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British Film Noir Double Feature (The Slasher (Cosh Boy) / Twilight Women (Women of the Twilight))

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Slasher: A swift moving, no punches pulled exposé set in London's tenement district, with a ruthless teenager (James Kenney, reprising his stage role) blackjacking an old woman to get her purse, and "graduating" to gang leader whose young cutthroats spread terror over the entire city. At the start of her "bad girl" career, Joan Collins is the girl he loves and leaves, with tragic results. A controversial motion picture in its era and still potent today. Based on the play, "Master Crook." RT: 75 min B&W 1952. Twilight Women: Originating on the London stage, this hard-hitting tale is set at a boarding house-haven for unmarried mothers, owned by a woman (Freda Jackson) whose outward show of upstanding character hides her true personality: a fiend who abuses the women and farms out their babies! Madness, squalor, bedbugs and a dead baby add to the atmosphere of shock. Lois Maxwell (James Bond's Miss Moneypenny) and Laurence Harvey co-star. RT: 75 min B&W 1953. Bonus Features: Trailers. Product Specs: DVD-9; Mono; 150 minutes; B&W; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; Year - 1952, 1953; SRP - $14.99.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Kenney, Joan Collins, Betty Ann Davies, Robert Ayers, Hermione Baddeley
  • Directors: Lewis Gilbert, Gordon Parry
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Y4Z4OW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,265 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "British Film Noir Double Feature (The Slasher (Cosh Boy) / Twilight Women (Women of the Twilight))" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

These are not Film Noir in any real sense of the term. A pair of very decent British crime programmers that should satisfy anyone with a taste for this kind of material. The transfers are excellent.

THE SLASHER (aka COSH BOY, 1953) is the lesser of the two films, but it has some merits. James Kenney fully lives up the lead role of a hardened young gang leader. He's got carry the film and he does with exemplary flair. Some moments in Kenney's performance may remind viewers of Richard Attenborough in BRIGHTON ROCK. Joan Collins makes a good appearance in one of her earliest films, and we have both Hermiones, Baddeley and Gingold in supporting parts. This film has lettle true depth, it's mainly making a statement about corrupt youth of "today", but it's well worth at least one look

Far superior is TWILIGHT WOMEN (aka WOMEN OF TWILIGHT, 1952). A taut, engaging little thriller. Laurence Harvey fans may be disappointed at the actor's small role in this film, still his character's fate looms large over one of the other characters. Fine performances all around, in a story set in a boarding house for unwed mothers. This film could never have been produced in the US at the time, it's quite frank about the women's circumstances and even has a healthy dose of humor. Freda Jackson is top notch as the deceptively humanitarian landlady. René Ray is good (she looks like a British Tallulah Bankhead) and Dora Bryan is in typically fine form as is Vida Hope. Harvey's two scenes are very well acted and it's easy to see what a superb actor he would soon prove himself to be. His singing is surely dubbed, but he handles that well too. This is high melodrama, well worth seeking out.
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Content is covered amply by other reviewers here, the most salient point being that this pair of U.K. dramas can be considered noir only by the broadest interpretation of the term (i.e., heavy use of shadow and elements of human depravity). Romulus Films' 'Twilight Women' (1952) is the more accomplished work in effect, attempting something resembling the atmospheric suspense of 'The Spiral Staircase' or 'Rebecca' and achieving something decidedly less with a prominent post-war social aesthetic. 3-plus stars. The misleadingly re-titled 'The Slasher' (Romulus, 1953), directed by Lewis Gilbert ('Cast a Dark Shadow,' 'Sink the Bismarck,' several Bonds), is a dressed-up juvenile-delinquent programmer featuring superior performances of some brutally frank but otherwise banal, small-stakes material. 3-minus stars. Picture quality is fine for both movies, but the audio track on 'The Slasher' gets muddy at times. 3 stars for the package.

Note - VCI touts its print of 'Twilight Women' as being the uncut 89-minute version (versus the 79-minute U.S. release), but in my player it timed out at just over 84 minutes.
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The Slasher or Cosh Boy as I remember it. Caused a sensation when first released in Britain. With an X certificate. And no VHS release I was aware of. I could'nt get to see it until this DVD.Hardly worth the wait but if you like this kind of movie. You will enjoy this film and to a lesser degree it's companion piece here Twilight Women. Both are seriously dated. With a fate worse than death unmarried mothers theme. And beat the cosh out of the boy answer to the eras hoodies.Both tho'certainly give a real feel for their time.With James Kenny the cosh boy giving a fine central performance. He went on to play Bongo Hurbert on the stage in Expresso Bongo. Cliff Richard played the role in the watered down but still given an X cert.movie of the same name. It looked back then as if James would be a big star. Sadly he was'nt. Glimse what might have been in Cosh Boy.
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