Monday, 10 August 2009

The Happiest Days of Your Life

1950 - Dir: Frank Launder

Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 28th September, 2002

Nutbourne College, an old established boys' boarding school is told that another school is to be billeted in the same building due to wartime restrictions. The shock is that it's a girls' school that has been sent. The two head teachers are soon battling for the upper hand with each other and the Ministry. But a crisis (or two) forces them to work together. This fifty year old comedy wears incredibly well. The pace is frantic, like a French farce with doors opening and closing and much dashing along corridors with split second timing as the two groups try to avoid each other. Margaret Rutherford and Alistair Sim ham it up superbly and there are many familiar faces in the supporting cast - including "Mr Margaret Rutherford" (Stringer Davis).
The script is adapted from a play by John Dighton, who was responsible for much of the dialogue for "Kind Hearts and Coronets", a number of Will Hay and George Formby vehicles and who co-wrote "The Man in the White Suit". There are fine performances throughout and although the film spawned the "St Trinians" series - it is considerably more stylish, light hearted and literate than the ensuing efforts.

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