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Three good men - a broken boxer, an American veteran trying to win back his mother-dominated wife, and an Air Force Sergeant married to a faithless actress - are corrupted by Miles "Rave" Ravenscourt (Laurence Harvey), an amoral "gentleman". Because they need money, they let Miles lure them into his scheme to rob a postal van with a large cash cargo.Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>
Several of the main cast lived out the dying young part of the title by passing away before either age fifty or sixty. Laurence Harvey and Margaret Leighton were married a few years later in 1957. She was made a CBE, won two Tony Awards, and died in 1976 at age fifty-three. Harvey died in 1973 at age forty-five. The couple had divorced in 1961. Of the remaining cast, Stanley Baker died in 1976 at age forty-eight, Susan Shaw in 1978 at age forty-nine, Gloria Grahame in 1981 at age fifty-seven, and James Kenney in 1987 at age fifty-six. As of late 2019, only Dame Joan Collins is still alive at age eighty-six, and Robert Morley passed away in 1992 at age eighty-four. See more »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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What did I do it for? Money. The money we were saving together, the money I was going to buy that shop with. And look what I got for my trouble - stone deaf in one ear, half blind and only one hand. What sort of a man does that make me?
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The Good Die Young is a cracking British Noir picture directed by Lewis Gilbert and featuring a strong cast of British and American actors. Laurence Harvey, Stanley Baker, Richard Basehart, John Ireland, Gloria Grahame, Margaret Leighton, Joan Collins and Rene Ray are the principals. While support comes from Robert Morley and Freda Jackson.
Adapted from the novel written by Richard MacAuley, the story starts with four men pulling up in a car, guns are passed around them and it's soon evident they are about to commit a serious crime. We are then taken through the sequences for each man, how they came to be at that point in time, what brought them together and their common interest; that of women trouble and financial strife. It's excellently structured by Gilbert, four separate stories, yet all of them are on the same track and heading towards the grim and potently "noirish" final quarter. Such is the way that we as viewers have been fully informed about our characters, the impact when things get violent is doubly strong. It takes you by surprise at first because the makers have given us a smooth set-up, and then there is the shock factor because these were not criminal men at the outset. But then..
A real pleasant surprise to this particular viewer was The Good Die Young, it's got fully formed characters within a tight and interesting story. The cast do fine work, yes one could probably complain a touch that the ladies are under written, but they each get in and flesh out the downward spiral of the male protagonists. Rene Ray is particularly impressive as the fraught wife of Stanley Baker's injured boxer, Mike, while Gloria Grahame (walking like a panther) is memorable as a bitch-a-like babe driving her husband Eddie (Ireland) to distraction. Basehart is his usual value for money self, but it's Baker and Harvey who own the picture. Baker does a great line in raw emotion, a big man, big heart and a big conscious; his journey is the films emotional axis, while Harvey is positively weasel like as playboy sponger Miles Ravenscourt; someone who is guaranteed to have you hissing at the screen with his stiffness perfectly befitting the character.
Top stuff. 8/10
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