3.8/10
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6 user 2 critic

The Wildcats of St. Trinian's (1980)

The girls of St. Trinian's decide they are being asked to do too much work so they go on strike.

Director:

Frank Launder

Writers:

Ronald Searle (inspired by the original drawings of the Girls and Staff of St Trinian's), Frank Launder (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheila Hancock ... Olga Vandemeer
Michael Hordern ... Sir Charles Hackforth
Joe Melia ... Flash Harry
Thorley Walters ... Hugo Culpepper Brown
Rodney Bewes ... Butters
Deborah Norton ... Miss Brenner
Maureen Lipman ... Miss Higgs
Julia McKenzie ... Miss Dormancott
Ambrosine Phillpotts ... Mrs Mowbray
Rose Hill Rose Hill ... Miss Martingale
Diana King Diana King ... Miss Mactavish
Luan Peters ... Poppy Adams
Barbara Hicks ... Miss Coke
Rosalind Knight Rosalind Knight ... Miss Walsh
Patsy Smart ... Miss Warmold
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Storyline

The girls of St. Trinian's decide they are being asked to do too much work so they go on strike.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1980 (Australia) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wildcat Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Uncredited theatrical movie debut of Alex Kingston (Schoolgirl). See more »

Connections

Followed by St Trinian's 3: Battle of the Sexes See more »

Soundtracks

St. Trinian's School Song
(uncredited)
Composed by James Kenelm Clarke (ad James Clarke) & Malcolm Arnold
Performed by Girls' Chorus of More House School, Kensington, London
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Of its time...
11 October 2010 | by cattwisterSee all my reviews

"once you have paid him the Dane-geld you never get rid of the Dane." Rudyard Kipling

Well, well, well... St Trinians as political comment. Other reviewers have mentioned this, but it is little wonder that this film flopped in 1980 when it was released upon a trade-union obsessed UK public. The film sends up the trade union movement and strongly critiques any attempt to compromise with the "workers" and meet their demands... a lesson that the 1980's UK government took to heart after the appeasement tactics of the 1970's. Unlike most other reviewers I liked this film: it is a clear and obvious continuation of the original franchise with many character touches lifted directly from the first four films, much more-so than the remakes (updated versions) in 2007 and 2009.

I bought this film because of its reputation - here is a UK film so "appalingly bad" that you can't actually buy it in the UK (my copy had to be bought via the USA but from a UK based-supplier!) - and I was prepared to witness a truly atrocious piece of cinema... Perhaps that mindset helped me to see the good in it where others can only see the bad. This film is a product of its time - much as the originals were. Wildcats from 1980 is similar in style to the Carry On movies minus most (but not all) of the smuttiness and bawdy humour. It is still *very* much a children's film - for UK children.

To me, this film was truer to the original film than the remakes because the driving force behind the girl's mayhem was the "lower sixth form", still wearing silly hats and wielding hockey-sticks, and not the "upper sixth form" in their short skirts and bikinis (and for all those tut-tutting about that... the "sexy" schoolgirls were in the earlier films too... If you watch Wildcats and all you can see are the upper-sixth girls, pro or con, then I can guarantee that *you* are bringing that perspective with you to the film... that said, the opening credits' "dance number" was truly crass). The 2007 and 2009 remakes switched this "upper/lower" dynamic around and let the upper-sixth lead the action far too much - which was a mistake in my opinion.

This film fails - or is rather unintentionally funny - when it lurches over into bizarre racial and gender stereotypes - particularly Harry who is running a "legitimate" Chinese take-away actually disguised as a Chinese man (which he is not) in a truly this-could-only-be-the-70's-or-early-80s sort of way. Or the bimbo fitness instructor (was she actually Swedish or was that just a joke?), or the Dutch headmistress with her box of chocolates - although, to be fair, nobody can follow Alastair Sim as the headmistress and get away with it. Note the underlying theme here: foreigners - welcome to xenophobic England! The acting is more ham-fisted "TV comedy" than "film star" but then again that's also the case with the Carry On films... It is what it is.

Bottom line: slightly better than just "ok". If you like the more raucous UK comedies from the 1970's (and I do) then this will work for you. It is nowhere near as bad as other reviews are making out. I laughed with it and I laughed at it. It's a comedy. And a window into the attitudes of late 1970's UK.


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