Watch The Leather Boys
- 1 hr 48 min
The Leather Boys is a British drama film from 1964 directed by Sidney J. Furie, based upon Gillian Freeman's 1961 book of the same name. The film depicts the working-class youth culture of Rockers and Ton Up Boys in London during the early 1960s. The story revolves around two newlyweds, Reggie and Dot, played by Colin Campbell and Rita Tushingham respectively. Reggie is a young man who loves motorcycles, and he spends most of his free time with his best friend, Pete, portrayed by Dudley Sutton. The couple's marriage begins to crumble when Reggie begins to spend more time with his motorcycle gang instead of his wife. Meanwhile, Dot struggles with her own personal identity as a married woman, dissatisfied with her life and the monotony of housework. As the film progresses, we see Reggie's passion for motorcycles take over his life, leaving him estranged from his wife and family, and teetering on the edge of poverty. The Ton Up Boys, a biker gang, become his family both on and off the road. Pete, Reggie's loyal best friend, is always there to support him through thick and thin, but even he begins to become disillusioned with the affection and obsession Reggie has for his motorcycle. As Reggie and Dot's marriage begins to crumble, they both seek solace in other relationships. Dot finds comfort in a biker from a rival gang while Reggie finds himself attracted to a fellow biker, Norma. Eventually, the two lead characters discover that their lives are no longer compatible, leaving them to say goodbye to what they once had. The film is an accurate portrayal of the youth culture scene in the UK at the time, and it highlights the issues faced by young working-class people trying to find their place in society. The themes of masculinity, class, and identity are heavily explored throughout the film. The movie also explores the difference between the two motorcycle gangs of the era. The Ton Up Boys were known for their daring and reckless attitude, while Dot's boyfriend belonged to a rival gang that was wealthier and more exclusive. The cultural differences between the two biker subcultures are apparent, and the film deftly highlights the differences in social class and economic status that defined those subcultures. One of the standout performances in the film comes from Dudley Sutton as Reggie's loyal and dependable best friend, Pete. He plays the character with authenticity and vulnerability, serving as an emotional anchor for his friend when things begin to spiral out of control. Rita Tushingham is also excellent as Dot, bringing complexity and sensitivity to her role. Overall, The Leather Boys is a well-crafted and powerful film that explores important themes and issues of its time. The movie's authentic depiction of the youth culture of the era and its attention to detail make it a compelling watch, and it still resonates with audiences today.