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School for Unclaimed Girls (1969)

The Smashing Bird I Used to Know (original title)
Nicki believes she caused her father's death. Her mother's new knight in shining armour is actually the flame that relights Nicki's nightmare from hell. She is then sent to a school for ... See full summary »


John Peacock (screenplay), Robert Hartford-Davis (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Madeleine Hinde Madeleine Hinde ... Nicki Johnson (as Madeline Hinde)
Renée Asherson ... Anne Johnson (as Renee Asherson)
Dennis Waterman ... Peter
Patrick Mower ... Harry Spenton
Faith Brook ... Dr. Sands
Janina Faye ... Susan
David Lodge ... Richard Johnson
Maureen Lipman ... Sarah
Derek Fowlds ... Geoffrey
Colette O'Neil Colette O'Neil ... Miss Waldron
Megs Jenkins ... Matron
Cleo Sylvestre Cleo Sylvestre ... Carlien
Valerie Wallace Valerie Wallace ... Muriel
Lesley-Anne Down ... Diana (as Lesley Downs)
Michelle Cook Michelle Cook ... Jane


Nicki believes she caused her father's death. Her mother's new knight in shining armour is actually the flame that relights Nicki's nightmare from hell. She is then sent to a school for troubled girls where it is hoped she will receive the help she needs to move forward.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Perfumed Zoo For Teenage She-Cats! See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Screenbound Pictures





Release Date:

31 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell House Girls See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Lesley-Anne Down. See more »


Featured in A Bit of Scarlet (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

An odd bird
17 October 2004 | by lazarilloSee all my reviews

This is a rather odd movie, appearing after the JD/reform school movies of the late 50's and early 60's, but before the sleazy WIP films of the 1970's. It's also British, so all bets are off. The British are famous for being the most repressed and prudish of the European countries, but they also might be the most perverted. This film is fairly tame. It is less enjoyably trashy than similar films like "Baby Love" with Linda Hayden, the early Pete Walker effort "School for Sex", or the more violent "In the Devil's Garden", and it is definitely much less sleazy than Italian co-productions like "What Have You Done to Solange?" Still the film does contain flashes of full-frontal nudity and a completely gratuitous scene where the heroine (who looks to be about twenty five)dresses up in her school girl uniform even though she's not going to school (one for the perverts, I guess).

The protagonist is mentally unbalanced due to the bizarre merry-go-round related death of her father and she has some strange fear and fascination with horses. She's sent to the reformatory/mental institution because she stabs her mother's loutish boyfriend after he tries to rape her. This seems like a perfectly normal reaction to me, but the school psychiatrist insists on delving into her troubled psyche to get at the root of her neurosis, thus there's a lot of Freudian psychobabble (the filmmakers had obviously seen "Marnie" a few too many times). The other girls at the institution seem somewhat less than troubled as well. It's intimated that one was a prostitute, one simply won't take a shower, and couple others are lesbians. There's a few fights, some tame sapphic foreplay,and a lot gratuitous dancing in towels and teddies, but anybody expecting a sleazy WIP film is going to be bitterly disappointed. The only recognizable star is Lesley-Ann Down but she's not prominently featured and doesn't participate in any of the lesbian or nude scenes as she really was a teenager at the time. I recommend this film, but more as a curiosity than for any sordid subject matter it may contain.

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