Movies about British private schools and universities

We decided to choose our favorite movies about school time to get inspired by the stories of students from the most famous universities in England.


St. Trinian’s

St. Trinian’s Boarding School is home to some of the city’s top kids, and it’s where Annabelle is brought by her father for the new school year. At first, the girl asks to be taken away from this institution, but as soon as she gets used to her classmates, the school is threatened with closure due to bankruptcy. To save St. Trinian’s, the students come up with a cunning plan: to steal a painting from the National Gallery and so pay off a debt of 500,000 pounds.

In the role of the Minister of Education — Colin Firth, in the roles of “bad girls” — Mischa Barton, singer Paloma Faith, Gemma Arterton, and Annabelle’s father, the headmistress of the school, is played by actor Rupert Everett. This is a light youth comedy with not the most original plot, but with well-known actors and English slang from different subcultures. We advise you to watch the tape in the original to get new words and listen to the voice of Colin Firth.


Goodbye, Mr. Chips

The movie has several versions: the original 1939 black-and-white, the 1969 remake starring “Lawrence of Arabia” star Peter O’Toole, the BBC mini-series, and the 2002 TV movie of the same name. The plot of all the pictures is similar and is based on the novel by James Hilton: Mr. Chipping, or as everyone calls him Mr. Chips, works at a school for boys.

He recalls his long career as a teacher, students, and a fateful meeting with Catherine Burgess — the beloved girl who changed his whole life. The first original version is called more successful, especially since the performer of the lead role, Robert Donat, was awarded the Academy Award for his work. The 1969 movie is less well-known, but it slightly expanded the plot and added elements of the musical.


The History Boys

The movie, based on a theatrical play by Alan Bennett, tells the story of Yorkshire schoolchildren who plan to go to Cambridge and Oxford Universities. To do this, graduates are trained with a special focus on history. At the same time, the characters grow up, try to find the love and respect of their peers.

Teachers teach them not just to cram theory, but to understand and analyze what they read, so they mostly chat with teachers on topics that are important to them. The lead roles were played by actors from the original production of the Royal National Theatre, and the film’s director, Nicholas Heitner, was previously the artistic director of the same theater.


The Theory of Everything

It all starts at the University of Cambridge: here, student Stephen Hawking conducts research in astrophysics, meets his love, and suddenly faces an illness. Despite the warnings of the doctors, the scientist continues his work, and the support of his wife Jane gives him confidence day after day.

This is a beautiful and touching melodrama-biopic that inspires you not to give up and follow your dream. It is the right movie to admire the University of Cambridge and meet one of the most famous astrophysicists in history. The lead roles were played by Oscar nominees Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, the music for the movie was written by the famous Icelandic composer Johan Johannsson, and the movie itself won prizes at the British and American Film Academies.


An Education

Jenny plans to go to Oxford: she is an excellent student, plays the cello, and dreams of studying at the best university. Suddenly, she meets David. He’s older than her, knows a lot about art, and spends his weekends in Paris. The more they talk, the less Jenny sees the need for an Oxford education. This is a touching melodrama about how a girl meets a prince who not only changes her everyday life but also forces her to reconsider her views on life.

The script is based on the memoirs of English journalist Lynn Barber: in the book, she described her relationship at the age of 16 and her boyfriend, who was well over 30. The lead role in the movie was played by Carey Mulligan, which the writer liked very much. As she later wrote in The Guardian, “if anyone thinks I was as cute as Carey Mulligan, please keep thinking like that!”