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Boys in Brown (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | December 1949 (UK)
A slice of life in a British Borstal reform institution for young criminals.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Warner ...
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...
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Barbara Murray ...
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Andrew Crawford ...
Casey
...
Mrs. Knowles
Graham Payn ...
...
John Blythe ...
Alfie Bass ...
Stanley Escane ...
Bert
Robert Desmond ...
Marten Tiffen ...
Dusty (as Martin Tiffen)
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Storyline

During post-war England, a young petty crook, Jackie Knowles, is on probation for committing petty crimes. Jackie wants to marry his girlfriend Kitty but they don't have enough money to live on. Jackie foolishly accepts to be the getaway driver for a robbery job. The robbery goes wrong and Jackie is arrested. Because of his previous probation breach, the judge sentences him to three years in a Borstal institution. In the UK, the Borstal institutions are trying to rehabilitate rather than punish young offenders. Jackie Knowles arrives at a Borstal institution run by a sympathetic governor. Initially, Jackie intends to keep his nose clean, do his time and get out. Unfortunatelly, he falls in with a crowd planning to escape. The wrong crowd is run by scheming Welsh boy Alfie Rawlins who senses Jackie's naiveté and innocence. Alfie manipulates Jackie into wanting to join his group by playing on Jackie's anxiety about his girlfriend, Kitty. Alfie lies that Kitty already has forgotten about... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can bad boys make good ?

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1949 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Boys in Brown  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Made using Rank's "Independent Frame" production system (even though it was made by Gainsborough). The system proved a costly flop. See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Television Playhouse: Boys in Brown (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hardly 'boys'!
12 January 2017 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Most of this film is set at a reform school for young offenders. I had to laugh at this because most of the actors are in their late 20s and some look well over 30! So the word 'Boys' in the title seems hardly appropriate!

Jackie Knowles (Richard Attenborough) is a young punk who has already been arrested for some petty crime. He didn't learn his lesson and soon is arrested again and is sent to the reform school. Jackie seems like he's not too bad a sort and he decides to apply himself, do his time and make something of himself. Unfortunately, there are a lot of guys who are more than happy to keep Jackie down...particularly the rat- like Alfie (Dirk Bogarde). When a group of the 'boys' want to escape, Alfie insists that he'll make Jackie join them....even if it means lying and manipulating to get his cooperation.

Overall, this is a reasonably well made and entertaining film which emphasizes humane treatment and reform. In many ways, it's a bit like some of the early Dead End Kids films in this respect. Worth seeing mostly so you can see Bogarde and Attenborough as they both were fine actors even when they were 'boys'!


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