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Cosh Boy - Flipside 40

For the last decade or so, the BFI have been releasing a series of blu-ray/DVDs under the umbrella name of Flipside: "dedicated to rediscovering the margins of British film, reclaiming a space for forgotten movies and filmmakers who would otherwise be in danger of disappearing from our screens forever. It is a home for UK cinematic oddities, offering everything from exploitation documentaries to B-movies, countercultural curios and obscure classics." Most of these films are from the 60s, 70s and 80s, so outside the range of this site, but for this 40th film in the series they've ventured back to the 50s for one of the most controversial films of its day: Cosh Boy.

We've already reviewed Cosh Boy and the fuss around it (here), so we just need to add that this is a 2K remaster from the original 35mm negative and it looks lovely. To mark the 40th Flipside release the discs have been crammed with extras. There's a new 10 minute interview with cast member Ian Whittaker who was also in the original play. There's also the US title sequence which renamed the film "The Slasher".

There are two shorts from director Lewis Gilbert. His first effort The Ten Year Plan is a rather dull look at the building of post-war pre-fabs, which is only distinguished by starring Charles Hawtrey. The other is Harmony Lane, a bizarre little musical interlude in which a number of 50s acts (Max Bygraves, The Beverley Sisters, etc.) do their turns. Sadly this isn't in the 3D it was originally released in, but it's jolly and kitsch and very, very 50s. We also get Gilbert's 1953 feature Johnny on the Run which he made for the Children's Film Foundation and which is one of the organisation's finest productions.

To round off this package there's Stranger in the City (1961) which is a short set in Soho, and a snippet from the TV documentary series This Week which looks at the life of a 50s Teddy boy. This last piece is an unexpected highlight with a rather sweet lad trying to live the lifestyle on a budget.    

Also included is a thorough booklet which takes you through the making of the film and the difficulties around its reception.

A thoroughly recommended package.

Cosh Boy cover


Available at Amazon UK

Available at Amazon US