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The Leather Boys


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Editorial Reviews

Set in the cult world of fast cycles and loose sex, THE LEATHER BOYS is a shocking view of rebellious teenagers seeking their independence: Dot, the immature bride who finds that legal sex is not so excitingReg, her restless young husband who longs to see the world astride his motorcycleand Pete, his best friend who closets a harrowing secret. A disillusioned trio that discovers independence alone is not enough, and that lifes harsh realities are inescapable. Controversial at the time of release in 1964, THE LEATHER BOYS was one of the first movies that dealt with the then taboo subject of homosexuality.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Begley, Johnny Briggs, Sandra Caron, James Chase, Geoffrey Dunn
  • Directors: Sidney J. Furie
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Televista
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N3SRPY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,128 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. FUSCO on May 19, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An engaging hybrid of British 'kitchen sink' drama and American biker film, this atmospheric feature was considered daring in 1964 as it touched upon homosexuality, however obliquely. It has a suitably somber appearance in B&W but, filmed in CinemaScope, there is a certain elegance to its images.

Dot (Rita Tushingham) and Reg (handsome newcomer Colin Campbell), a young working-class couple, get married. She is sixteen, shallow, selfish, and vain. He is sweet, generally light-hearted, and thoughtful, but under pressure reverts to macho, blue-collar stereotype. As a result, they fight constantly and soon separate. Reg meets Pete, a flamboyant and extroverted biker, who becomes his best mate. They move in together while Reg sorts out his life. Despite Pete's constant mothering, possessiveness, and jealousy, naive Reg only figures out that his friend is in love with him when Pete is outed in a dockside bar at the end of the film. Typically, there could be no happy endings for gay men in 1964.

The film is especially interesting due to the photography, period locations, and the early cinematic homosexual reference. Colin Campbell is beautiful, a wonderful actor, and quite suited to the role of a confused youth trying hard, but not prepared, to be an adult. His pretty, boyish presence is essential to the theme of sexual repression which precipitates all the minor tragedies and frustrations in his life.

This Televista version is a poor Pan&Scan version. There are two widescreen issues, from Kino (out of print) and Blackhorse (Region 2), well worth searching for. It makes a great difference to see the film in its original form without half the screen missing. The wide format is especially convincing in the road and racing sequences.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Hickman on April 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"Leather Boys" is a black-and-white noirish film of the kitchen sink school directed by Canadian Sidney J. Furie and starring '60s pop icon Rita Tushingham. However, it is Colin Campbell, as Tushingham's young husband, who takes center stage in the drama, and his performance is heart-breaking. "Leather Boys" is essentially a drama about consequences. Campbell's character marries Tushingham because that's what a young man from his class and with his prospects does. But he is unhappy in marriage and with the lack of options available to a young man in the era before London began to swing in the 1960s, without really knowing why. Then a new mate comes into his life, played by the great character actor Dudley Sutton, and his world is suddenly turned upside down. Can a couple of motorcycle jocks find love in England in 1963? You probably already know the answer to that one, but see for yourself how it plays out on film. The closing scene is a study in ambivalence. To my mind, this is a little-known classic of early "gay" cinema.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2002
Format: DVD
This film is a really wonderful example of the fact that anyone can feel polarized, alone, and alienated. Reg is a young straight biker mechanic who gets married to a harpy of a woman who is just awful to him. Rita Tushingham plays his young wife as a woman with seemingly no love just a desire to complain and be absolutely nasty to Reg. So along comes Pete, a homosexual motorcylist who befriends Reg. Reg does not realize Pete is a homosexual, and can't quite figure out Pete's motivations some times, but he really likes Pete and consider's Pete his best friend. As the relationship between Reg and his terribly cruel wife (who obviously has no soul) deteriorates he spends more and time with Pete. Pete believes that they should go off to America together (he and Reg) as Reg has no intention of staying with the gorgon back at home. Reg finally realizes Pete likes him and doesn't quite no how to take it but since Pete is the best friend he ever had he does not want to lose him. Reg and the medusa try once more to get back together but as usual she shows her true colors. Really, her character is the most unsympatheticly written person ever in a movie...you can't help but hate this woman because she is just awful and not satisfied with anything. So Reg tells Pete that the trip to America is on. But on the way to the boat Pete leaves Reg in a gay bar where several very aggressive men hit on him. Reg is sort of taken aback and realizes that maybe he does not belong with Pete in his world either. The film ends with Reg leaving Pete standing in front of the gay bar and Reg walking away absolutely alone. This film dispels the myth that gay men are the only ones with identity problems. At the end, Pete still has his idendity, the horrible wife does. But the straight guy is left with nothing.Read more ›
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2002
Format: DVD
This film is a really wonderful example of the fact that anyone can feel polarized, alone, and alienated. Reg is a young straight biker mechanic who gets married to a harpy of a woman who is just awful to him. Rita Tushingham plays his young wife as a woman with seemingly no love, just a desire to complain and be absolutely nasty to Reg. So along comes Pete, a homosexual motorcylist who befriends Reg. Reg does not realize Pete is a homosexual and can't quite figure out Pete's motivations some times, but he really likes Pete and consider's Pete his best friend. As the relationship between Reg and his terribly cruel wife (who obviously has no soul) deteriorates he spends more and time with Pete. Pete believes that they should go off to America together (he and Reg) as Reg has no intention of staying with the gorgon back at home. Reg finally realizes Pete likes him and doesn't quite no how to take it but since Pete is the best friend he ever had he does not want to lose him. Reg and the medusa try once more to get back together but as usual she quickly shows her true colors. Really, her character is the most unsympatheticly written person ever in a movie...you can't help but hate this woman because she is just awful and not satisfied with anything. So Reg tells Pete that the trip to America is on. But on the way to the boat Pete leaves Reg in a gay bar where several very aggressive men hit on him. Reg is sort of taken aback and realizes that maybe he does not belong with Pete in his world either. The film ends with Reg leaving Pete standing in front of the gay bar and Reg walking away absolutely alone. This film dispels the myth that gay men are all the only ones with identity problems. At the end, Pete still has his idendity, the horrible wife does. But the straight guy is left with nothing.Read more ›
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