The Belles of St. Trinian's

The Belles of St. Trinian's

DVD - 2009
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"The unruly belles discredit St. Trinian's by spending more time backing horses than studying subjects. The dotty headmistress's bookie brother intends to turn this to his advantage. As for Alastair Sim's dual role - he's in a class of his own!"--Container.

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Nursebob
Dec 14, 2014

St. Trinian’s school for girls has a rather notorious reputation among the surrounding towns; whenever its students are on the warpath shops board up their windows, policemen hide in jail cells and the very mention of its name causes the local school superintendent to reach for the aspirin. To say the girls are “horrid” would be an understatement unless you consider betting on the horses, making bootleg gin in chemistry class, and winning athletic competitions by doling out concussions to the opposing team part of a legitimate curriculum. Then there’s the constant pranks involving cans of paint and medieval weaponry. Think of it as a Hogwarts for future delinquents. And overseeing it all is the terminally optimistic, and morally myopic, headmistress and school founder Miss Millicent Fritton. Having seen her school go from its glory days in the 1920’s to its current state of disarray thanks to a disastrous mix of unpaid bills, bounced cheques and shoddy hiring practices (the staff are either drunk, neurotic or wanted for questioning), Miss Fritton is determined to keep its doors open come what may. But when the fabulously wealthy Sultan of Makyad unwittingly sends his daughter to St. Trinian’s with a pocketful of cash and a prepaid tuition the school’s normally anarchic atmosphere erupts into a series of hilariously madcap misadventures involving amateur gangsters, Zulu warfare and a stolen racehorse which not only divide the student body but pit the indomitable Miss Fritton against her unscrupulous brother Clarence with the fate of St. Trinian’s itself hanging in the balance. For all its silliness and slapstick gags this is an extremely likable comedy whose wonderful cast and witty script are aided by director Frank Launder’s keen sense of comic timing. The rich B&W cinematography and lively score keep the action flowing while dozens of shrill-voiced extras in school uniform provide just the right amount of chaos. The real star of the show however is the wonderful Alastair Sim who does an amazing job in and out of drag playing both Millicent and Clarence Fritton. His portrayal of the frumpy headmistress is a joy to watch and attests to his formidable acting ability. Crosby and Bergman would be aghast!

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anthonyeon
Jul 04, 2011

If you've only seen Alister Simm in his iconic performance as Mr. Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol", this will be a refreshing contrast. St. Trinian's was recently brought back to the screen with Rupert Everret playing Simm's role but the new version does not compare to this one. The pacing and tone of "The Belles" is head-and-shoulders of above the newer; the characterizations, for the most part, are less broad and therefore more interesting and funny. This flick is jolly good fun kids and adults, alike.

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