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The League of Gentlemen (1960)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,078 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 16 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:
...
Col. John George Norman Hyde
Nigel Patrick ...
Maj. Peter Graham Race
...
Capt. Mycroft
...
Lt. Richard Lexy
Bryan Forbes ...
Capt. Martin Porthill
Kieron Moore ...
Capt. Stevens
Terence Alexander ...
Maj. Rupert Rutland-Smith
Norman Bird ...
Capt. Frank 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

Plot Keywords:

bank robbery | army | raid | planning | veteran | See more »


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

Jack Hawkins, a chain smoker, underwent cobalt treatment after filming ended for what was described as a "secondary condition of the larynx". See more »

Goofs

When Hyde walks out at the end, a kneeling soldier raises his rifle. But as the camera pans behind him, it is clear that he is aiming at a fixed point far to the right of Hyde and not tracking his movement to the left. See more »

Quotes

Mycroft: [playing a Brigadier inspecting the training camp in response to some private who has 'complained to his MP' regarding the food]
[enters Mess Hall]
Mycroft: Carry on eating. Any complaints here?
Captain Saunders: Come along now. Answer the Brigadier.
Other Private in Mess: No, Sir.
Mycroft: You're, um, quite satisfied with the food. You can speak quite freely.
Chunky Grogan: Well, er, no, Sir. Not always, Sir.
[CSM gives a menacing look]
Mycroft: What exactly don't you like about it?
Chunky Grogan: Well, er, they sometimes give you good grub, sir, but, er, they mess it about like.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References What Price Glory (1926) 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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