7.5/10
3,218
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)
Reviews

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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
Edit

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

Bryan Forbes (Martin) wrote the screenplay. His real-life wife Nanette Newman also has a small role as "Elizabeth". See more »

Goofs

When they are making the getaway from the Army Camp they park up to change into civilian clothing. When the car drives off the reflection of the camera lights and crew can be seen on the rear of the vehicle. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Great caper movie
31 January 2015 | by ccbcSee all my reviews

I first saw this movie fifty years ago. I loved it then and, after seeing it on TCM, love it now. The plot: a disaffected English Army officer recruits other vets to pull off a heist. The Gimmick: They are all ex-officers of His/Her Majesty's armed forces so the caper is pulled off with military planning. Bonus Humor: The lampooning of military life. I suspect that this film greatly amused many a British vet in 1960, just as Ocean's Eleven amused US audiences that same year. Fifteen years after WWII ended, many men were having second thoughts about the value of service and the nature of honor and duty. The men carrying out this caper (and this is a Caper Film, like Topkapi or the Italian Job) are all disaffected, some turned to criminal ways. Jack Hawkins' character is not a criminal, but has just been declared redundant by the British Army and forcibly retired after twenty-five tears of service. Add a failed marriage to that (nicely drawn in a few lines of dialog) and you have a man seeking some kind of satisfaction in his battle with Society, just some kind of recognition that he is more than a non-entity. During the heist, as Hawkins' car rolls down the street, the camera shoots up to show us the buildings belonging to the great English newspapers of the day. Without any direct comment, the camera has revealed some of Hawkins' motivation. This is a tight script (written by Bryan Forbes, the motorcyclist in the League), even at two hours, but all the stuff that wasn't developed is lightly traced in. I think that movie makers could study this work with profit. As slow as some of the action might seem to American audiences now (lots of dialog, few explosions), there is hardly a line or a shot that doesn't serve a purpose. If you enjoy caper movies, this is one of the greats. If you want post-WWII history or a treatise on class system decline, that's here as well. Add in great acting, great script, crisp direction and camera-work, you have a marvelous movie!


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