The Good Die Young

1954

Crime / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.7

Synopsis


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1.92G
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English
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100 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.21G
Normal
English
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100 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 7

The Good Die Young is not an evocative but generic title like The Damned Don&#39;t Cry but as quite a literal summation of the story, if an incomplete one, for the bad die young, too. This English crime drama is more kitchen-sink than country manor, and a strong showing of Yanks in the cast helps cut into the order and reserve that often keeps such British efforts plucky but tepid. What results is an involving, many-layered movie, if a decidedly downbeat one. <br/><br/>Four unhappy plot lines converge into one very unhappy ending: Prizefighter Stanley Baker boxes with a broken hand that ends up gangrenous and amputated. Since his wife (Rene Ray) has given their meager life savings to her wastrel brother, he doesn&#39;t know where his next farthing is coming from.<br/><br/>Richard Basehart quits his job in New York to return to London and fetch his English wife (Joan Collins), who is being held hostage by her manipulative, malingering old monster of a mother (Freda Jackson).<br/><br/>G.I. John Ireland, on 48-hour furlough, goes AWOL when he can&#39;t find a minute to spend with his self-absorbed starlet wife Gloria Grahame, making time with the hot young star on her picture (Lee Patterson).<br/><br/>Lawrence Harvey, a sadistic sweet-talker, gambles and carouses on the money of his rich wife (Margaret Leighton), who&#39;s fast getting fed up with his feckless ways; he dines out on being a decorated war hero, but the father who disowns him (Robert Morley) believes he exterminated a nest of Germans who were unarmed and unconscious. <br/><br/>During a chance meeting in a pub, Harvey, desperate to make good on a bad check he wrote, wheedles the at-first-reluctant others into a scheme for robbing a postal truck of recycled Bank of England currency. He claims to be doing it only to help them out of their jams, but his sole interest lies in helping himself....<br/><br/>Lewis Gilbert (later to direct Alfie and three installments of the 007 franchise) opens just as the robbery is about to take place. Then he quickly flashes back to tell how the four perpetrators got there. He intercuts their stories (rather deftly), returning to the scene of the crime and its grisly aftermath only at the end. So the strength of the movie lies in its individual vignettes and the actors who bring them to life. These are variable. <br/><br/>Top-billed Harvey overplays his hand as the scheming psycho, as does Grahame as the round-heeled twitch. Ireland and Basehart cope well with loosely textured roles. The breakthrough performance is Baker&#39;s, who brings to mind all those deluded pugilists in American ropes-and-canvas epics, dying for illusory glory. The wives are mostly afterthoughts, though Ray and Leighton bring some poignancy to their plights. Morley and Jackson deserve mention for the incisiveness of their peripheral roles. More a drama of converging fates than a film noir (even a Britnoir), The Good Die Young holds attention owing to its large and seasoned cast and its slow but determined pace.

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Reviewed by bob the moo 7

Four men are in a car. They are all from different walks of life and a short time ago none of them were nothing more than drinking buddies ? now they are on their way somewhere with a box full of guns. A washed up boxer, a man trying to win his wife back from a controlling mother, an RAF officer with a cheating wife and a &quot;gentleman&quot; with no means of his own. Only a few weeks ago, &quot;gentleman&quot; Miles finds himself out of luck with his women and his money pit in-laws and, needing money so, when he meets the other three men, he sees a chance to take advance of their various needs.<br/><br/>For a while back in the fifties, British cinema seemed to have enough grit and clout to it to almost be able to compete with the American market in regards crime thrillers (if not quite noirs); The Good Die Young is one of those that has a good try and is a pretty enjoyable piece even if it lacks the grit and tension of similar American products. The film opens with an intriguing set up but then jumps back to establish the story and characters and it is here where it becomes weak. The back stories are rather melodramatic and it doesn&#39;t fit well with what was meant to be a bit tougher and gripping; they are interesting enough to do the job but I must admit to feeling that they were a bit dragged out and unnecessarily long. However, if you make it through this main body of the film you&#39;ll get to an ending that is just what the film should have been throughout. I won&#39;t spoil it but it is enjoyably brutal, downbeat and gripping ? &quot;about time&quot; was my thought when I realised that the film had gotten going.<br/><br/>The cast do their best with the melodrama but the material isn&#39;t there for them and they are mixed. Harvey and Baker stand out with strong performances; Basehart is good but Ireland feels like he is just making up the numbers. Naturally Collins stands out today, and she is quite good but the melodrama is made better by Grahame, Ray and, to a lesser extent, Leighton. Of course the men are all much better in the proper crime side of the film and this is partly due to better and more atmospheric direction from writer/director Gilbert, who also injects the pace when it is required.<br/><br/>Overall this is an average film mainly because the back story takes up far too much of the film, is too melodramatic and doesn&#39;t sit well with the tough tension promised in the first scene and delivered at the end. With the main trunk being rather plodding, the ending does feel a lot better mainly because you&#39;re grateful that the film has gotten going. Could have been great but is merely reasonably good; worth seeing for genre and period fans but will not impress a wider audience.

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Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 8

The Good Die Young is a cracking British Noir picture directed by Lewis Gilbert and featuring a strong cast of British and American actors. Laurence Harvey, Stanley Baker, Richard Basehart, John Ireland, Gloria Grahame, Margaret Leighton, Joan Collins and Rene Ray are the principals. While support comes from Robert Morley and Freda Jackson.<br/><br/>Adapted from the novel written by Richard MacAuley, the story starts with four men pulling up in a car, guns are passed around them and it&#39;s soon evident they are about to commit a serious crime. We are then taken through the sequences for each man, how they came to be at that point in time, what brought them together and their common interest; that of women trouble and financial strife. It&#39;s excellently structured by Gilbert, four separate stories, yet all of them are on the same track and heading towards the grim and potently &quot;noirish&quot; final quarter. Such is the way that we as viewers have been fully informed about our characters, the impact when things get violent is doubly strong. It takes you by surprise at first because the makers have given us a smooth set-up, and then there is the shock factor because these were not criminal men at the outset. But then..<br/><br/>A real pleasant surprise to this particular viewer was The Good Die Young, it&#39;s got fully formed characters within a tight and interesting story. The cast do fine work, yes one could probably complain a touch that the ladies are under written, but they each get in and flesh out the downward spiral of the male protagonists. Rene Ray is particularly impressive as the fraught wife of Stanley Baker&#39;s injured boxer, Mike, while Gloria Grahame (walking like a panther) is memorable as a bitch-a-like babe driving her husband Eddie (Ireland) to distraction. Basehart is his usual value for money self, but it&#39;s Baker and Harvey who own the picture. Baker does a great line in raw emotion, a big man, big heart and a big conscious; his journey is the films emotional axis, while Harvey is positively weasel like as playboy sponger Miles Ravenscourt; someone who is guaranteed to have you hissing at the screen with his stiffness perfectly befitting the character. <br/><br/>Top stuff. 8/10

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