St Trinian's is the sixth in a long-running series of films based on the works of cartoonist Ronald Searle. The first four films form a series, starting with The Belles of St Trinian's in 1954, with sequels in 1957, 1960, 1966. The 1980 The Wildcats of St Trinian's was not a critical success. The books are actually based on St Trinnean's School for Girls, Edinburgh. Ronald Searle stayed with the parents of a schoolgirl Cecily Johnston during the war and when told about the goings on decided to draw the cartoons. The school was closed shortly after the war and is now St Leonards House in Pollock Halls, student residences for Edinburgh University.
Flash Harry pays a visit to the school and makes a deal with the girls for some lab-made vodka. The last batch had side effects including blindness, paralysis, and death, all symptoms of methanol poisoning, indicating lack of care in distillation of the liquor.
A few days later the school has a hockey match against Annabelle's old school - their rivals Cheltenham Ladies' College. The Cheltenham captain is Verity Thwaites, daughter of the education minister. The girls give a hostile and violent welcome to their visitors and the match ends in a brawl between the two schools. Later, Annabelle overhears her father telling her aunt that he doesn't think Annabelle fits in with the family, which hurts her feelings. Later that day, her aunt makes her feel a part of the family and gets her to release her anger. The other girls at the school give Annabelle a make-over and make her feel part of the school. Meanwhile the education minister, Geoffrey Thwaites, is inspecting the school. It is revealed that Thwaites and Miss Fritton were acquainted, and possibly romantically linked, while at university. Thwaites' decision to invite the press to witness for themselves the chaos of St Trinian's backfires as St Trinian's appears faultless, while Thwaites is repeatedly humiliated (smashing a tank of ants, being caught with his trousers down in the Posh Tottys' boudoir, being cast into a water butt and finally kicking Miss Fritton's pet dog through an open window, fatally, when it grabs his trouser leg).
Meanwhile, the bank is threatening it with closure for bankruptcy. Kelly hears the talk about closure and tells the rest of the school. They then concoct a plan to save the school by getting to the final of the "School Challenge" quiz tournament (which is to be held in the National Gallery, London), and stealing the painting 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' which is housed there. Annabelle tries to persuade Flash Harry to act as a prestigious gay German art dealer, so that he can sell a false version of the painting to her father. He initially refuses, but Kelly persuades him to comply (as he secretly has feelings for her, although she knows about them and uses them to her advantage; and he does not want to look stupid in front of her). The school team for School Challenge consists of three of the Posh Tottys, Chelsea, Peaches and Chloe. They reach the final by cheating (against Ampleforth they steal the answers before the match; against Bedales they lace their opponents' drinks with magic mushrooms; the Eton team is rendered clueless by their seduction).
During the final Kelly, Taylor and Andrea foil the security for the painting that they're after and eventually retrieve it but on the way back the cable that they used to climb over the top of the audience of the final of School Challenge snaps just after Taylor and Andrea get over to the other side. Kelly gets stuck with no way to get to other side again. Mrs Fritton sees that Kelly needs help and goes to save the day, having to distract education minister Geoffrey Thwaites through a combination of liquor and seduction on the way. Meanwhile Annabelle takes care of Verity.
The school successfully gets the painting and sells it to Carnaby Fritton who doesn't realise it is not the real one which has been returned under the cover of St Trinian's finding it. They receive a £50,000 reward for returning the painting and with the cash from Carnaby Fritton they pay back the money owed to the bank and St Trinian's stays in business.
|Rupert Everett||Miss Camilla Fritton|
and Carnaby Fritton
|Colin Firth||Geoffrey Thwaites|
|Russell Brand||Flash Harry|
|Lena Headey||Miss Dickinson|
|Anna Chancellor||Miss Bagstock|
|Fenella Woolgar||Miss Cleaver|
|Caterina Murino||Miss Maupassant|
|Lucy Punch||Verity Thwaites|
|Talulah Riley||Annabelle Fritton|
|Cheryl Cole, member of Girls Aloud||St Trinian schoolgirl (cameo)|
|Nadine Coyle, member of Girls Aloud||St Trinian schoolgirl (cameo)|
|Sarah Harding, member of Girls Aloud||St Trinian schoolgirl (cameo)|
|Nicola Roberts, member of Girls Aloud||St Trinian schoolgirl (cameo)|
|Kimberley Walsh, member of Girls Aloud||St Trinian schoolgirl (cameo)|
|Steve Furst||Bank Manager|
|Jeremy Thompson||Sky News Presenter|
|Zöe Salmon||St Trinian Schoolgirl Emo (cameo)|
|Mischa Barton||JJ French|
St Trinian's was released in the United Kingdom on December 21 2007, in Australia on March 27 2008, and in New Zealand on April 17 2008. Other European releases are planned for Belgium on July 9 2008, and Germany on August 7 2008.
Mixed reviews resulted in a 47% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 7 fresh and 8 rotten. By the end of its run the film had grossed £12,042,854 in the UK , surpassing its £7 million production budget. In Australia the film opened at #5 and has so far grossed £1.1 million after four weeks. .
Other references in St Trinian's are the twins Tara & Tania accidentally blowing up the shed and saying "you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off", a direct reference to the 1960's heist movie The Italian Job. When the Minister suggests St. Trinian's be the first school to be addressed under his new regime, a bureaucrat says "be afraid, be very afraid", a direct quote from the 1987 movie The Fly. The picture in Miss Fritton's study is a painting of Alastair Sim, who played Millicent Fritton, the headmistress in the original films. During the School Challenge final, Holly is shown using the search engine Ask Jeeves after Stephen Fry asks a question, a reference to Fry's role as Jeeves in Jeeves and Wooster. It also makes reference to YouTube, in the scene where Annabelle is running nude the girls have put the live feed on YouTube.