HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Boys, The On Penalty Of DeathBuy this film here.
Year: 1962
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Richard Todd, Robert Morley, Dudley Sutton, Ronald Lacey, Tony Garnett, Jess Conrad, Felix Aylmer, Wilfrid Brambell, Colin Gordon, Kenneth J. Warren, Allan Cuthbertson, Wensley Pithey, Roy Kinnear, Patrick Magee, David Lodge, Carol White, Patrick Newell
Genre: Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: We are about to watch a trial, where four teens have been charged with murder and it is up to the jury to decide whether they are guilty or not. Their social standing is against them from the beginning, as they have no social standing, regarded as part of the Teddy Boy culture that has alarmed Britain as the epitome of its juvenile delinquency problem. What they may or may not have done is killed a night watchman, an elderly gent who never did harm to anyone, and all for the hundred pounds they believed was in the petty cash box, though as it turned out it actually contained a few shillings. The witnesses are lined up, the defendants and present, so here we go...

The Boys was not a film that received much praise in its day, largely dismissed as yet another courtroom drama in an era where audiences were having enough of them, though on television ten years after popular drama Crown Court proved that as with many things in pop culture, there are cycles to popularity. This took its time to detail the workings of the courtroom with as much adherence to reality as they could muster, so a lot of time was given over to the minutiae of the law in such circumstances which contributed to the authenticity of what we were watching, or at least that's what you had the impression director Sidney J. Furie was aiming for in such intricate design.

There was a danger that the viewer could be stultified by hanging around waiting for the film to get to the point, and if you liked a story that cut to the chase and delivered on action, then you were not going to get along with The Boys. If however, you understood that all this was being carried out for a reason, and the whole thing had a very serious point to make that it could not have highlighted without taking so much time over what led up to its conclusion, you would find the manner in which it played out, well-nigh methodical in its execution, not only intriguing but absorbing too, especially thanks to a structure that owed much to a certain arthouse hit of recent vintage, Rashomon.

Yes, we were back with that Akira Kurosawa classic once again, where the same event is depicted from different points of view, though here it was more accurate to observe we were not so much offered different versions as the same version, only expanded on with new information. For the first half, we are agreeing with the witnesses, the four boys look and act like thugs so it's little wonder they reverted to type and carried out the murder, yet for the second we hear the accused side of the story and start questioning our prejudices. Are we as guilty as those witnesses for deciding they must have been up to no good? Because there's a distinct doubt emerging in this case that the boys had anything to do with the crime at all, they may actually have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The cast were excellent throughout, from the defendants, played mostly by newcomers - Dudley Sutton, Ronald Lacey, Jess Conrad and Tony Garnett, all about to make great waves in the entertainment industry in one way or another, though Conrad was already a successful singer - to the witnesses, including familiar faces like Roy Kinnear and Wilfrid Brambell. Maybe the best performance was from Robert Morley as the defence counsel, who makes it clear confusing the jury is a useful tool in letting your clients off, but has the most resonant speech at the end when the implications of the conclusion are sinking in. The quietly authoritative Richard Todd was first-billed, but this was really an ensemble piece, and one with a message about the value of the death penalty which was in the headlines during the lead up to its abolition during this decade, pertinent to the plot since that's what the title characters are faced with should they be found culpable. Well-argued and sympathetic, The Boys deserved its latter-day rediscovery. Music (though not a lot) by The Shadows.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 896 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: