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The Slasher (1953)
"Cosh Boy" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  29 May 1953 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 104 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

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
Robert Ayres ...
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)
Edward Evans ...
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

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

Usually reckoned to be the first British film to get an "X" certificate. There were other films before this one that had similar levels of content, and some of those were passed for general viewing. But Cosh Boy was presented for certification just as they introduced the new "X" certificate in 1951. The "X" certificate has since been replaced by the "18" certificate. 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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Rose of Tralee
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Coshing the Cosh Boy
16 April 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although the play Cosh Boy never made it to Broadway, probably too British in its subject matter, the original actor who played the lead on the London stage got to recreate his role for the screen. In the tradition of Richard Attenborough in Brighton Rock, James Kenney is mesmerizing and unforgettable as the dirty little punk who with his gang robs little old ladies of their monies.

If anything Kenney is far more loathsome than Attenborough, not even a hint of surface charm. In fact the hardest part of the film to take seriously is having young Joan Collins surrender herself and her virginity to this creep. Still his love 'em and leave 'em attitude is just one more reason to hate this kid. I've seen very few leading villains so lacking in any redeeming qualities. Possibly Lee Marvin in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one.

For those of us Yanks for who the film was retitled The Slasher for release by Lippert Pictures here, a Cosh is a kind of truncheon used to whack someone into unconsciousness or beat them severely. That's what he and his gang use. He's the bane of the existence of his poor mother Betty Ann Davies who agonizes over what she did wrong in raising him. She has a new man in her life, American Robert Ayres playing a Canadian, who thinks the kid just needed a good attitude adjustment that was never given him by a father who is not in the picture. In the end Kenney has to account for all his many sins.

Besides a very young Joan Collins viewers should take note of the two Hermiones in the film, Hermione Baddely as the mother of Collins who wants to Cosh the Cosh Boy after she finds out what Kenney has done and Hermione Gingold playing a not disguised at all prostitute who is a friend of the Davies/Kenney family. It's a poor section of London these folks live in with evidence all around of the recent war. Kenney's gang hides out in the bombed out buildings still not repaired by 1953.

Cosh Boy is still quite a riveting piece of film making and Kenney is unforgettably evil.


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