Monday, 22 April 2013

the league of gentlemen (1960) - basil dearden


The League of Gentlemen lobby cards

A right old carry on and make no mistake old boy, The League Of Gentlemen has Norman Hyde (Jack Hawkins) assembling a ragtag group of corrupt ex soldiers, all specialists in their own fields, so that they can pull off a bank job (and possibly inadvertently inspire The Great Train Robbery).
The job itself is based on a fictional crime book (The Golden Fleece), and is planned meticulously, but will they get away with it?
There's plenty of the old 'What ho's' and 'I say Darling', and as to be expected, the acting is completely over the top in places, but it is certainly enjoyable if you like old black and white movies.
There's also innuendos towards homosexual behaviour (still a criminal offence at the time) and a short mincing performance from the one and only Oliver Reed (looking very attractive), which is so camp it has to be seen to be believed.
Featuring a great line when Hyde is asked about a portrait of his wife, and if she is dead.  He replies "I regret to say the bitch is still going strong".  Feisty language back in the day, and even now.
The lesson to be learned?  Cover every eventuality, no matter how insignificant they might seem.  I know of what l speak, as l have served some time after not covering my own tracks in the past (obviously l'm now rehabilitated).  You don't want to end up in chokey.

toodle pip

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