Sunday, July 1, 2012
Blue Murder at St. Trinian (1957)
To be honest, it's been awhile since I watched this one so my memory may be a little spotty.
The movie played out like an extension of the first movie except for a few major changes.For some, undisclosed reason the headmistress is jailed.In order to maintain some resemblence of order, the education department is sent to "guard" the girls. Unsuited for war, the education dept is left ragged and wounded as they defend themselves from the office. The second change is that Flash Harry has a more guardian role in this one.He was introduced as a shadowy but lovable side character in the first. Now it seems that he has begun to swell into his role as the girls only line to the outside. For in the beginning of the movie, he is chattin' it up with an Italian Prince by advertising the older girls for marriage. Flash was pimpin' out the girls in pin-up style photo book. For some reason, I was thinking of Grace Kelly. I have no idea why.
Strangely enough, the girls are ecstatic with Flashs return and are eager to hear news of the Princes reaction. This was pretty boggling. I would think the girls would chafe at having some guy pick a wife from mere photos. Or that they would even want to be a wife. These were established to be naughty, crazy, as females armed with wit and guile to suit their own selfish needs. I guess they just wanted to establish some royal money or take over a country. Or maybe they're just hopeless romantics...
Meanwhile, a seemingly pointless introduction of a jewel thief grabs the attention of the police chief and the sad but annoying undercover policeman on the train. As the chase gains way, it is connected that the thief is the father of the one the St Trinian girls. As the father hides out in the girls dorm, the police quickly figure out the obvious connection and surround the place.
Well since they're under "house arrest" (how is it that they bodily harm large groups of people but they can't fight their way through weak cops?). Now they are truly stuck. How can they ever get to Italy?
Ahh, the introduction of a plot point in the guise of an essay contest with an Italian trip as the main prize. So....get this....they are unable to leave the school but they are ABLE to break into the Ministry of Education to rig their essay as the winning essay.
Although I can dismiss that bottomless plothole by mentioning one of the wackiest sequence I've seen so far. In an attempt to get the results, the girls drill a hole from the floor above. They stick an umbrella through the hole and open it to catch the debris. They switch the essays. They're almost caught but the police are called elsewhere. They cover the hole with a carpet and scamper off. The Ministry of Education discover the horrific "winner" of the contest. As they wonder who could've done it, they step...right...into..the...whole...
No wonder these girls can get away with anything. Everyone is an imbecile.
Are you with me so far? Ok..onward with the crazy.
Way to get to Rome? Check! Way to get out of the school? However will they manage? Ahhh....blackmail the father into dressing up as the New headmistress and lead them to Italy. Once again, another wacky scene:
The new headmistress has driven off. She walks away from the car bewildered and wary at the large number of St. Trinian girls that have come out to greet her. And they're singing. They're parting ways for her and singing oh so sweetly. As the headmistress walks up the stairs, a secret panel slides open from the wall and yanks her in. In a few moments, the father emerges as the new headmistress and the girls continue to sing on. That was just pure diabolical fun to watch that segment.
So pretty much, they end up in Italy. Something about the dad trying to run. One of the girls being married off. Jewels being the ball. Honestly, the rest of the movie became forgettable to me.
The movie felt more like an extended episode than a movie . I enjoyed seeing more of Flash Harry but his grand important role among the girls is starting to feel more disturbing. Almost like a pimp looking over his harem.
I hate the inclusion of the undercover woman cop now. Am I supposed to feel happy that she spurns away the love of reasonable men for the one man who would rather do battle than marry her? I am becoming seriously irritated with the way her character is handing this. There is a pretty diverse plot where she, Flash Harry, and some other guy have been stranded in the ocean. The policeman is shown that not only does she have romantic appeal but handiness in dealing with situations. She was so strong. Then she sees that worthless shit and she goes stupid.Is this supposed to be a nod towards how women can be? A contrast between her and the girls? A possible difference in what happens when one takes control of the situation? Pis posh.
There was also alot more focus on the older girls. Who are sexier, cunning, and intelligent. I could see inspirations of this in the modern version.
Except for the scenes I mentioned, this version fell pretty short of meeting the atmosphere and fun of the first movie. Why did they take out the headmistress Alistar? I don't get it. It's not great. It's ok. I was able to watch it all the way through. If I stopped screaming "WHAT? WHY?" at the screen then I was able to enjoy it somewhat.
Oh....and why the hell was it titled "Blue Murder at St. Trinian"!?!??!There was no murder!!