Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
"Just before dawn, 02:22, the Western Mail hammering through!"
on 12 August 2009
The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery is one of my all-time favourite films. An absolutely brilliant comedy caper, truly the best of British. As a keen railway enthusiast and lover of trains, I ADORE it. This is a film that cleverly blended the magic of steam with the spirit of wild, uncontrollable, rebellious school kids, wonderful humour and slapstick, the story of a cracking train heist and the old good-natured honest notion of `It's alright to be bent."
Train Robbery was the fourth and final chapter of the original series of St. Trinian's films, and I do NOT understand at all why fellow Amazon reviewers rank this film so lowly. While I admit I have yet to see any of the previous films (and look forward to doing so), I think it's very unfair to judge this so harshly SOLELY by comparing it to the others. Whether or not they were superior, I do not know, but that is irrelevant when one should be reviewing Train Robbery's individual merits.
The story is simple; The headmistress of St. Trinian's (wonderfully played by Dora Bryan) is the lover of the corrupt Minister of Schools. Now armed with a great big government grant, she re-houses her staff and pupils in a great big house, Hamingwell Grange. Unbeknownst to the school, a great circle of train robbers - headed by the anonymous `Governor' with Frankie Howerd as his second-in-command - have stashed £2.5 million under the ballroom stage. Before long, a great big battle of wits ensues as a chase for all the swag is on.
The simplicity of the film is beauty itself. In both presentation and execution, Train Robbery is an absolute charm, sporting a colourful cast of characters, top-notch comedy antics and cracking dialogue. Dora Bryan and the late, great Frankie Howerd turn in excellent performances here, as does everyone else. It's just one of those good-natured, harmless pieces of cinema that invites families to sit back and simply enjoy together. It's a wonderful romp that goes at the right pace and runs for just the right time at ninety-minutes (Unlike a lot of today's movies that seem intent on dragging on for two/three hours at least). This proves that less is clearly more.
Of course, the majority of the film is just build-up to the climax. Not to say that the film is terrible throughout because it isn't in the least, but the highlight by a MILE is the WICKED train chase at the end. This is just twenty-minutes of absolutely relentless thrills, excitement and hilarities. The laughs just keep piling on here and is directed with absolute perfection thanks to Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat.
For those who wish to complete their collection of St. Trinian's films, then purchase of The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery is essential. As a stand-alone film, it's a true classic that will appeal to fans of comedy, British cinema and mad capers. Families will love it, and lovers of steam will love it. There's no extras or subtitles here unfortunately, but it's an absolute bargain. And the fantastic quality of the DVD transfer is remarkable. No question, a wonderful film indeed.