The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery (1966) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
17Jul/100

The Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery (1966)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

Danny DISLIKEFor most of the other movies in the St. Trinian's cycle, I took notes on the plot, the intracicies of what occurred, and my reactions. While it was fun for a while trying to think up new synonyms for 'revulsion', even that soon becomes an exercise in thesaurus dexterity.

So when I look back at my notes for The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery, I find that they consist of one line: "police subplot dropped."

So I guess it has that going for it.

The story itself is actually ripped from the headlines: there was a infamous train robbery in Britain in 1963 referred to as simply The Great Train Robbery that this story draws some obvious inspiration from; both the real event and the movie involve a massive heist from some postal train cars to the tune of 2.5 million pounds, though in this film the crooks are a circle of criminal hairdressers (ho ho!) who hide their wares in an abandoned mansion. As bad luck and/or bad screenwriting would have it, that mansion is shortly the new home for the perpetual troublemakers at St. Trinian's.

There are a few other notable things; this is the first Trinian's film in color, and it's that ugly watery coloring that shows that not a single expense was incurred in bringing it to us.

And while we get the return of the undeniably unappealing Flash Harry, most of the other regular bits have been retooled. As the film opens with a Labour victory in parliament and a new Minister of Schools in to take charge of the mess, it's revealed that he's been sleeping with the headmistress of St. Trinian's. This sets up a subplot of other ministers trying to get him to change his mind, and they do so by sneaking around the school taking pictures of go-go bands blatantly performing.

What little moments of levity that we used to get from the girls are gone. They've become less amusing, less interesting, and, somehow, even less of the focus in this chapter.

The movie ends with three different locomotives chasing each other down while one very confused Indian station master tries to keep track of who is who and who is going where. The Indian is a white man in red face. This is 1966. Come on.

Okay, okay. This movie is interminable, and possibly the worst one of these movies I've seen yet. God, and they keep going.

The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery (1966)

This film is currently on DVD.

Directed by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder
Starring George Cole

Posted by Danny

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