Movie Diary 4/3/2018

The Challenge (aka It Takes a Thief, John Gilling, 1960). A far-fetched and elaborately plotted UK noir in which crime ringleader Jayne Mansfield bamboozles Anthony Quayle into driving the car for a robbery; after he alone goes to jail for the crime, his confederates are very interested in where he buried the loot. If you can believe any of it, and even if you can’t, there is some enjoyment to be had here.

Cosh Boys (aka The Slasher, Lewis Gilbert, 1953). Lots of stylish noir looks in this strange outing, which is part Warner Bros. social-issue picture, and part lecture on how parents need to be sterner (to the point of brutality) with this wild postwar generation of hooligans. James Kenney tries to get some Cagney energy going and gives a suitably crazed performance as a thug leader, with Joan Collins as the nice girl he ruins. Also notable for having both Hermione Gingold and Hermione Baddeley in the cast. Early work by future 007 director Gilbert, who died last month.

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