HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Amulet
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
   
 
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Good Die Young, The The Detritus Of War
Year: 1954
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Gloria Grahame, Richard Basehart, Joan Collins, John Ireland, Rene Ray, Stanley Baker, Margaret Leighton, Robert Morley, Freda Jackson, James Kenney, Susan Shaw, Lee Paterson, Sandra Dorne, Leslie Dwyer, George Rose, Walter Hudd
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: These four men are sitting in a London taxi at night, four desperate men who have been left behind by life during peacetime after what they considered a "good war", but that was nearly ten years ago, and now they are in dire straits, so have to band together to stand against an unforgiving world and take something for themselves. But how did they meet? How did Rave (Laurence Harvey), the playboy who married into money, manage to corral these other three into agreeing to do his bidding and turn to crime? There's Joe (Richard Basehart), an ex-GI with a baby on the way, Eddie (John Ireland), a US Air Force man with a wayward wife, and Mike (Stanley Baker), a boxer who has done too much damage to himself in pursuit of settling down. Can they pull off a heist?

It was a nineteen-fifties crime movie, so of course it was a heist involved for the characters to get stuck into, but this was more akin to one of the portmanteau films that had become popular around this time, as we saw them split up for large parts of the storyline so the producers could get their money's worth out of a collection of stars, but not need to pay them for a whole production, thereby getting value for what they did spend. It was a trick used regularly way up to the seventies, when horror specialists Amicus were pulling the same behaviour, and intermittently since, but the director here was Lewis Gilbert, future James Bond overseer, presenting his credentials as a talent to be taken seriously after more tawdry excitements such as Cosh Boy earlier in his career.

Joan Collins had been in that one too, and here was Basehart's English wife who apparently has good news for him, but their relationship is hampered by her controlling mother (Freda Jackson) who comes across like a mother-in-law joke with the humour drained out. Joan was obviously going places, but the biggest female star in the cast was Gloria Grahame, a Hollywood import who had been brought over to increase the picture's chances internationally; she essayed the unfaithful wife role as if to the manor born, and added a little bad girl sparkle to what was, frankly, a dour experience. This was summed up by the hard luck of Baker's Mike: one of the star's men of violence, he may not be that old but his body is failing him after too much punishment in the boxing ring, to the extent of amputation (!).

Into all this swans Harvey, as only he could, impossibly suave yet also cold and compassionless, much like he was in real life, so you could say he was well placed here. When his wife (soon to be his actual wife Margaret Leighton in a marriage she could have well done without) decides enough is enough and he's not helping himself to her funds anymore, he makes a rash decision based on his feelings of injustice that the world he and millions of others were promised during the war is not the world they got. It was a notion that reached its cinematic apex in The League of Gentlemen six years later, but one brewing throughout a certain kind of picture, though here we have to take into account that Rave is psychopathically insane, and is as much taking the opportunity for acting out his fantasies of shooting people as he is getting the loot. For the rest, they are not unsympathetic, or not supposed to be, but they're lost causes now, so it's no surprise how keen the film is to close down every avenue to them. Relentlessly downbeat, almost cartoonishly cynical, this slice of Brit noir did end with a flourish of the heist. Music by Georges Auric.

[This is released on Blu-ray and DVD by the BFI with the following features:

Newly remastered by the BFI and presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
The Good Die Young (Export Version) (1953, 101 mins, Blu-ray only): made available here for the first time, this extended overseas-only version of the film contains anti-establishment sentiments considered too strong for British audiences of the day
When Giants Fought (1926, 31 mins): a contentious but historic bare-knuckle conflict of 1810 is vividly revisited in this power-packed silent boxing drama, with a newly commissioned musical score by Mordecai Smyth
Midnight Taxi (1946, 17 mins): a London cabby uncovers the city's secret nightlife in this surprising plug for post-war National Savings
Under Night Streets (1958, 20 mins): after the last tube has gone, an army of underground workers get busy down below
Not Like Any Other Director: Lewis Gilbert (1995, 31 mins): Michael Caine introduces the director of The Good Die Young, in this excerpt from an on-stage interview at London's National Film Theatre
Image gallery
***FIRST PRESSING ONLY*** Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film and full film credits.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 681 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: