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The Belles of St. Trinian's Movie Review

sims sim sidney alastair

If there's anything more inviting than the prospect of the great Alastair Sim in a comedy, it would be TWO Alastair Sims, one of them in drag as Miss Fitton, Headmistress of St. Trinian's School for Young Ladies, the other as her brother, Clarence. The story is inspired by the cartoons of Ronald Searle, first published in Punch magazine. The Belles, to put it mildly, are bloody terrors—frightening schoolmistresses, local merchants, and even the police. The plot is a born-again screwball comedy, with Joyce Grenfell, Hermione Baddeley, Beryl Reid, Guy Middleton, and Richard Wattis getting mixed up in some of the funniest situations. Sidney James and Joan Sims would later work together in the long-running series of Carry On comedies. There were four St. Trinian's comedies in all: 1957's Blue Murder at St. Trinian's, 1960's The Pure Hell of St. Trinian's, and 1966's The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery. George Cole was in all of them as Flash Harry, but he (and we) would miss Sim, who bowed out after handing over the reins to Terry Thomas in Blue Murder. (Cecil Parker and Frankie Howard received top billing in the last two entries.)

1953 86m/B GB Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, Hermione Baddeley, George Cole, Eric Pohlmann, Renee Houston, Beryl Reid, Balbina, Jill Braidwood, Annabelle Covey, Betty Ann Davies, Diana Day, Jack Doyle, Irene Handl, Arthur Howard, Sidney James, Lloyd Lamble, Jean Langston, Belinda Lee, Vivian Martin, Andree Melly, Mary Merrall, Guy Middleton, Joan Sims, Jerry Verno, Richard Wattis; D: Frank Launder; W: Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat, Val Valentine; C: Stanley Pavey; M: Malcolm Arnold. VHS

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