Violent Playground (1958)

 |  Drama, Crime  |  7 March 1958 (Ireland)
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Reviews: 15 user | 1 critic

Struggle between a Liverpool Juvenile Liaison officer and a young and dangerous pyromaniac.



(original screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Heywood ...
Johnnie Murphy
John Slater ...
Clifford Evans ...
Moultrie Kelsall ...
George A. Cooper ...
Brona Boland ...
Fergal Boland ...
Michael Chow ...
Sean Lynch ...
Bernice Swanson ...
Meg (as Benice Swanson)
Tommy (as Fred Fowell)


Struggle between a Liverpool Juvenile Liaison officer and a young and dangerous pyromaniac.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

teenager | rock music | See All (2) »


EVERY CITY HAS ITS DANGEROUS YOUTH. Stark, explosive drama - as the camera lays bare the heart of a big city and probe the secrets of its Violent Playground.


Drama | Crime


See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 March 1958 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Desperat ungdom  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot July-September 1957, copyright 1958. See more »


Despite its Liverpool setting not a single character speaks with a Merseyside (Liverpool) accent in the entire film. See more »


Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »


Play Rough
Music by Philip Green (as Phil Green)
Lyrics by Paddy Roberts
Sung by Johnny Luck (Fontana Recording Artist) with Ken Jones and his Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

A little gem of a film, shot on location in Gerard Gardens Liverpool
16 April 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film was shot on location in Gerard Gardens in Liverpool, and was the UK's answer to films such as 'Blackboard Jungle'. The film stands the test of time quite well, with all the moral stories still (or even more) relevant today. The film feature some fine performance from some notable British actors such as David McCallum, Stanley Baker, Peter Cushing and Anne Heywood. Baker plays a Liverpool cop assigned to juvenile liaison duties, with the premise that if you catch the kids at an early age, they will end up being responsible adults.

Notable cameos in the film include Freddie Starr (Fred Fowell) and Melvyn Hayes (Gloria). Tsai Chin and Michael Chow play brother and sister (they are real life brother and sister) who are caught up in an arsonists web. Tsai Chin is still acting and can be seen in the latest Nicole Kidman film 'The Interpretor'.

Violent Playground features a gun siege in a school, so is unlikely to be shown on TV following similar events in Scotland / Russia.

I lived in Gerard Gardens where the film was shot (though was not born at the time), and have fond memories of the area. I have recently completed a documentary on Gerard Gardens which includes extracts from 'Violent Playground', and a small UK film 'Coast to Coast' which stars Lenny Henry and Pete Postlewaite. The tenements were demolished in 1987 and the films go some way in keeping the memory alive.

There were some complaints from the residents when the film was released, as the film portrayed the area in a bad light. Time has helped heal those wounds.

A little gem of a film, I would recommend you seek this out

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