Gillian Freeman

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The Leather Boys Review


Very Good
The Leather Boys is sometimes described as the quintessential British juvenile delinquency movie, a sort of Wild One with a Cockney accent, but it's something rather different and much more interesting than a "gang terrorizes town" flick. Filmed in great-looking black and white with plenty of fog and rain (it's the only way to imagine England in its early-'60s, pre-Beatles, pre-swingin' days), the movie is actually more of a melodrama about a teenage marriage gone wrong and the frustrations of a young generation looking around and seeing only more rain and more fog.

Sixteen-year-old Dot (Rita Tushingham, pretty but cursed with a Bob Hope ski-slope nose) and her slightly older boyfriend Reggie (Colin Campbell) are the happiest couple among their large biker gang, a relatively harmless group who hang around the Ace Café, admire each other's bikes, and gun off down the motorway in large packs. They all seem to have jobs, albeit crummy ones, and none seem too fixated on the future. Dot, however, is ready to tie the knot, and Reggie thinks it might be a good ol' laugh, so with the grudging approval of both sets of parents, the two are quickly married in a low-rent ceremony from which everyone departs in a double-decker London bus.

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