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St Trinian's, called St. Trinian's School For Bad Girls in the U.S., is the sixth in a long-running series of films based on the works of cartoonist Ronald Searle. The first four films form a series, starting with The Belles of St Trinian's in 1954, with sequels in 1957, 1960, 1966 and 1980.

The 2007 release, coming 27 years after the last entry, and 53 years after the first film, is a rebooting of the franchise, rather than a direct sequel, with certain plot elements borrowed from the first movie.

Plot

St Trinian's is an anarchic school for uncontrollable girls. The film opens with meek and timid Annabelle Fritton, niece of the highly eccentric headmistress Miss Fritton, being admitted to the school. She meets Kelly, head girl, who shows her around the school and introduces the various cliques in the school - Posh Totty (slang for gorgeous upper class girls), Chavs, Emos, Geeks and First Years. The girls trick Annabelle and they make her shower. Meanwhile, they steal her clothes and she is broadcast on YouTube by the other girls while running naked from the shower to the dormitory. She phones her father and demands to be taken away from the school.

Flash Harry pays a visit to the school and makes a deal with the girls for some lab-made vodka. The last batch had side effects including blindness, paralysis, and death, all symptoms of methanol poisoning, indicating lack of care in distillation of the alcohol. He refuses to sell 'designer tampons' and is in the process of looking over some drugs when Kelly interrupts him. He asks her to go out to a restaurant with him, which she refuses.

A few days later the school has a hockey match against Annabelle's old school - their rivals Cheltenham Ladies' Collegemarker. The Cheltenham captain is Verity Thwaites, daughter of the education minister. The girls give a hostile and violent welcome to their visitors and the match ends in a brawl between the two schools. During the match, education minister Geoffrey Thwaites, an old (and possible romantic) acquaintance of the headmistress is investigating the school. He is planning to force it to bring up its very poor standards, and to use it as an example to other schools. While he uncovers many disreputable aspects of the school such as the illegal vodka business, he is eventually thrown out of a window into a fountain by the three 'Poshies Totties' when they catch him watching them undress..

Some days later, through electronic spy cameras, the girls and especially Annabelle witness Annabelle's father attempting to broker a business deal with Miss Fritton. He reveals to the girls that St Trinian's owes half a million pounds to the bank and is in danger of being shut down. Annabelle's father wants to sell the school and split the profits with Miss Fritton. The headmistress refuses, saying, 'What about Annabelle?'. Her father reveals his true feelings towards her - he does not like her and is not sure if he is her father. Clearly, Annabelle is upset and goes to see Miss Fritton, her aunt, that evening. It is revealed that her auntie is a very good painter, and Miss Fritton makes Annabelle feel better by helping her to release her anger and making her feel like part of the family.

The girls hatch a plan to steal the famous 'Girl With A Pearl Earring'. They organize a school trip to the London National Art Gallery, where it is being held, to scope out the scene. After seeing how difficult it is going to be, they decide to use the TV Quiz Show 'School Challenge' as a cover to get into the building. The final of said show would be filmed in the grand hall of the art gallery.

As they make their plans, Thwaits decides to show the media exactly what St Trinian's is like. However, every classroom is in perfect order, having been forewarned. As the press are right outside a classroom that would see the end of St Trinian's (the preparations for the theft of the artwork are all over the place) Annabelle manages to distract the media by claiming that Verity, Thwaite's daughter, was the school bully at her old school. In the middle of the night, she is woken up by all the girls, who give her a make-over.

Annabelle tries to persuade Flash Harry to act as a prestigious gay German art dealer, so that he can sell a false version of the painting to her father. He initially refuses, but Kelly persuades him to comply (as he secretly has feelings for her, although she knows about them and uses them to her advantage; and he does not want to look stupid in front of her). The school team for School Challenge consists of three of the Posh Tottys, Chelsea, Peaches and Chloe. They reach the final by cheating (against Ampleforthmarker they steal the answers before the match; against Bedalesmarker they lace their opponents' drinks with magic mushrooms; the Etonmarker team is rendered clueless by their seduction).

During the final Kelly, Taylor and Andrea foil the security for the painting that they're after and eventually retrieve it but on the way back the cable that they used to climb over the top of the audience of the final of School Challenge snaps just after Taylor and Andrea get over to the other side. Kelly gets stuck with no way to get to other side again. Mrs Fritton sees that Kelly needs help and goes to save the day, having to distract education minister Geoffrey Thwaites through a combination of liquor and seduction on the way. Meanwhile Annabelle takes care of Verity.

The school successfully gets the painting and sells it to Carnaby Fritton who does not realise it is not the real one which has been returned under the cover of St Trinian's finding it. They receive a £500,000 reward for returning the painting and with the cash from Carnaby Fritton they pay back the money owed to the bank and St Trinian's stays in business.

Cast

Actress/Actor Role
Rupert Everett Miss Camilla Fritton, St. Trinian's Head Mistress

Carnaby Fritton, Camilla's brother
Colin Firth Geoffrey Thwaites, the Education Minister
Russell Brand Flash Harry, the spiv
Talulah Riley Annabelle Fritton, the new girl
Gemma Arterton Kelly Jones, the Head Girl
Tamsin Egerton Chelsea Parker, Posh Totty #1
Antonia Bernath Chloe, Posh Totty #2
Amara Karan Peaches, Posh Totty #3
Paloma Faith Andrea, the Emo
Juno Temple Celia, the "Trustafarian" one
Kathryn Drysdale Taylor, the Chav
Lily Cole Polly, the Geek
Holly Mackie Tara, twin #1
Cloe Mackie Tania, twin #2
Lena Headey Miss Dickinson, the English Teacher
Fenella Woolgar Miss Cleaver, the Sports Teacher
Caterina Murino Miss Maupassant, the Foreign Languages Teacher
Jodie Whittaker Beverly, the receptionist
Toby Jones St. Trinian's Bursar
Celia Imrie St. Trinian's Matron
Stephen Fry Himself, the School Challenge presenter
Anna Chancellor Miss Bagstock, Cheltenham's Head Mistress
Lucy Punch Verity Thwaites, the Minister's daughter
Mischa Barton JJ French, the PR Guru, and previous Head Girl
Steve Furst Bank Manager


The band members of Girls Aloud (Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh, Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle and Cheryl Cole) all make cameo appearances as the members of St. Trinian's school band. Zöe Salmon also makes a cameo appearance as an emo girl, while Nathaniel Parker makes a short appearance as the Chairman of the National Gallery. Jeremy Thompson also briefly appears, as himself.

Release and reception

St Trinian's was released in the United Kingdom on 21 December 2007, in Australia on 27 March 2008, and in New Zealand on 17 April 2008. Other European releases were planned for Belgium on 9 July 2008, and Germany on 7 August 2008.

St. Trinian's US release is scheduled for October 9, 2009.

The DVD was released in Canada on August 11, 2009.

St Trinian's grossed £12,042,854 in the UK, surpassing its £7 million production budget. It ranks in the top grossing independent British films of the past decade. It was released on DVD in March 2008 and debuted at number 1 on the Amazon best seller chart.

Critically it received mixed reviews. Empire wrote that the film "fuse[s] an understanding of what made the originals great with a modern feel - the writers have fulfilled their end of the bargain, even tweaking some of the weaker points of the original story" (Sam Toy, Empire Magazine). The Observer wrote that it "is raucous, leering, crude and, to my mind, largely misjudged, with Rupert Everett playing Miss Fritton as a coquettish transvestite with the manners of a Mayfair madam. The attempts to shock us fail, though Cheltenham Ladies College may well be affronted to hear one of its teachers say 'between you and I'. But the preview was packed with girls aged from seven to 14 who found it hilarious, though they did not laugh when Russell Brand affected to mishear the word 'count'" (Philip French, The Observer, 23 December 2007).

Derek Malcolm in the Evening Standard wrote: "Structurally, the new movie is a mess, and it doesn't look too convincing either, with cinematography that uses all sorts of old-fashioned dodges to raise a laugh", and "when you look at it again, the old film was not only superior but rather more radical. This St Trinian's looks as if it is aiming at the lowest common denominator, and finding it too often" (20 December 2007).

Sequel

It was announced at the 2008 Cannes Film Festivalmarker that a sequel, St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold, also directed by Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson, will be released in 2009. Filming began on 6 July 2009. On 7 July 2009, it was announced that David Tennant and Sarah Harding have both signed on to appear in the sequel.

References

  1. Germany Release dates
  2. New Zealand release date
  3. New on DVD: St. Trinian’s. Popjournalism.Ca (2009-08-11). Retrieved on 2009-11-25.
  4. UK Box office
  5. World Box Office Reports - Movie Ratings. Allcharts.org. Retrieved on 2009-11-25.
  6. Empire: Film Reviews, Movie News and Interviews. Empiremagazine.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-25.
  7. Trinian's girls to return in 2009
  8. Ealing Studios. Ealing Studios. Retrieved on 2009-11-25.
  9. Tennant enrolls at 'St. Trinian's II' - Entertainment News, Film News, Media. Variety (2009-07-07). Retrieved on 2009-11-25.


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