During World War II, teenage boys in a small English town are consumed with jingoism and brutal war games, hoping dearly that the war won't end before they can fight in it. John, one of the... See full summary »
During World War II, teenage boys in a small English town are consumed with jingoism and brutal war games, hoping dearly that the war won't end before they can fight in it. John, one of the younger members, is increasingly torn between these peer group values and his deepening homoerotic friendship with Mark, a gentle Jewish refugee whom his gang has ostracized as a sissy and a coward. Based on the novel _The Custard Boys_, by John Rae. Reminiscent of _Lord of the Flies_ in depicting adolescent cruelty growing unchecked to tragic extremes. Written by
Paul Emmons <email@example.com>
The obtuse nastiness with which adults view the completely innocent relationship between the two boys is based on the same regressive ignorance which prompts them to make war. They condemn each boy's search for love, as they push him to play war games in an atmosphere of cruelty and mistrust. War and jingoism are thus portrayed as the denial of man's natural inclination to love: "you've got to be taught to hate".
As society embraces hate, the result means personal disaster for the individual who innocently chooses otherwise. This is a moving film drama from a time when such questions were considered suitable material for the screen. A forgotten classic.
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