolutely no comparison to the rubbish produced today... Unadulterated fun! Enjoy! X
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2012
These films are the original St Trinian films and extremely funny.
My husband and I had forgotten how funny these films were.
We really enjoyed watching these - and laughed out loud many times.
A real tonic!!
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on 18 August 2015
A great combo of 4 classic movies that are great fun to watch. Great artwork on a nicely presented box which reminds me of my school books.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2008
This was a great buy kept the kids quite for ages , and well worth the money excellent condition and super fast delivery..Thanks
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