Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Spotlight on St Trinians 1

I put this blog to bed at the end of last year, but now I have decided to give it a prod with a sharp stick and bring it out of hibernation. But rather than each post focus on a different film, I am about to shine a spotlight onto a cinematic series. Some inspiration for this comes from my blogging friend Graeme, who runs the hugely popular Carry on Blogging site – I urge you to visit it here:

Classic British cinema has long been the inspiration for my writing. Two of my short story collections have focussed on the audience for a specific film (‘A Canterbury Tale’ and ‘I Know Where I’m Going’). Another collection was peopled by a range of characters all affected in some way by the work of Joyce Grenfell.

My intention is that my next short story collection will be connected to Launder and Gilliat’s earlier St Trinians films. These are much loved and also, I think, quite important in their own little way. This time, I also hope to take a step closer to the films in the stories that I write. Rather than focussing on the audience, I’d like the films and their stars to take a bow in some way. How I will do this, I’m not quite sure yet. This proposal is more challenging to me as a writer and involves research into the making of the films, those involved in this and the contemporary scene.

So from this point onwards, The History Usherette will shine her torch on four films in a series of posts, perhaps lasting for a year. I’ll share all my discoveries on here and hopefully bring us all a bit of classic film joy along the way.

The Films:
·        The Belles of St Trinians (1954)
·        Blue Murder at St Trinians (1957)
·        The Pure Hell of St Trinians (1960)
·        The Great St Trinians Train Robbery (1966)

There will probably be less emphasis on the fourth one. A further Launder and Gilliat St Trinians film was made in 1980, but this falls out of the Usherette’s time frame. And as is the case with the Train Robbery film, many original cast members were missing and it just isn’t the same.  It is generally agreed that as the series progressed, the quality dropped. Star ratings for the Train Robbery film are never generous.

As anyone who knows the Usherette is aware…if Ruby Gates isn’t in it, then, well…what’s the point?

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