5.9/10
178
17 user 4 critic

The Slasher (1953)

Cosh Boy (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 May 1953 (USA)
The life of a juvenile delinquent is threatened by his own incessant desire for trouble.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A writer eloping with his mistress by train has second thoughts, pulls the emergency brake, bails out and witnesses the train's collision with another train, events eventually leading to murder and a police manhunt.

Director: Daniel Birt
Stars: Valerie Hobson, Richard Todd, Christine Norden
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When an injured wife murderer takes refuge on a remote Lancashire farm, the owners three children mistakenly believe him to be the Second Coming of Christ.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Alan Bates, Bernard Lee, Norman Bird
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Johnnie Byrne is a member of the British Parliament. In his 40s, he's feeling frustrated with his life and his personal as well as professional problems tower up over him. His desires to ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Peter Finch, Stanley Holloway, Mary Peach
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

John Lewis is bored by his librarian's job and henpecked at home. Then Liz, wife of a local counciller, sets her sights on him. But this is risky stuff in a Welsh valleys town - if he and ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong, when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Michael Craig, Françoise Prévost, Billie Whitelaw
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

War hero turned villain George Martin escapes from prison, but he is handcuffed to a naive young crook Willie Stannard. After using a clever plan to obtain railway tickets, and with the ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred Roome
Stars: Jack Warner, Jane Hylton, George Cole
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Violent fugitive and mistreated small boy team up to flee from authority.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Jon Whiteley, Elizabeth Sellars
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An irresistible temptress causes trouble between two brothers when the more handsome charismatic ones turns up, leading to robbery and death.

Director: Gordon Parry
Stars: Diana Dors, George Baker, Terence Morgan
The 39 Steps (1959)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In London, a diplomat accidentally becomes involved in the death of a British agent who's after a spy ring that covets British military secrets.

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Kenneth More, Taina Elg, Brenda de Banzie
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ambitious young accountant plots to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
Our Relations (1936)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Unbeknownst to Stanley and Oliver, their long-lost twin brothers, sailors Alfie and Bert are in town on shore leave carrying a valuable pearl ring entrusted to them by their ship's captain.... See full summary »

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Alan Hale
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A typical day for Scotland Yard Inspector George Gideon consists in working on several cases at the same time.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Anna Lee, Anna Massey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Roy
...
Betty Ann Davies ...
Elsie
...
Bob
...
...
Nancy Roberts ...
Gran Walsh
...
Donaldson
Ian Whittaker ...
Alfie
Stanley Escane ...
Pete
Michael McKeag ...
Brian
Sean Lynch ...
Darkey
Johnny Briggs ...
Skinny (as John Briggs)
...
Woods
Cameron Hall ...
Mr. Beverley
Edit

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

Taglines:

Wild Youth on the Loose! (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Slasher  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

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 »

Quotes

Police Sergeant: How would you describe the men who attacked you?
Queenie: As dirty lot of stinking rotten sons of...
Police Sergeant: Alright, alright. What did they look like?
Queenie: 'Ow the hell should I know? D'you suppose they came up and raised their bloomin' 'ats before they 'it me?
Police Sergeant: [filling in a form] No description...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: By itself, the "Cosh" is the cowardly implement of a 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

The Rose of Tralee
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Well worth a look.
2 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

After reading some of the extremely negative reviews I feel I have to add my tuppence worth. I watched this film recently and I can't believe some of the reviewers watched the same movie. Bad acting? I couldn't see any. All the actors were stage-trained and while I could see some of that reflected in several of the performances it didn't detract from, but rather added to, the underlying documentary approach to a subject that was much in the public and political mind at that time (and still is today).

James Kenney, who I've seen in several movies, gives an outstanding performance of this young undisciplined hoodlum whose hysterical vileness and strutting arrogance propped up with a false bravado that finally cracks like a mirror at the end of the film....well, crime couldn't be shown to pay, could it? And yes, the police of that time were quite willing to let parents or guardians punish their young 'uns if they thought it would do any good. Parents would insist to the policeman, "Leave him to me!" if he brought shame on the house...I know! Alternatively the policemen themselves would give you a clip on the back of the head with their hand (painful) or flick you with a rolled up cape on the bum (very painful). You wouldn't go running to your Dad crying about it for he'd give you another clip saying you must have deserved it.

Social history tells us of how Britain, with four million men in uniform during the war years saw a generation of youth largely grow up without the guidance of fathers or older brothers. Juvenile delinquency figures during and after the war went through the roof and with many de-mobbed soldiers bringing looted pistols and revolvers home with them there was a steady supply of weapons filtering down to the criminally-inclined classes, and resulting in a massive increase in crimes of robbery, assault and murder by those who were 'tooled-up' and who were quite willing to kill their victims rather than let them live to identify their attacker and possibly end up making the acquaintance of Mr Pierrepoint and his neck-adjusting service (which he performed...on a career-best 405 occasions!).

For the time, and of the time, Lewis Gilbert's film stands up well in my eyes compared to the rose-tinted comedic films depicting similar disenfranchised youth such as the funny 'Hue and Cry'…which I also enjoyed enormously.

Taking a film out of its time-period to deliver judgement can't be right.

There were many films made back then (and even now) that are shoddily made with poor acting, dire scripts and non-existent production values that deserve all the brickbats they get, but 'Cosh Boy' isn't one of them....in my humble opinion.


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Academy Awards Anarchy With Jordan Horowitz

La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz recounts the moment his movie was mistakenly awarded an Oscar. Plus, "The IMDb Show" finds out who your celebrity doppelgangers are.

Watch now