6.0/10
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18 user 4 critic

Cosh Boy (1953)

The life of a juvenile delinquent is threatened by his own incessant desire for trouble.

Director:

Lewis Gilbert

Writers:

Bruce Walker (play), Lewis Gilbert (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Kenney ... Roy
Joan Collins ... Rene
Betty Ann Davies ... Elsie
Robert Ayres ... Bob
Hermione Baddeley ... Mrs. Collins
Hermione Gingold ... Queenie
Nancy Roberts Nancy Roberts ... Gran Walsh
Laurence Naismith ... Donaldson
Ian Whittaker Ian Whittaker ... Alfie
Stanley Escane Stanley Escane ... Pete
Michael McKeag Michael McKeag ... Brian
Sean Lynch ... Darkey
Johnny Briggs ... Skinny (as John Briggs)
Edward Evans ... Woods
Cameron Hall Cameron Hall ... Mr. Beverley
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Storyline

Amongst the bomb-sites and dark alleys of postwar London Roy Walsh and his gang of juvenile delinquents waylay and rob old ladies. Without parental control from his war-widowed doting mother, Welsh, already on probation, drifts into more and more devious and serious offences. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOUTH ON THE LOOSE! wild...wayward...Hell-bent! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1953 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tough Guy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In June 1952 director Lewis Gilbert invited Kenneth Williams to come in to see him and discuss a part in the film. He does not, ultimately, appear. See more »

Goofs

In the draughts game, Walshy's opponent makes two moves before Walshy makes one. The position of the pieces at the end of the scene reflect a different game to the one they appear to have played, especially as they do not seem to have moved any pieces during their conversation other than the first three moves. See more »

Quotes

Police Sergeant: How would you describe the men who attacked you?
Queenie: As dirty lot of stinking rotten sons of...
Police Sergeant: Alright, alright. What did they look like?
Queenie: 'Ow the hell should I know? D'you suppose they came up and raised their bloomin' 'ats before they 'it me?
Police Sergeant: [filling in a form] No description...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: By itself, the "Cosh" is the cowardly implement of a contemporary evil; in association with "Boy", it marks a post-war tragedy - the juvenile delinquent. "Cosh Boy" portrays starkly the development of a young criminal, an enemy of society at sixteen. Our Judges and Magistrates, and the Police, whose stern duty it is to resolve the problem, agree that its origins lie mainly in the lack of parental control and early discipline. The problem exists - and we cannot escape it by closing our eyes. This film is presented in the hope that it will contribute towards stamping out this social evil. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mike Baldwin & Me (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse Elegante
(uncredited)
Music by Frank Cordell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An amusing cod thriller.
3 April 2001 | by andy67ukSee all my reviews

'Cosh Boy' has dreadful scripts and abysmal acting. The only attractive feature of the film is the pretty 18 year old actress Joan Collins (whatever became of her?). The storyline is condescending and moralistic. It suggests that manly discipline is needed to help in the rebuilding of the post-war family, otherwise working-class youths will turn into vicious, nasty 'cosh boys' or poor hapless single mothers. Crime had actually fallen after the war. Black market crime, and other offences, was rife in wartime Britain

What makes this film funny, apart from the atrocious acting, is that in hindsight we can see how ridiculous some 'moral panics' are. The people that might laugh at the caricatures in this film might still go along with existing panics in Britain today - such as 'mad cow' disease, 'road rage', chlamydia teenage alcoholism etc. The total ridiculousness of this film is clear because it is so dated. However panics still grip the popular imagination today, only that they are filtered through far more sophisticated channels such as so-called public health campaigns and the media.

Returning to the film. The characters are one-dimensional, it is purely an exercise in moral tub-thumping concerned with the reconsolidation of law and order in post-war society. The acting is so bad it is hilarious and I'm sure this is one film that Lewis Gilbert would not want to be reminded of.


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