7.5/10
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39 user 30 critic

The League of Gentlemen (1960)

Unrated | | Comedy, Crime, Thriller | 15 April 1960 (Ireland)
A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced colleagues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

John Boland (novel), Bryan Forbes (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:
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 Doris Hare ... Molly Weaver
David Lodge ... C.S.M.
Patrick Wymark ... Wylie
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Storyline

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What is the league ... Who are the gentlemen ?

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1960 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Honorables delincuentes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£192,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Allied Film Makers (AFM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

In the close-up of the removal van at the traffic lights the wing mirror is horizontal, but in the next shot, lights turning to green, the mirror is vertical, while in the next shot, van turning corner, the passenger, Rupert, has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Major Race: Well, remember rule two, old darling. Never get ahead of the mob. They're liable to shoot you in the ass.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Thing with Two Heads (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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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