With the upcoming academic year, Nutbourne College (a boys’ school) is in full preparation. Wetherby Pond (Alastair Sim) is concerned as he is up for a promotion. The problem is that the college has become a part of the government drive to relocate schools and funds. This has meant that a whole school full of girls are on there way! Lead by the vigourous Muriel Whitchurch (Margaret Rutherford) who is less than impressed by the introduction of all of these boys. What with the parents coming to visit and the school board wanting to make sure he is up to the job, both are in trouble. The boys have to be shuffled one way, the girls have to be shuffled the other way. It becomes a comedy of chaos and confusion.
In this period the film landscape in Britian was focused on comedy and war films. One was trying to release the tensions built up during a war period that saw many die and others made homeless and helpless. The other was trying to grow people back into the place they were in before the war. A place of imperial joy, class and culture. Fixed to schema that were defined century before and underlined before the beginning of a century that cut out the heart of the landscape.
This film is a very soft and fun battle of the sexes type piece from the 1950s. We have a great blend of the sending up of social values and poking fun of societal places. This being both the template for St Trinians and the filmed fulfillment of Ronald Searles books, you have to expect a great series of gags on these themes. With the introduction both Alastiar Sim and Margeret Rutherford to the mix, you are on to a winner. The funny film is at many respects a joy of simple humor and straight direction. The lack of any excess or pretense is great. The joy of ripping apart the silly and ignorant following of social ties. The rather stupid ignorance of middle class, (predominately) white people that get het up about sex and not about the educational needs of the children is dynamite.
The only real downsides to the whole is that the extras on this disc are dire. The visual transfer is beautiful, sound is clean and clear and the disc has great intertitles and menu options. But to be honest the extras of interviews by a group of people that have some good points, lacks care….is it worth the money? Yep…