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


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) »




Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


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Release Date:

29 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Slasher  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


When Walshy and one of his gang go to play draughts (checkers), the positions of the different coloured pieces seem to swap sides from when they approach the board (black on the left) to when they are seated (red on the left) to when they leave (black on the left). See more »


Mrs. Collins: Do you think I'm going to let that little gangster do this and get away with it?
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 »


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


Valse Elegante
Music by Frank Cordell
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User Reviews

Hits you over the head and you'll like it
26 September 2010 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Don't miss this, now available as THE SLASHER as part of a Kit Parker Films DVD double bill under the moniker British Film Noir (along with TWILIGHT WOMEN). Strictly speaking I would class neither of these two productions as 'film noir' - more social problem and crime films. THE SLASHER is actually the American renaming of good old COSH BOY, a title which has occasionally surfaced on UK's C4. It's the main reason why I, and I suspect others, will want this disc - a minor cult item featuring a memorable central turn for James Kenney - who also appears, to less effect in another recent release (from the UK this time) GELIGNITE GANG. Kenney plays Roy, the anti-social, selfish, cunning and manipulative thug, about whose short career as a petty criminal the film is about. Highlight of the film is the corporal punishment meted out to Roy by his new stepfather in the final scenes - something strikingly and splendidly un-PC: much more more intense and yes, satisfying in effect than any amount of more establishment-accommodating endings familiar from other films of this ilk. I'm no supporter of the belt, but by God you will be crying out for Roy, who has betrayed his girlfriend (a very young Joan Collins) his mother, his grandmother and almost everyone else, to get the taste of it by time of the end! THE SLASHER may have its weaknesses, including an obvious black-and-white view of behaviour, but with such a powerful ending, together with Kenney's memorable performance it is a must-see. Those who criticise some of the acting (viz: one of Roy's stooges, a particularly whining individual) miss the point - this is British exploitation at its best. The DVD quality is excellent btw except for one or soundtrack drop outs with the present release.

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