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The Belles of St. Trinian's [VHS] [1954]

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, George Cole, Hermione Baddeley, Betty Ann Davies
  • Directors: Frank Launder
  • Writers: Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat, Ronald Searle, Val Valentine
  • Producers: Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Mono, PAL
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 3 July 2000
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00004CI8D
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,204 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

First in the series of films based on the cartoon creations of Ronald Searle. Miss Millicent Fritton (Alastair Sim), headmistress of St Trinian's School for Girls, attempts to stave off her creditors by 'looking after' the pocket money of a wealthy sheikh's daughter currently enrolled at the school, and investing it on the sheikh's horse, Arab Boy, in the local derby. Unfortunately, Miss Fritton's bookmaking brother Clarence (also Sim) has backed another horse, and kidnaps Arab Boy to ensure his own sizeable win. Miss Fritton enlists the help of disreputable boot boy Flash Harry (George Cole), the teaching staff and the Old Girls in rescuing Arab Boy and returning him to the race.


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

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