6.1/10
172
8 user 1 critic

Boys in Brown (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | December 1949 (UK)
A slice of life in a British Borstal reform institution for young criminals.

Director:

Montgomery Tully

Writers:

Reginald Beckwith (play), Montgomery Tully (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Warner ... Governor
Richard Attenborough ... Jackie Knowles
Dirk Bogarde ... Alfie Rawlins
Jimmy Hanley ... Bill Foster
Barbara Murray ... Kitty Hurst
Patrick Holt ... Tigson
Andrew Crawford Andrew Crawford ... Casey
Thora Hird ... Mrs. Knowles
Graham Payn Graham Payn ... Plato Cartwright
Michael Medwin ... Sparrow
John Blythe ... Bossy
Alfie Bass ... Basher
Stanley Escane Stanley Escane ... Bert
Robert Desmond Robert Desmond ... Spud
Marten Tiffen Marten Tiffen ... Dusty (as Martin Tiffen)
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Storyline

During post-war England, a young petty crook, Jackie Knowles (Sir Richard Attenborough), is on probation for committing petty crimes. Jackie wants to marry his girlfriend Kitty (Barbara Murray), but they don't have enough money to live on. Jackie foolishly accepts to be the getaway driver for a robbery job. The robbery goes wrong and Jackie is arrested. Because of his previous probation breach, the judge sentences him to three years in a Borstal institution. In the U.K., the Borstal institutions are trying to rehabilitate rather than punish young offenders. Jackie Knowles arrives at a Borstal institution run by a sympathetic Governor (Jack Warner). Initially, Jackie intends to keep his nose clean, do his time and get out. Unfortunatelly, he falls in with a crowd planning to escape. The wrong crowd is run by scheming Welsh boy Alfie Rawlins (Sir Dirk Bogarde) who senses Jackie's naiveté and innocence. Alfie manipulates Jackie into wanting to join his group by playing on Jackie's ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can bad boys make good ?

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Boys in Brown See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Made using J. Arthur Rank's "Independent Frame" production system (even though it was made by Gainsborough). The system proved to be a costly flop. See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Television Playhouse: Boys in Brown (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hardly 'boys'!
12 January 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Most of this film is set at a reform school for young offenders. I had to laugh at this because most of the actors are in their late 20s and some look well over 30! So the word 'Boys' in the title seems hardly appropriate!

Jackie Knowles (Richard Attenborough) is a young punk who has already been arrested for some petty crime. He didn't learn his lesson and soon is arrested again and is sent to the reform school. Jackie seems like he's not too bad a sort and he decides to apply himself, do his time and make something of himself. Unfortunately, there are a lot of guys who are more than happy to keep Jackie down...particularly the rat- like Alfie (Dirk Bogarde). When a group of the 'boys' want to escape, Alfie insists that he'll make Jackie join them....even if it means lying and manipulating to get his cooperation.

Overall, this is a reasonably well made and entertaining film which emphasizes humane treatment and reform. In many ways, it's a bit like some of the early Dead End Kids films in this respect. Worth seeing mostly so you can see Bogarde and Attenborough as they both were fine actors even when they were 'boys'!


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