The Pure Hell of St Trinian's

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The Pure Hell of St Trinian's
Pure Hell of St Trinians poster.jpg
Official poster
Directed by Frank Launder
Produced by Frank Launder
Sidney Gilliat
Written by Frank Launder
Sidney Gilliat
Val Valentine
Starring Sid James
Cecil Parker
Joyce Grenfell
George Cole
Eric Barker
Thorley Walters
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Cinematography Gerald Gibbs
Edited by Thelma Connell
Distributed by British Lion Films
Release dates
  • 1960 (1960)
Running time
94 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Pure Hell of St Trinian's was a 1960 British comedy film set in the fictional St Trinian's School. Directed by Frank Launder and written by him and Sidney Gilliat, it was the third in a series of five films.


The girls burn their school to the ground, and subsequently are found guilty at the Old Bailey. The judge, however, is keen on leggy blonde Rosalie (Julie Alexander), and under her influence the girls are freed when Professor Canford of the University of Bagdad (Cecil Parker) claims he can rehabilitate the girls with the tutelage of teacher Miss Harker-Packer (Irene Handl), and requests they be placed in his custody for a 12-month probationary period. Canford’s real scheme is not so benevolent, and he has ulterior motives for sending the St. Trinian’s Sixth Form girls, along with Flash Harry (George Cole) and police Sgt. Ruby Gates (Joyce Grenfell), on a bogus cultural tour of the Greek Islands aboard a luxury yacht.

Canford and Alphonse O'Reilly (Sid James) intend to take the girls to a Middle Eastern harem as wives for a sheik and his many sons. O’Reilly discovers Canford, Gates and Flash Harry hiding under a lifeboat tarpaulin, and without their knowledge sets the boat adrift at sea. All three end up stranded on a deserted island. They arrive at the sheik's palace and the sons try to have their pick. But the kidnapped girls fight back in a madcap climactic brawl when the Fourth Form comes to the rescue. In a final scene the girls, back in Britain, burn down the new school.


George Cole as "Flash Harry", Cecil Parker as Professor Canford, John Le Mesurier as the Minister of Education, Joyce Grenfell as local policewoman Sergeant Ruby Gates, and Lloyd Lamble as Superintendent Kemp-Bird, the reluctant fiancé of Ruby Gates.

Raymond Huntley appeared as the Judge, Cyril Chamberlain as the Army Captain, Sid James as Alphonse O'Reilly (nicknamed 'Wyatt Earp' by the girls), and Irene Handl as headmistress Miss Harker-Packer.

The civil servants of the Ministry of Education were played by Eric Barker as Culpepper-Brown, and Thorley Walters as Butters.

External links[edit]