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The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954)



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St. Trinian's school for young ladies has a reputation around town that sends the local residents quivering under their desks. They're a wild bunch, indulging in every conceivable misbehavior. They're the type of girls who are always massed together like part of a larger organism, screaming and flailing their limbs about like they're still welcoming in the new year.

The headmistress of the school is played by Alistair Sim, in drag. He also plays the headmistress's brother, who's involved in a horse racing scam. A conflict of interest arises, and it's the girls against the gangsters. Guess who wins?

The Belles of St. Trinian's would most likely have bombed had it been an American movie. American humor is fine for some stories, but this one requires the subtlety and wit of the British to make it something more than a kids' caper. And so it is -- this is a remarkably clever comedy, and lots of fun.

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