The League of Gentlemen
The League of Gentlemen
NR | 24 January 1961 (USA)
The League of Gentlemen Trailers

Involuntarily-retired 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.

Similar Movies to The League of Gentlemen
Reviews
Glimmerubro

It is not deep, but it is fun to watch. It does have a bit more of an edge to it than other similar films.

... View More
InformationRap

This is one of the few movies I've ever seen where the whole audience broke into spontaneous, loud applause a third of the way in.

... View More
Adeel Hail

Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.

... View More
Isbel

A terrific literary drama and character piece that shows how the process of creating art can be seen differently by those doing it and those looking at it from the outside.

... View More
jarrodmcdonald-1

The folks at Criterion selected three of Basil Dearden's films to include in a recent collection that pays homage to the great British director. Two of them are currently available for streaming on Hulu. This review covers one of those titles-- the marvelous heist film THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN from 1960.GENTLEMEN resonates rather well for me, though I am not exactly a fan of this sub-genre due to its often repetitive plot twists. You know, where the caper promises to be a perfect crime, but then it all falls apart and fails miserably. But perhaps I enjoy Dearden's treatment of this subject, because he manages to avoid the clichés, and his version wisely does not lapse into predictability or sentimentality. It also helps considerably that such material is placed into the hands of a distinguished set of actors who slyly punch up the more dramatic aspects of the story, which was scripted by Bryan Forbes, who happens to number among the crooks.Besides Forbes, the cast includes several first-rate performers. Roger Livesey plays a member of the cohort nicknamed Padre; Richard Attenborough is Lexy, a womanizing associate; and Robert Coote has a funny bit as a meddling outsider who inextricably becomes involved in the criminal activity. But it's star Jack Hawkins who holds it all together with his smooth portrayal of an ex-colonel that masterminds the robbery with his right-hand man-- I mean, major-- played by Nigel Patrick.Another great thing about this picture is the pacing. The gathering of the gang; the next sequence of stealing the guns from a government base; the heist itself at a nearby bank; and the 'victory' party at the end are all evenly presented. It's a nearly two-hour movie that hums along nicely and gives us, at every turn, a sense of being pleasantly entertained. Yes, two hours of movie-watching time has been stolen from us by these gentlemen, but it is well worth the price.

... View More
Spikeopath

The League of Gentlemen is directed by Basil Deardon and adapted to screenplay by Bryan Forbes from the novel written by John Boland. Forbes himself stars alongside Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Richard Attenborough, Roger Livesey, Kieron Moore, Terence Alexander, Norman Bird and Robert Coote. Music is by Philip Green and cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson. Splendid old chap, darn fine British entertainment as a roll call of Brit thesps and grafters enact a crime caper full of drama, sexual suggestion, humour and action.Plot is simple, Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Hyde (Hawkins), embittered after his decades of service to the army has counted for nothing, gathers up a band of not so merry men to enact a daring bank robbery. The men, all gentlemen scallywags with chequered pasts, have been selected for their various skills that were acquired during their own service to the forces. If they can pull it off, they will be made for life…Once the initial build up of character introductions and their respective lives has been cemented, film kicks on with a tale of men from different walks of life trying to bond together as one. They have to trust each other immeasurably, all the time while adhering to the regimental regime laid out by Hyde. The planning is intricate and fun, and this as some of the men try to balance matters of the heart back in their own homes, then it's on to the action (which is two-fold Dirty Dozen style) and the subsequent aftermath. All of which leads to a bittersweet finale that's simply joyous.There's funny asides to army life and the food that dwells in the service! There's machine gun etiquette and dangerous dames, choice dialogue and even an Oliver Reed cameo where he gays up! Older British movie fans will rejoice at seeing some of the location shots, and the use of the BSA motorcycle, while it's always great to hear the word clot used as an insult. It's a terrific caper movie awash with excellent character playing by a stoic and committed bunch of Briters. 8.5/10

... View More
bkoganbing

Release just 12 days apart and on both sides of the Atlantic were a pair of caper films involving a group of war veterans pulling off a big heist. On the American side was Ocean's Eleven the first and best of the Rat Pack film where Frank Sinatra and his ring-a-ding army pals try to rob five casinos in Las Vegas. And on the British side was Jack Hawkins recruiting The League Of Gentlemen for a caper of his own.We never learn the reason why Hawkins is so disgruntled, but I'm sure it was a good one. And unlike Sinatra who recruited friends Hawkins did some meticulous research and came up with seven total strangers all of whom had disgraced the uniform in some manner. With all their resumes in front of him, Hawkins is sure he's found his crew. And they include Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey, Richard Attenborough, Bryan Forbes, Kieron Moore, Terence Alexander, and Norman Bird.Ocean's Eleven depended on the chemistry of the players and since all there were buddies in good standing with Sinatra, it had a casual kind of feeling even during the scenes of the actual robbery. In The League Of Gentlemen it was a different kind of chemistry as Hawkins forges a unit together. Not without problems because these guys are by definition individualists who did not take kindly to military discipline in the first place. Besides Hawkins who seemed to like the idea of being back in the army so to speak, the best performances were from Nigel Patrick as the most individual of the lot who gives Hawkins some reasonable concern and Roger Livesey. I don't think Livesey's character would have been allowed on the American cinema as the Code was still in place. He plays a disgraced and defrocked chaplain. When we meet all of them in their dwellings as they get the mysterious invitation to join Hawkins at his club, we see they don't exactly have the best domestic situations going. Part of why they were easy to recruit.This one has to rank as one of Jack Hawkins's stellar cinematic efforts. And it holds up very well for today's audience.

... View More
andeven

Great film. One I'd take to the desert island. It's not only entertaining, it also provides a fascinating glimpse of its era.However I do have a few niggles, some of which constitute definite spoilers so if you haven't seen the film and don't wish to note them, please read no further.At the lunch early in the film Hyde accuses all the assembled Gentlemen of being crooks "of one sort or another". While most of them had certainly been up to no good during their time in the army and been punished accordingly the word "crooks" is hardly appropriate in their later civilian lives. Mycroft certainly and possibly Race and Lexy but Weaver and Porthill seem to be more or less blameless, if in the latter case a bit disreputable, and Rutland-Smith's only crime anywhere seems to have been to have run up some "embarrassing mess bills". Stevens' implied indulgence in homosexual acts, while illegal at the time the film was made, would hardly justify his being labelled a crook even then. I feel that some more convincing criminality could have been devised - perhaps beating up Hyde en masse after he had gone round the table insulting each in turn! To my mind the only real weakness in the film is the way they were caught. There are two reasons for this, one regarding plot and the other structure. Firstly, if I am correct, they were rumbled because the policeman who visited their warehouse recorded, for some unexplained reason, the number of Hyde's car, which the latter later used in the robbery. Its number was then noted by the small boy near the crime scene. Would such a meticulous planner as Hyde really have committed such a faux pas? The stolen car, after all, had its number changed so why not his? Or, preferably, would it not have been better - indeed obvious - not to have used his car at all? Secondly the sudden appearance of the boy, taking car numbers, jarred.It clearly had some relevance, otherwise there was no need to include it, and it indicated fairly clearly that it would somehow lead to the plan's ultimate failure.Something that has always worried me and which has doubtless occurred in real life (certainly in the GTR of 1963) but which the film does not address was the fact that the taking of huge numbers of used notes inevitably led to the group taking their share of the loot in that form. We were not told how much was eventually seized but on the basis of the estimated £million divided by eight it would be £125K each. Nowadays, depending on which inflation index one uses, that would need to be, say, around £2.5 million and would need rather more than one suitcase each (see my later comment on a remake) but even the 1960 amount of physical cash would have posed difficult logistical problems for the robbers. Where to store it in the meantime and then how to deal with it, for instance. Even allowing for client confidentiality, banks and other financial institutions would, knowing that a huge robbery had taken place, be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at sudden appearances of large sums in previously threadbare or non-existent accounts. Few would mind the problem but it would need to be solved.Others have criticised the film for not allowing the crime to succeed though most accept that the moral climate at the time would not have permitted it. I think that that is true but I also think that it was not the only reason. If the film had stopped at the post-heist party with "Oh well, thanks for everything, gentlemen, enjoy the money" THE END, it would hardly have met the need for a strong ending. Really they had to be caught if only for dramatic effect.Finally, I can accept Colonel Hyde grubbing around in the sewers surrounding the bank (sadly, that manhole cover has gone now) in order to check on the subterranean situation but would he really have done so in evening dress and with his Rolls parked over the road advertising his presence? Oh, wait, though. He was very careless with his car numbers, wasn't he? Finally finally! I note the tediously inevitable call for a remake. For heaven's sake why? TLOG ain't perfect but what film is? PLEASE think of that ghastly remake of The Ladykillers and leave well alone.

... View More