The League of Gentlemen

1960

Comedy / Crime

0
IMDb Rating 7.3

Synopsis


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2.18G
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English
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116 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.38G
Normal
English
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116 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by snaunton 8

A British army colonel, pensioned off and embittered, assembles a motley group of specialist, criminal and deviant ex-officers who share his bitterness. He has in mind a bank robbery. They arm themselves, courtesy of their former employer, then execute the robbery impeccably, right in the centre of the City of London. The bags of loot are filled, but, at the pictures, crime seldom pays....<br/><br/>That this film has been reviewed as a comedy demonstrates, once again, that British and American are two cultures disguised by a common language. The humour here, of that characteristically British sardonic kind, is incidental to a drama of frustration, disappointment and inadequacy. The humour is just the way the British speak. <br/><br/>The clever and low key &quot;raid&quot; on the army training centre is finely done. So much so that it overshadows the robbery itself and therefore slightly unbalances the action.<br/><br/>This is one of those films, craftsmanlike and enjoyable, yet not desperately exciting, that finds its greatest value precisely in being a period piece. The League of Gentleman is a fascinating social document. Made in 1959, it catches the moment in British history when, as its Empire dissolved, the social infrastructure that supported it and that had made Colonel Hyde what he had been, also disintegrated. This aspect could almost have been deliberate, explaining the very long opening sequence (another unbalancing factor) that introduces us to the seven main characters. There are shockingly frank moments: the honourable man with the overtly promiscuous wife; the gigolo; the religious fraudster (or pervert - the message is obscured); another of the heroes an &quot;other man&quot;, a homosexual; the pressure of life in a small house with a loud television set. So, too, the casualness with which machine guns are used in a robbery by men trained in the code of gentlemen. The dull and seedy presentation of Hyde&#39;s home and base, large but far from grand, is further evidence of the decline of his class. So, too, a robbery that was intended as a hymn to the effectiveness of military planning, brought to naught by one stupid mistake and a small boy.<br/><br/>Yet this is not a sententious film, their is no preaching, none of that British nostalgia for the old ways, but almost a respect for the robbers and a recognition that life had to become more ruthless as a stiff society began to flex. How it was elsewhere, I do not know, but this watchable film will show anyone what was happening in Britain just before the Sixties began to swing.

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Reviewed by nickname1 7

This 1959 (or 1960) film shares the same title as the 1990&#39;s comedy about weird northern folk, but is a far more savage satire of decay in the establishment.<br/><br/>A redundant Colonel recruits a unit of marginally more corrupted subordinate Army officers, to stage an American Style heist, based on a US pulp fiction novel. Very few of the characters would initially be associated with the establishment. Their past failings include treason, war-crimes and negligence resulting in deaths.<br/><br/>Jack Hawkins (Colonel Hyde) knits the characters together over the course of the film. By reinventing a form of army discipline the characters appear to rediscover their aplomb.<br/><br/>The actual robbery is almost incidental, occupying ~ 10% of the film.<br/><br/>My real fascination was with the development and interaction of the characters. Even 40 years on their callousness is at times shocking and the &#39;Blame Ireland&#39; example of scapegoating still resonates, especially in the context of the characters&#39; personal failures in other theatres of the ex-empire.<br/><br/>The film is nearly 2 hours long, but seemed much shorter. Post war film of the City of London (and elsewhere) before 60s redevelopment is a bonus.

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Reviewed by starvin4megravy 9

Well ... if your name is &quot;Half Colonel&quot; Hyde, you thank Her Majesty very much, and take your future into your own hands!<br/><br/>Hyde, played to gruff perfection by Jack Hawkins, is supremely proud of his meticulous planning skills, gained and sharpened in a 25 year military career. Ignominiously pensioned off, he puts these strengths to good use in plotting a daring million-pound robbery.<br/><br/>As an ex-military man, Hyde is aware that his &quot;operation&quot; cannot succeed without putting together a squad of the very best experts. Displaying the kind of guile and ruthlessness that earned him his lofty rank, he also knows that it&#39;s rather handy if one&#39;s selected team has nothing much to lose.<br/><br/>The film opens by introducing us to Hyde&#39;s hand-picked candidates in turn - each receiving a mysterious invitation to lunch, stapled to one half of a crisp new fiver none of them can afford to ignore. A rum bunch they are, too - we witness a splendidly gloomy panorama of post- war London, scattered with promiscuous wives, doomed businesses, loveless marriages and good times going rapidly bad.<br/><br/>Enough, surely, to make a fellow wish he were back in the army - especially should he happen to be a bogus clergyman, an &quot;odd man out&quot; or simply a chap who always makes the same mistake twice ...<br/><br/>Was late-1950s Britain, in fact, a land fit for heroes? Does pride come before a fall? Or might crime, perhaps just this once, pay?<br/><br/>Join these esteemed Gentlemen for a wonderfully enjoyable caper movie, and find out for yourself! The story entertains (and possibly even informs) throughout - particularly to be relished is the interplay between Hawkins and the always-watchable Nigel &quot;Old Darling&quot; Patrick. <br/><br/>Notwithstanding a youthful Oliver Reed&#39;s jarringly unfunny cameo, this is easily one of my top ten movies. <br/><br/>May we be spared for ever the Hollywood or - even worse - the BritPack re-make!!

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