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The League of Gentlemen (1960)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  22 August 1960 (Sweden)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,333 users  
Reviews: 36 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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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

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In John Boland's original novel, the robbers are inspired by a novel about a robbery - a real novel, Lionel White's "Clean Break". This book was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's film, The Killing (1956). Bryan Forbes retained this idea in his screenplay, but made the novel an invented one with a different title ("The Golden Fleece") with its authorship credited to a certain "John Seaton" - a pseudonym Forbes himself had used in his days as a feature-writer on the British fan magazine "Picturegoer". He used this name again for the writer character played by Christopher Plummer in International Velvet (1978), which Forbes also directed. See more »

Goofs

When the various characters gather for the first meeting, the shadow of the camera can be seen briefly on someone's back, as he has a drink. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
You've "done your bit" for your country, only to be told you're not needed any more? What happens next?
3 January 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Well ... if your name is "Half Colonel" Hyde, you thank Her Majesty very much, and plan a simply spiffing wheeze!

Hyde, played to gruff perfection by Jack Hawkins, is supremely proud of his meticulous planning skills, learned and sharpened in a 25 year military career. Ignominiously pensioned off, he puts these strengths to good use in plotting a daring million-pound robbery.

As an ex-military man, Hyde is aware that his "operation" cannot succeed without putting together a squad of the very best experts. Displaying the kind of guile and ruthlessness that earned him his lofty rank, he also knows that it's rather handy if one's selected team has nothing much to lose.

The film opens by introducing us to Hyde's hand-picked candidates in turn - each receiving a mysterious invitation to lunch, stapled to one half of a crisp new fiver none of them can afford to ignore. A rum bunch they are, too - we see a splendidly gloomy panorama of post-war London, scattered with promiscuous wives (Nanette Newman, no less), doomed businesses, loveless marriages and good times going rapidly bad.

Enough, surely, to make a fellow wish he were back in the army - especially should he happen to be a bogus priest, an "odd man out" or simply a chap who always makes the same mistake twice ...

Was late-1950s Britain, in fact, a land fit for heroes? Does pride come before a fall? Or does crime, perhaps just this once, pay?

Join these esteemed Gentlemen for a wonderfully enjoyable caper movie, and find out for yourself! The story entertains (and possibly even informs) throughout - particularly to be relished is the interplay between Hawkins and the always-watchable Nigel "Old Darling" Patrick.

Notwithstanding a youthful Oliver Reed's jarringly unfunny cameo, this is easily one of my top ten movies.

May we be spared for ever the Hollywood or - even worse - the BritPack re-make!!


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