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Films: P is for...

Please Sir!

5C’s well-meaning and liberal form teacher Hedges (John Alderton) has his work cut out convincing senior teaching staff, head teacher Mr. Cromwell (Noel Howlett) and Deputy Doris Ewell (Joan Sanderson) that his form won’t cock around too much in rural Woodbridge. A planned year group trip to the Woodbridge Rural Centre is approaching and the kids are keen to go, to the extent where they’ll fake parental signatures to secure a seat on a Jack Crump coach but the problem is, as regular watchers of the series know, they’re right little ‘erberts and the question remains, can they be trusted?

Hedges, (or ‘chief’) whose crowd control solely consists of shouting quite a lot, falls in love on the trip with a woman who gives the young black kid (none other than Brinsley Forde, soon-to-be lead singer in the reggae group Aswad) in the class a lift after he tells her Hedges has thrown him off the coach for being black. Hedges has yet more work cut out convincing her that he’s no racist, but eventually she sees him for the sweetie he is. Religion and Hedges obsessed Maureen (Liz Gebhardt) isn’t too pleased meanwhile but Maureen in turn is the object of lust by a young gypsy kid they befriend, credibly called, erm, Nobbler.

The pleasure in watching the film comes with innocent sneaking-out-of-the-room-after-dark japes and genial piss-taking about other classmate’s attempts at creativity. During an outdoor art lesson: ‘Hur hur, double cubist that is mate!’ And in an al fresco ballet class: ‘Oh look, ‘ere comes the Bolshy Ballet’… and all to the soundtrack of Cilla’s La La La Lu.



  1. Adrian

    March 8, 2010 at 8:49 am

    It’s a shame there was never a film version of Grange Hill to go with this..

  2. orange revel

    March 11, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I love this film, you’ve just got to get past how old the actors playing the kids are. Good tune hummed by the Welsh teacher along with Hedges for the ride against his will:

    “When this rotten trip is over
    O how happy I shall be
    I will buy a new machine gun
    And annihilate 5c”

    It all looks so much fun, you want to go there yourself..

  3. Glenn A

    March 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I first saw this on Christmas Day in 1976. Always good for a laugh esp when 5C decide to get one over on the public schoolboys who are staying at the activity centre, particularly the scene where one stuck up twit gets the lid of the piano slammed on his fingers.
    A shame another school based film, Melody, which was made around the same time and is even funnier, is never shown now. This made 5C look tame as ver kids decide to blow up the headmaster’s car with a home made bomb during a riot. It also featured the excellent pairing of Mark Lester and Jack Wild.

  4. Lee James Turnock

    May 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Peter Cleall should have made a series with Doug Fisher from Man About the House, they’d have been absolute naturals together.

  5. iMatt

    January 1, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Ah yes – ‘Please Sir!’. Where the pupils look older than the teachers!

  6. Tom Ronson

    October 23, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    I honestly love this film, especially Mike Hugg’s big, brash and brassy incidental music, including the title theme that goes into a Dave Allen At Large-style Hammond jazz freakout when the camera pans over a dowdy bit of London. I don’t care that the kids are about the same age as yer John Aldertons and yer Patsy Rowlands…es, it’s all part of the fun. Look out for a young Todd Carty as the kid who pisses himself in assembly, and Dennis’s brilliant animal impressions. ‘Bark! Bark!’

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