The League of Gentlemen (1960)

Unrated   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Thriller


The League of Gentlemen (1960) Poster

A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced colleagues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.


7.3/10
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10 March 2002 | nickname1
Unforgettable British Post-War Melodrama with bite
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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