The Pure Hell of St. Trinian’s
The Pure Hell of St Trinian’s – 1960 | 94 mins | Comedy | B&W
Based on the popular cartoon drawings of Ronald Searle, those unruly schoolgirls are back in this third instalment of the rowdy St. Trinian’s comedies, but this chapter fails to match the success of Gilliat and Launder’s earlier films. Sadly there is no Alastair Sim, and the opportunities presented by casting Irene Handl are wasted. But there is a cavalcade of established stars including Sid James, Cecil Parker and Dennis Price, in addition to George Cole and Joyce Grenfell reprising their earlier roles.
The girls burn their school to the ground, and subsequently manage to get acquitted at the Old Bailey by a judge keen on leggy blonde Rosalie (Julie Alexander). They are freed, however, when Professor Canford of the University of Bagdad (Cecil Parker) claims he can rehabilitate the girls with the tutelage of teacher Miss Harker-Parker (Irene Handl), and requests they be placed in his custody for a probationary period.
Canford’s real scheme is not so benevolent, and he has ulterior motives for sending the St. Trinian’s Sixth Form girls, along with Flash Harry (George Cole) and police Sgt. Ruby Gates (Joyce Grenfell), on a bogus cultural tour of the Greek Islands aboard a luxury yacht. Canford and Alphonse O’Reilly (Sid James) intend to take the girls to a Middle East harem as wives for a sheik and his many sons. O’Reilly discovers Canford, Gates and Flash Harry hiding under a lifeboat tarpaulin, and without their knowledge sets it adrift out to sea. All three end up end up stranded on a deserted island. They arrive at the sheik’s palace and the sons try to have their pick. But the kidnapped girls fight back in a madcap climatic brawl when the Fourth Form comes to the rescue, burning down the new school.
Frank Launder: Director
Tony Woollard: Art Direction
Wilfred Shingleton: Art Direction
Gerald Gibbs: Cinematography
Thelma Connell: Editing
Malcolm Arnold: Music Direction
Frank Launder: Producer
Sidney Gilliat: Producer
Frank Launder: Script
Sidney Gilliat: Script
Val Valentine: Script