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OLIVER REED REBELS THROUGH HAMMER'S 'THESE ARE THE DAMNED'

Title: THESE ARE THE DAMNED aka THE DAMNED Year: 1962 Rating: ****

Hammer's THESE ARE THE DAMNED has a double-edged title starting with a Teddy Boy gang (young punks from England's 1950's/1960's who dressed in Victorian-era used-clothe leftovers) led by Oliver Reed... 

And he's in what seems an incestuous relationship with sexy sibling Shirley Anne Field, who... while the boys whistle the tune of a corny song that'd just conducted their street-savvy march into town... picks up on older, classy American, Macdonald Carey, so he can be deliberately clobbered, robbed...

Oliver Reed as King in THESE ARE THE DAMNED

Turns out he owns a small fancy yacht, and soon winds up in a halting relationship with Field.. kind of... yet he may not get past the mutual-kissing stage if Reed's King... said to have inspired Anthony Burgess's Alex for the CLOCKWORK ORANGE novel... can help it...

But all the running around is a small part of the overall story... a kind of introductory distraction... that mainly centers on a group of eerie "orphan children" literally holed-up within a nearby mountainside... 

Alexander Knox runs class in THESE ARE THE DAMNED

Students in a machine-run classroom facing a giant monitor where military scientists, including elegantly progressive leader Alexander Knox contradicted by militia-minded Walter Gotell and intellectually-cold James Villiers, technically check in now and again... 

They even allow the kids (with one already dead and one desperately ill) to think they're rebelling by hiding out in their "hideout" further inside the mountain, while that too is monitored...

Shirley Anne Field and Macondald Carey in THESE ARE THE DAMNED

More science-fiction/cautionary-nuke-gloomy than lurking-mysterious Hammer-style horror, there are not only a pair of titular DAMNED... the Teddy Boys outside and the children inside... but two leading men... 

With Reed shadowing Macondald Carey's rather dull Simon Wells (miscast and lacking chemistry with sexy yet robotic line-reading Field) from the town to a rural one-house oceanic cliff-side, there are also two leading ladies...

Viveca Lindfors in THESE ARE THE DAMNED

Enter middle-aged beauty Viveca Lindfors, a sculptress ladyfriend of Alexander Knox, and, through intellectual/idealistic discourse, the enigmatic twist of who the kids are and what they're made of and being groomed for, is kept secret from both her AND the audience...

Creatively directed by blacklisted exile Joseph Losey, wielding askew angles befitting the gloomy landscape and strange story-line, by the time the May/October couple attempt a mainstream-movie style rescue of the children, the third act lumbers along while also seeming rushed for closure...

Oliver Reed and Nicholas Clay in THESE ARE THE DAMNED

Overall an inevitable sense of gothic, macabre doom permeates one of the most unique features of the British New Wave, providing its unique budding star Oliver Reed a more fleshed-out misunderstood rebel than Hammer had provided him, before and after...

Along with his hilarious "Average American guy" voice (goading Carey), and leading a tough David Gregory, a mouthy Tom Kempinski and meek/silent-type Kenneth Cope, the soon-legendary Reed makes for... despite being a mere cog in this complicated ride... a devilish combination of WEST SIDE STORY derived from THE TWILIGHT ZONE. 

Tom Kempinski and Oliver Reed with David Gregory & Kenneth Cope in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Macdonald Carey and Shirley Anne Field in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Shirley Anne Field and Oliver Reed in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
One of the damned Rachel Clay school-bored in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Oliver Reed and Kenneth Cope (as Sid) in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Shirley Anne Field in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Viveca Lindfords in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Proof the movie is called THESE ARE THE DAMNED not THE DAMNED
Oliver Reed's King and Malcolm McDowell's Alex were truly similar from Clockwork Orange back to The Damned
Shirley Ann Field in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
James Villiers and Walter Gotell in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Viveca Lindfords in THESE ARE THE DAMNED with Oliver Reed
Shirley Anne Field and Oliver Reed in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Viveca Lindfords in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Oliver Reed in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Kenneth Cope in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Oliver Reed  in THESE ARE THE DAMNED
Oliver Reed, The Damned, Kenneth Cope

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