Good Die Young, The (Romulus 1954, Laurence Harvey, Margaret Leighton)

The Good Die Young

Playboy Miles Ravenscourt (Laurence Harvey), whose wife Eve (Margaret Leighton) refuses to pick up any more of his bills, persuades three men down on their luck to hold up a mail van. The men are all vulnerable: a broken, former GI, Joe (Richard Baseheart), Eddie (John Ireland), a US Air Force sergeant who is absent without leave, and a boxer, Mike (Stanley Baker). The robbery is accomplished successfully and the loot from the post office van is hidden in a cemetery yet crime like this can’t pay and the psychotic Miles then shoots a policeman and murders Eddie and Mike in order to have the loot for himself. Joe manages to escape the police net and reaches the airport only to find that Harvey has followed him there and shoots him as well.

Jack Clayton, later to become a noted director (Room at the Top, The Innocents, The Great Gatsby), produced this stark, British film noir and brought together an impressive cast of British and American actors for the key roles. In addition to the key quartet played by Harvey, Basehart, Ireland and Baker, there were persuasive contributions from Leighton, Gloria Grahame as Ireland’s unfaithful wife, Freda Jackson who gave a gripping study of a possessive mother, Joan Collins in an uncharacteristically quiet role as a young, pregnant wife, Lee Patterson, as a British actor who comes between Ireland and his wife, and Robert Morley in a telling cameo role.

Laurence Harvey as Miles ‘Rave’ Ravenscourt
Gloria Grahame as Denise Blaine
Richard Basehart as Joe Halsey
Joan Collins as Mary Halsey
John Ireland as Eddie Blaine
René Ray as Angela Morgan
Stanley Baker as Mike Morgan
Margaret Leighton as Eve Ravenscourt
Robert Morley as Sir Francis Ravenscourt
Freda Jackson as Mrs. Freeman
James Kenney as Dave, Angela’s Brother
Susan Shaw as Doris, Girl in the Pub
Lee Patterson as Tod Maslin
Sandra Dorne as Pretty Girl
Leslie Dwyer as Stookey

crew details
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Writers: Vernon Harris, Lewis Gilbert

production details
Country: UK
Studio: Romulus
Year of Release: 1954
Duration: 100 minutes

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