St Trinian's (film)

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St Trinian's
St Trinian's (2007 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Parker
Barnaby Thompson
Produced by Oliver Parker
Barnaby Thompson
Screenplay by Piers Ashworth
Nick Moorcroft
Additional material:
Jamie Minoprio
Jonathan M. Stern
Based on St. Trinian's School 
by Ronald Searle
Starring Rupert Everett
Colin Firth
Russell Brand
Talulah Riley
Lena Headey
Gemma Arterton
Music by Charlie Mole
Cinematography Gavin Finney
Edited by Alex Mackie
Distributed by Entertainment Film Distributors
Release dates
  • 21 December 2007 (2007-12-21) (United Kingdom)
  • 9 October 2009 (2009-10-09) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
100 minutes (European cut)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £7 million (US$11.4 million)
Box office $29,066,483

St Trinian's is a 2007 British comedy film and the sixth in a long-running series of British films based on the works of cartoonist Ronald Searle. The first five films form a series, starting with The Belles of St Trinian's in 1954, with sequels in 1957, 1960, 1966, and 1980. The 2007 release, coming 27 years after the last entry and 53 years after the first film, is a rebooting of the franchise, rather than a direct sequel, with certain plot elements borrowed from the first film. Whereas the earlier films concentrated on the adults, this film gives the school pupils greater prominence. St Trinian's is an anarchic school for uncontrollable girls run by eccentric headmistress Camilla Dagey Fritton (the reboot continues the tradition, established by Alastair Sim in the original film, of casting a male actor to play the female headmistress, with Rupert Everett inheriting the role). St Trinian's received mixed reviews.


Annabelle Fritton (Talulah Riley), an uptight daddy’s girl, unwillingly transfers to St Trinian’s from the distinguished Cheltenham Ladies’ College at her father’s (Rupert Everett) request. Annabelle is clearly different and doesn’t fit in, telling her father, Carnaby Fritton, that the school is “like Hogwarts for pikeys”. She is taken around the school by Kelly Jones (Gemma Arterton), the head girl, who introduces her to the various cliques within the school. On her first night at St Trinian’s, Annabelle is pranked by the girls, resulting in a video of her running around the school naked being broadcast live on the internet. She calls her father to pick her up, but he pretends to have bad phone reception so he can stay at a bar. Annabelle is drafted to the hockey team when she hits her phone with her hockey stick, smashing a statue. The girls of St Trinian’s are involved in business with Flash Harry (Russell Brand), who pays them to make cheap vodka. Flash is shown to be romantically interested in Kelly, who initially turns him down.

The Cheltenham Ladies’ College hockey team arrive at St Trinian’s, along with Education Minister Geoffrey Thwaites (Colin Firth). Thwaites is shown to have romantic history with the headmistress of St Trinian’s, Camilla Fritton (Rupert Everett). Annabelle is forced to face her former bullies, including captain Verity Thwaites (Lucy Punch). The hockey match is violent, ultimately ending in a brawl between the two schools. As the match is being played, Geoffrey Thwaites inspects the school, finding the illegal vodka-making business and the chatline being run by the Posh Totty clique.

The following morning, a banker arrives at the school and serves Camilla with a foreclosure notice, as the school owes the bank in excess of £500,000 and have ignored six previous final demands. A subsequent meeting between Camilla and Carnaby is watched by the girls using hidden cameras, in which Carnaby confesses his distaste towards his daughter. Annabelle is clearly upset, despite Camilla defending her. Carnaby encourages Camilla to turn the school into a boutique hotel, telling her that "when this school closes down, you'll have lost everything. More importantly, so will I."

Kelly and Flash work with the students to devise a plan to save the school. They must get into the final of School Challenge, a TV quiz show held in the National Gallery, as a cover for stealing Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring”. Chelsea, Peaches and Chloe (the Posh Totty clique) are chosen as the School Challenge Team. By cheating in every round, they make it to the grand final. As the final is being filmed, Kelly, Taylor and Andrea manage to steal the painting, with help from the Geeks, as well as Annabelle and Camilla.

Camilla paints an exact copy of the painting and has Flash, posing as a German art dealer, sell it to Carnaby in a black market deal. The school then receives a further £50,000 reward for returning the real painting to the National Gallery. The loans are able to be repaid and the school is saved.


The members of Girls Aloud (Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh, Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini) all make cameo appearances as the members of St Trinian's school band, and cameos in the film itself. Zöe Salmon also makes a cameo appearance as an emo girl, while Nathaniel Parker, the director's real-life brother, makes a short appearance as the Chairman of the National Gallery. Newscaster Jeremy Thompson also briefly appears, as himself.


The film’s score was composed by Charlie Mole. The soundtrack also contains “Theme to St. Trinian's” performed by Girls Aloud, “Trouble” performed by Cast of St Trinian's, “Oh My God” performed by Mark Ronson featuring Lily Allen, “Love Is in the Air” performed by Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, “Don't Give Up” performed by Noisettes, “Nine2Five” performed by The Ordinary Boys vs. Lady Sovereign, “If I Can't Dance” performed by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, “Teenage Kicks” performed by Remi Nicole, “Sanctuary” performed by Gabriella Cilmi, “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” performed by The Four Aces, “3 Spoons of Suga” performed by Sugababes, “On My Way to Satisfaction” performed by Girls Aloud and “The St Trinian's School Song” performed by Cast of St Trinian's.

Filming locations[edit]


St Trinian's premiered in London on 10 December 2007 and was theatrically released on 21 December 2007 by Entertainment Film Distributors.

Box office[edit]

St Trinian's grossed £12,042,854 in the United Kingdom,[1] surpassing its £7 million production budget. As of 18 July 2010, the film had grossed a worldwide total of $29,066,483.[2] It was the fourth highest-grossing film during the 2007 Christmas season, behind Enchanted, I Am Legend and The Golden Compass. It ranks in the top grossing independent British films of the past decade.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Rupert Everett was praised by critics for his performance.

St Trinian's received mixed reviews. Empire wrote that the film "fuse[s] an understanding of what made the originals great with a modern feel – the writers have fulfilled their end of the bargain, even tweaking some of the weaker points of the original story."[4] The Observer wrote that it "is raucous, leering, crude and, to my mind, largely misjudged, with Rupert Everett playing Miss Fritton as a coquettish transvestite with the manners of a Mayfair madam. The attempts to shock us fail, though Cheltenham Ladies College may well be affronted to hear one of its teachers say 'between you and I'. But the preview was packed with girls aged from seven to 14 who found it hilarious, and especially enjoyed Russell Brand."[5] Derek Malcolm, in The Evening Standard wrote: "Structurally, the new movie is a mess, and it doesn't look too convincing either, with cinematography that uses all sorts of old-fashioned dodges to raise a laugh", and "when you look at it again, the old film was not only superior but rather more radical. This St Trinian's looks as if it is aiming at the lowest common denominator, and finding it too often."[6] On the film-critics aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, St Trinian's holds a 31% positive rating, with the consensus "Both naughtier and campier than Ronald Searle's original postwar series, this St. Trinian's leans on high jinks instead of performances or witty dialogue."[7]

Home media[edit]

St Trinian's was released on DVD on April 14, 2008 by Entertainment in Video.


Award Category 1 Category 2 Nominee Result
Empire Award and National Movie Award Best Comedy Best Performance - Male
Best Performance - Male
Best Performance - Female and Best Newcomer
Colin Firth For Mamma Mia!
Rupert Everett
Gemma Arterton


St. Trinian's
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released 10 December 2007 (2007-12-10)
Genre Pop, Dance-pop
Label Universal Music Group
St. Trinian's original soundtrack chronology
St. Trinian's: The Soundtrack
St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold
Singles from St. Trinian's: The Soundtrack
  1. "Theme to St. Trinian's"
    Released: 10 December 2007
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
BBC Music (negative)[8]
Digital Spy (positive)[9] (3/10)[10]

The film's soundtrack was released on 10 December 2007, via Universal Music Group.[11][12] The album featured two original songs by British pop group Girls Aloud, including the single, "Theme to St. Trinian's". A music video for the song was released to promote the film and soundtrack.[13] The film's cast also recorded the theme, as well as a cover of Shampoo's "Trouble". A music video of the cast performing "Trouble" was also released.[14] Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, who star in the film, recorded the John Paul Young song "Love Is in the Air". A number of popular singles or current album tracks by artists, such as Mark Ronson, Lily Allen, Noisettes, Gabriella Cilmi, and Sugababes, were included on the soundtrack.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "Theme to St. Trinian's"   Girls Aloud 4:29
2. "Trouble" (Shampoo cover) Cast of St Trinian's 3:33
3. "Oh My God"   Mark Ronson featuring Lily Allen 3:40
4. "Love Is in the Air"   Rupert Everett and Colin Firth 3:50
5. "Don't Give Up"   Noisettes 2:31
6. "Nine2Five"   The Ordinary Boys vs. Lady Sovereign 3:04
7. "If I Can't Dance"   Sophie Ellis-Bextor 3:24
8. "Teenage Kicks"   Remi Nicole 2:27
9. "Sanctuary"   Gabriella Cilmi 3:29
10. "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"   The Four Aces 2:59
11. "3 Spoons of Suga"   Sugababes 3:51
12. "On My Way to Satisfaction"   Girls Aloud 4:06
13. "The St Trinian's School Song"   Cast of St Trinian's 3:47


  • When Geoffrey and Camilla meet again, she says "Another time!" and he answers "Another country!", which is the title of the movie, in which Rupert Everett and Colin Firth first starred together.
  • Camilla Fritton's dog, Mr Darcy, is named after a Jane Austen character from Pride and Prejudice (1995), as played by Colin Firth in the 1990s adaptation.
  • The painting the girls are stealing is called "Girl with a Pearl Earring", which is also the title of a movie (2003) in which Colin Firth played the painter of that picture.
  • The character Camilla Fritton parodies Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall in both mannerisms and dress.
  • There are many references to Pride and Prejudice (1995). For example: Fritton's dog is Mr D'Arcy, one of the girls mentions Colin Firth, Colin Firth dripping in water after falling into the unused fountain and Stephen Fry asking the question "Which book was originally titled "First Impressions" (A: Pride and Prejudice).
  • When Colin Firth first makes his inspection of St Trinian's, and is tossed out of the Posh Totty's window, he walks to the hockey field wet, in a white shirt with his jacket over his arm. This is reminiscent of the part he played in the 1990s mini series Pride and Prejudice (1995), where he does a scene in exactly the same way as depicted here.
  • In the film, it is shown that the rival school of St Trinian's is Cheltenham Ladies' College. This is the school that Talulah Riley's character Annabelle Fritton had previously attended. This is also the school that Talulah Riley herself has previously attended.
  • When Kelly suggests they steal the 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' portrait, the Posh Totty group reply "Oh my god, you want us to steal Scarlett Johansson?", referring to the filmGirl with a Pearl Earring (2003). Colin Firth, who plays Geoffrey Thwaites in this movie, played the painter in the film with Johansson.
  • Many actors in the film are connected in some way to Pride and Prejudice: Colin Firthplayed Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995), Anna Chancellor plays the part of Miss Bingley in the same adaptation. Talulah Riley is Mary Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Gemma Arterton is Elizabeth Bennet in the show Lost in Austen (2008).
  • The picture in Miss Fritton's study is a painting of Alastair Sim, as he played the original role in the original films. The bust that is destroyed by Annabelle's hockey blow also has the features of Sim.
  • The animated sequence during the heist plan are a stylistic nod to the original St. Trinian's cartoons drawn by Ronald Searle that inspired the movies.
  • The uniforms that Posh Totty (when they are at the Schools Challenge competition) wear are based on the original St Trinians uniforms from the original movies. Except the school's emblem is smaller.
  • The concept and name for St Trinian's was originally taken by Ronald Searle from St Trinnean's school in Edinburgh, which was established by Miss C. Fraser Lee and opened on 4 October 1922 with sixty girls, at 10 Palmerston Road. The school has since closed down, and is now Edinburgh University's Pollock Halls (of Residence). The school's existence became widely known when it advertised a reunion coffee party for old girls in The Scotsman in September 1955. By this time the fictional school was very well-known; the typesetter incorrectly used Searle's spelling in the advertisement. In an interview with the "Sunday Express" the headmistress firmly denied that her girls were anything like their fictional counterparts.
  • The Funeral of Miss Fritten's dog is reminiscent of The Italian Job (1969), where the Mafia line the hill side in dark glasses to 'warn off' the gang. And in another reference to that film, when the girls blow up the shed, Tania says "you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off".
  • The movie was inspired by the original drawings of the girls of St. Trinians by Ronald Searle.
  • It seems that the names of the St Trinian's opponents are chosen from the real names of the film's actors and actresses. For example: the Ampleforth college female contestant is named Tamsin (there's a label with her name underneath); a guy from Bedales is named Rupert; a girl from Chelterton is named Antonia. These are related to Tamsin Egerton,Rupert Everett and Antonia Bernath.
  • When the Chavs make over Annabelle, her hairstyle is based on UK rapper Lady Sovereign's style.
  • George Cole who played Flash Harry in the original series of films was offered a very tiny cameo, which he rejected.
  • The plaster bust in the hallway is that of Alastair Sim in character as the original Miss Fritton in the original movie The Belles of St Trinian's. It can be seen twice in the early scenes of the new movie.
  • During a deleted scene, Thwaite is talking to his colleagues about trying to reform St Trinian's. One of his colleague's announces "Let those wildcats beware." As a heading for a newspaper article. This line is paying homage to the movie The Wildcats of St. Trinian's(1980).
  • Nathaniel Parker (Chairman of the National Gallery) and Bel Parker (Aerial Girl) are respectively the younger brother and daughter of the director Oliver Parker.

International releases[edit]

Country Release date
UK 10 December 2007
UK 21 December 2007
Ireland 21 December 2007
Australia 27 March 2008
Portugal 27 March 2008
New Zealand 17 April 2008
Belgium 9 July 2008
Hungary 10 July 2008
Germany 7 August 2008
Poland 5 September 2008
Austria 19 September 2008
Netherlands 28 November 2008
Denmark 9 December 2008
Norway 10 December 2008
Sweden 17 December 2008
Finland 31 December 2008
USA April 2009
Spain 26 June 2009
Italy 10 July 2009
USA 11 July 2009
Canada 11 August 2009
USA 9 October 2009
Mexico 11 June 2010
France 22 February 2011
Japan 4 April 2012


It was announced at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival that the sequel, The Legend of Fritton's Gold, also directed by Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson, would be released in 2009.[15] Filming began on 6 July 2009,[16] and on 7 July 2009, it was announced that David Tennant, Sarah Harding and Montserrat Lombard had all signed on to appear in the sequel.[17]

In December 2009, it was announced that there will be a St Trinian's 3. However, as of February 2016, no cast or release date has been confirmed for the third installment.


  1. ^ UK Box office
  2. ^ St Trinian total box office
  3. ^ World Box Office Reports – Movie Ratings. Retrieved on 25 November 2009.
  4. ^ Sam Toy, Empire Magazine, Empire: Film Reviews, Movie News and Interviews. Retrieved on 25 November 2009.
  5. ^ Philip French, The Observer, 23 December 2007.
  6. ^ 20 December 2007
  7. ^ St Trinian's at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ BBC Music review
  9. ^ Digital Spy review
  10. ^ review
  11. ^ "St Trinians: Original Soundtrack". Retrieved 22 November 2007. 
  12. ^ "St. Trinians [Soundtrack]". Retrieved 22 November 2007. 
  13. ^ "Pay Attention Class". Office Blog. Fascination Records. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  14. ^ Uh Oh Cast of St. Trinian's - "We're in Trouble". YouTube. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  15. ^ Trinian's girls to return in 2009
  16. ^ Ealing Studios. Ealing Studios. Retrieved on 25 November 2009.
  17. ^ Tennant enrolls at 'St Trinian's II' – Entertainment News, Film News, Media. Variety (7 July 2009). Retrieved on 25 November 2009.

External links[edit]