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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)


Starring: Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford
Distributor: StudioCanal
Certificate: U
Release Date: 05 October 2015

Set in Nutbourn College, the most established and respectable of boy’s schools, a military mistake billets a girls’ school to share the college’s premises, to the outrage of their horrified headmaster and headmistress, played with comic mastery by Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford. Initially the two are hostile to one another. However, with a staff of dazed, eccentric teachers and a student body of knowing and troublesome children, they are forced to pull together as the situation stumbles from the sublime to the ridiculous...

The Happiest Days of Your Life is a British comedy classic that spawned one of the nation’s most beloved comedy franchises; the hugely successful St. Trinian’s series.

While the picture quality has been nicely spruced up, thanks to a digital restoration, I have to admit that I didn't find this movie as amusing or enjoyable as the St Trinian's series that it spawned. While there's no faulting the comedic performances of Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford, there have been so many movies since that have a similar farcical plot that you already pretty much know just about everything that's going to happen well in advance of the characters.

For St Trinian's fans, this is an essential purchase, but everyone else will find it a little lacking.

For extras we get an Interview with Andy Merrimen (Margaret Rutherford biographer); an interview with Ronald Searle expert Martin Rowson; and an interview with Michael Brooke (author/journalist).


Nick Smithson

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