Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Cosh Boy is a 1953 British black and white movie about what it’s preamble at the beginning called “juvenile delinquents”. It was the sort of film in Britain (and probably the first) that probably describes what’s coming next as a social commentary to excuse it for the violence (note that it’s the fifties) that will follow.
Though a play this version coscripted by Lewis Gilbert who later found fame directing James Bond.
The character of “Roy” is the Cosh Boy of the title. A guy who walks on the other side of life’s tracks because he enjoys it. Commits crimes, treats his mother badly and yet is still able to seduce Joan Collins.
In the preamble I mentioned the excuse for Roy’s behaviour is put on bad parenting. In fact in reality bad single parenting. As he’s raised by a single mother as his father was killed in the second world war. So blame the single mother again time it appears.
But the best thing about the movie is the lead actor James Kenney. For contrary to what the film tries to preach his performance suggests that Roy’s problems are far more psychological than just merely due to bad parenting. It’s a hint that things are more complex than what the Daily Mail would have you believe.
His performance though, good as it is does not save this film. It’s hampered by a cliched script full of cardboard characters and some actors giving performances so wooden they would be more appropriate in an Oak Furnitureland store.
Particular mention needs to made of Robert Ayres playing his mother’s boyfriend. His performance is not great but more to the point here he’s an American. Ever since I was a child I’ve always hated British films where an American character is shoehorned into a British storyline for no credible reason other than in the vain hope of improving it at the box office across the pond. He’s clearly out of place in a story of British working class life. But there he is.
James Kenney’s performance deserved a better movie. Unfortunately for him he was stuck with this one.
Until the next time.