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The Slasher (1953)

Cosh Boy (original title)
Amongst the bomb-sites and dark alleys of postwar London Roy Walsh and his gang of juvenile delinquents waylay and rob old ladies. Without parental control from his war-widowed doting ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Kenney ...
Roy Walsh
...
Rene Collins
Betty Ann Davies ...
Elsie Walsh
...
Bob Stevens
...
Mrs. Collins
...
Queenie
Nancy Roberts ...
Gran Walsh
Laurence Naismith ...
Inspector Donaldson
Ian Whittaker ...
Alfie Collins
Stanley Escane ...
Pete
Michael McKeag ...
Brian
Sean Lynch ...
Darky
Johnny Briggs ...
Skinny Johnson (as John Briggs)
...
Sgt. Woods
Cameron Hall ...
Mr. Beverley
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Storyline

Amongst the bomb-sites and dark alleys of postwar London Roy Walsh and his gang of juvenile delinquents waylay and rob old ladies. Without parental control from his war-widowed doting mother, Welsh, already on probation, drifts into more and more devious and serious offences. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

british noir | based on play | See All (2) »

Taglines:

WILD... WAYWARD... HELL-BENT!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Slasher  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roy Bentley, at the time captain of Chelsea Football club and an England international, has a small, uncredited role as an instructor. See more »

Goofs

In the draughts game, Walshy's opponent makes two moves before Walshy makes one. The position of the pieces at the end of the scene reflect a different game to the one they appear to have played, especially as they do not seem to have moved any pieces during their conversation other than the first three moves. See more »

Quotes

Roy Walsh: Supposing I killed him?
Skinny Johnson: Then you'll be takin' the 9 o'clock walk. You'll be topped for certain.
See more »

Crazy Credits

By itself, the "Cosh" is the cowardly implement of contemporary evil; in association with "Boy", it marks a post-war tragedy - the juvenile delinquent. "Cosh Boy" portrays starkly the development of a young criminal, an enemy of society at sixteen. Our Judges and Magistrates and the Police, whose stern duty it is to resolve the problem, agree that its origins lie mainly in the lack of parental control and early discipline. The problem exists - and we cannot escape it by closing our eyes. This film is presented in the hope that it will contribute towards stamping out this social evil. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mike Baldwin & Me (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse Elegante
(uncredited)
Music by Frank Cordell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hysterical and terrible!
2 October 1998 | by (Bolton, England) – See all my reviews

'Cosh Boy' was made at a time when society was preoccupied with youth. Many men died in the war leaving widows on their own to cope with family life. The fear of crime in the early post-war period was blown out of proportion. 'Cosh Boy' is a reflection of this moral panic and many newspapers carried stories about 'cosh boys' going out mugging old ladies.

Lewis Gilbert's film follows the rise and fall of Roy Walsh a young thug from Battersea. The acting is dire. Ian Whitaker who plays Roy's educationally backward sidekick Alfie collins is staggeringly bad. The film follows the struggles of Roy's widowed mother Elsie who is unable to control her son supposedly because of the absence of a man in the house. The grandmother also lives with Elsie and knows that Roy is no good, she represents the older wiser generation that believed in discipline and family life with two parents. The film has a soapbox message in advocating law and order. It starts from an irrational premise, i.e. the country risks being over-run by youthful barbarians. It advocates that women should follow their prescribed gender roles as housewives and mothers, leave the hard stuff like discipline to men. The most nauseating line in the film comes from Grandma Walsh 'They don't know what hard work is these days. Eight hours a day, five days a week, makes me laugh'. So the working classes should be grateful for less exploitative working hours and conditions. Reactionary trash but a laugh a minute none the less.


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