An exceedingly tough and very amusing self-described “propaganda picture” for rationing during the war, the dame in the audience sees herself cadging a bit extra at the butcher’s like a receiver of stolen goods abetting and indeed instigating the crime by demand, a judge admonishes her directly from the screen.
A retrospective of the prewar days when oranges were famously known, and of course the seaside, followed by the experience to date.
Total mobilization, total war, everything on the table, factory girls under air raids, Popsy in the Home Guard, all of it.
British film critics hardly seem aware even now that Launder and Gilliat created such a film as stands with any on any terms at all.
For mastery of the cinema in a work of art that has only peers (Wyler, Minnelli or Capra, Powell & Pressburger), with nothing lacking to its psychological understanding (that is to say, its portrayal of life), and criticism is wasted on these points, the film is a masterpiece of the greatest importance because it says why we’re here, because we’re here.
There can’t be any doubt where the inspiration lies (Film4 says it’s lacking), the comprehensive image of the “BIGGEST EVER MAIL TRAIN ROBBERY” and a swath of government cash diverted to St. Trinian’s by a Labour Minister shutting down public schools as a matter of principle ought to give a better picture than can be found elsewhere, except that the St. Trinian’s headmistress is the Minister’s mistress, and the school in its new digs has its own betting parlor, professionally run by Flash Harry Hackett.
The lolly’s in the basement, the robbers come to fetch it (Phase Two of Operation Windfall), the belles fend them off in a train sequence admired by Variety and are jolly well prepared to keep it, instead an M.B.E. is presented to each and every one.
And so, the headmistress, having ditched her guardsman for the Minister, has him in again.