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Doing Time (1979)
"Porridge" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Crime  -  12 August 1979 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,353 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the ... See full summary »

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Title: Doing Time (1979)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Brian Wilde ...
...
...
Bainbridge
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Governor
Christopher Godwin ...
Beal
Barrie Rutter ...
Oakes
Daniel Peacock ...
Rudge
...
Ken Jones ...
Philip Locke ...
...
Dines (as Gordon Kaye)
Oliver Smith ...
McMillan
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Storyline

This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the prisoners and an all-star celebrity team. Fletcher is unaware that the match is only a diversion so that an escape can take place. When Fletcher and his cell mate Lennie stumble on the escape, they are taken along, and find themselves having to break back into prison to avoid getting into trouble. Written by measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fletcher's inside story - even funnier as a film.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

12 August 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Doing Time  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the last film appearance by Richard Beckinsale. He died during editing of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Fletcher reluctantly becomes the trainer he says that he is a lifelong Leyton Orient fan. In the TV series he supports Tottenham Hotspur. See more »

Quotes

[it's the day of the football matcha and the team captains shake hands]
Mr Mackay: Now I want a nice clean fight.
Urquart: It's not a boxing match, Mr Mackay.
Mr Mackay: That's what I'm anxious to avoid.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comedy Connections: Porridge (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Hallelujah Chorus
(uncredited)
from "The Messiah"
Music by George Frideric Handel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tremendously enjoyable
1 April 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Porridge concerns the lives of a group of prison inmates. The brilliant Ronnie Barker plays Fletch, cheeky, good-natured, optimistic, quick-witted and able to handle all the little foibles of the other prisoners and guards to his advantage. Think of an Ivan Denisovich without the Siberian background. The trouble begins when Mr Grout, an aristocratic crime boss at the top of the prison hierarchy, 'requests' Fletch to suggest to the guards a celebrity football match, where a team of famous faces will play a team of prisoners.

Never having seen the Porridge TV-series, I can't comment on any differences or similarities. However, it is hard to top the quality of this little comedy. The script is an excellent mix of character, witty word-play, amusing plot and some physical comedy, done in a way that only the British seem to do so competently. The situations in the prison are believable, and even the minor parts are well-rounded characters. Almost every other line contains some memorable gag. Some examples "Beware of him. He's known as the butcher of Slade Prison." "What did he do?" "Fiddled the VAT on some sausages." And then there's: "What's a peccadillo?" "South African bird that flies backwards to keep the sand out of its eyes." "No, that's not it. But I know what you're thinking of. That's called an armour-dildo." Oh, and how about that scene of the governor losing his self-respect and teeth in a huge pot of curry?

A brilliantly written and well-acted comedy. Highly recommended.


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