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The League of Gentlemen (1960)

Unrated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 24 January 1961 (USA)
A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced colleagues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.


Basil Dearden


John Boland (novel), Bryan Forbes (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »




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


Involuntarily-retired Lieutenant 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Best Selling Novel! A Popular Radio Serial! Now It's a Record Shattering Motion Picture See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This was originally planned as a Carl Foreman production, and he may have written a version of the screenplay (there are characters named Weaver and Grogan in this movie, a trademark of Foreman's) before hiring Bryan Forbes to write the movie as a planned vehicle for Cary Grant. When Forbes presented his version, Foreman said it was not good enough to present to a star of Grant's magnitude, and the project went into suspension for a while. When Forbes formed Allied Film Makers with Michael Relph, Basil Dearden, Sir Richard Attenborough, and Jack Hawkins, they obtained the necessary rights and made the movie. It was a great critical and financial success. See more »


(at around 10 mins) When Cpt Porthill exits the taxi and approaches his door, the lock and handle are on the right-hand side and there is no large knocker. In the internal shot of him entering, the lock/handle is now on the left side and there is a large knocker attached at about head height. See more »


Major Race: Well, remember rule two, old darling. Never get ahead of the mob. They're liable to shoot you in the arse.
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Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Bank Robbery Movies (2015) See more »


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

User Reviews

Unforgettable British Post-War Melodrama with bite
10 March 2002 | by nickname1See all my reviews

This 1959 (or 1960) film shares the same title as the 1990's comedy about weird northern folk, but is a far more savage satire of decay in the establishment.

A redundant Colonel recruits a unit of marginally more corrupted subordinate Army officers, to stage an American Style heist, based on a US pulp fiction novel. Very few of the characters would initially be associated with the establishment. Their past failings include treason, war-crimes and negligence resulting in deaths.

Jack Hawkins (Colonel Hyde) knits the characters together over the course of the film. By reinventing a form of army discipline the characters appear to rediscover their aplomb.

The actual robbery is almost incidental, occupying ~ 10% of the film.

My real fascination was with the development and interaction of the characters. Even 40 years on their callousness is at times shocking and the 'Blame Ireland' example of scapegoating still resonates, especially in the context of the characters' personal failures in other theatres of the ex-empire.

The film is nearly 2 hours long, but seemed much shorter. Post war film of the City of London (and elsewhere) before 60s redevelopment is a bonus.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

24 January 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The League of Gentlemen See more »


Box Office


GBP192,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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