The Wildcats of St Trinian's

The Wildcats of St. Trinian's is the fifth British comedy film set in the fictional St Trinian's School. Directed by Frank Launder, it was released in 1980.[1][2]

The Wildcats of St. Trinian's
DVD cover
Directed byFrank Launder
Produced byE.M. Smedley-Aston
Written byFrank Launder
Ronald Searle
StarringSheila Hancock
Michael Hordern
Joe Melia
Thorley Walters
Rodney Bewes
Maureen Lipman
Julia McKenzie
Rosalind Knight
Ambrosine Phillpotts
Rose Hill
Deborah Norton
Music byJames Kenelm Clarke
CinematographyErnest Steward
Edited byAntony Gibbs
Wildcat Film Productions
Distributed byEnterprise
Release date
  • 1980 (1980)
Running time
91 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film pokes fun at the British trade union movement which had been responsible for the recent wave of strikes that culminated in the Winter of Discontent.

The film was not a critical or commercial success.[3] It has yet to be released on DVD except in the US.


The girls of St. Trinian's hatch yet another fiendish plot—a trade union for British schoolgirls. Their friend and mentor, Flash Harry, suggests a plan which involves kidnapping girls from other rather more respectable colleges and substituting their own "agents". Thus begins a hilarious, often bloody, battle of wits as the girls meet resistance not only from Olga Vandermeer, their Headmistress, but from the Minister of Education, a private detective, and an oil sheikh. Despite all his desperate efforts to foil the conspiracy, the Minister has to face a growing realisation that the girls' demands will have to be met—for him this will mean a very great and very personal sacrifice.



It had been ten years since the previous St Trinians film. "I didn't want to do another St Trinians unless it could top the previous one," said Launder during filming. "I think this one does."[4] Sidney Gilliat was a production consultant.


Derek Malcolm of The Guardian called it "one of the worst films I've ever seen... Please don't do anything like it again. Ever."[5]

Launder wanted to follow to the film with an adaptation of the books by Norman Thelwell about a pony school. He almost made it in Norway in the late 1970s and in 1979 planned on making it in Britain the following year.[4] However no movie resulted.


  1. 'Radio Times' film review
  2. WILDCATS OF ST. TRINIAN'S, The Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 47, Iss. 552, (Jan 1, 1980): 97.
  3. Obituary: Frank Launder The Independent 24 Feb 1997: 16.
  4. The terrible Trinians again The Guardian 1 Oct 1979: 15.
  5. Being funny is no laughing matter Malcolm, Derek. The Guardian 18 Dec 1980: 9.
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