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The League of Gentlemen (1960)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,247 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 27 critic

A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced collegues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The League of Gentlemen (1960)

The League of Gentlemen (1960) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hyde
Nigel Patrick ...
Race
...
Mycroft
...
Lexy
Bryan Forbes ...
Porthill
Kieron Moore ...
Stevens
Terence Alexander ...
Rupert
Norman Bird ...
Weaver
Robert Coote ...
Bunny Warren
...
Peggy
Nanette Newman ...
Elizabeth
Lydia Sherwood ...
Hilda
Doris Hare ...
Molly Weaver
David Lodge ...
C.S.M.
Patrick Wymark ...
Wylie
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Storyline

Involuntarily-retired Colonel Hyde recruits seven other dissatisfied ex-servicemen for a special project. Each of the men has a skeleton in the cupboard, is short of money, and is a service-trained expert in his field. The job is a bank robbery, and military discipline and planning are imposed by Hyde and second-in-command Race on the team, although civilian irritations do start getting in the way. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 August 1960 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Honorables delincuentes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The portrait of Hyde's wife (he comments "I regret to say the bitch is still going strong.") is a portrait of Deborah Kerr that was originally used in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). See more »

Goofs

During the weapons robbery at the army camp, Porthill, played by Bryan Forbes, is wearing a uniform with an RASC (Royal Army Service Corps) shoulder flash. But he is missing the striped lanyard which he should have been wearing over his left shoulder. Such a lanyard, usually attached to a clasp knife stored in the left breast pocket of the battledress jacket, was standard equipment for members of the RASC in 1960. See more »

Quotes

Weaver: Nothing in the Stop Press?
Lexy: No, just "Vicar On Grave Charge".
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne?: Episode #1.6 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Soldiers of the Queen
(uncredited)
written and composed by Leslie Stuart
See more »

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User Reviews

A heist for the fun of it
6 July 2006 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is a heist film that really rises above the ante of its genre, due to the motivations behind the main characters. The characters are all former army officers, who were dismissed due to misconduct on their behalf, with the exception of the mastermind behind the robbery, who brings them all together. His name is Hyde, and he was halfway to becoming a full colonel before the army forced him into retirement. He is separated from his wife, and without army life, he has nothing left to do. So for the fun of it, rather than the money, he organises a heist.

The acting in the film is superb. The expressions that Jack Hawkins uses when playing Hyde signify that he is in it for the thrills rather than the loot. He looks on with joy, rather than stern, careful consideration, as he and his men organise everything that they need to do. He is in power again, since he is the head of the operation, and since he knows that everyone who he picks will want to go along. All of his men are not only crooks but ones with financial problems. And as the only one with plenty of money and no criminal record, he enjoys the idea that he can duck out at any time.

The supporting actors also show in the end that they are enjoying their work. While initially in it for the money, the return to army regulations - by which Hyde runs the operation - excites them. Nigel Patrick and Bryan Forbes are particularly good as the more suave members of the heist team. One problem though is that we never get to know the characters really well. They are defined by what we are told about them, rather than their actions, particularly with the Padre, played by Roger Livesey. A former quartermaster, he shows excitement at being able to take up the job again, but he is given very limited screen time, and his involvement with acts unbefiting a priest is oft mentioned, but his personality rarely shows anything more than that he is just another one of the men.

I find it rather odd that the film is marketed as a comedy. There is one section, when they raid the army, that is bouncing with humorous touches, and Gerald Harper, as a nervous army captain, gives off an excellent performance. The rest of the film though only has the slightest edge of humour, from Hyde badmouthing his wife to a rather awkwardly inserted cameo by Oliver Reed as a homosexual performer. The comedy is not important though, and the plot is intriguing enough as it is, but it does make the raiding the army section stand out, as it jars the film's mood and style.

If not flawless, it is still a very well made film. The rousing, grand music score is excellent, not just because it fits well over the action, but because it is sort of a parody of the scores of old war movies. The film looks great in black and white, and some of the sequences are very well shot. One example that stands out in memory is a shot where the camera goes through the walls of two different rooms, crabbing to the right, and swooping a little bit, almost like a person trying to not bump into a vase as he passes through a wall. The visual look of the film and the audio are just excellent, and well suited to the interesting screenplay.


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