Down 3,495 this week

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

 |  Comedy, Crime  |  10 August 1979 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,392 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 »


0Check in

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 144 titles
created 15 May 2011
a list of 472 titles
created 29 Feb 2012
a list of 1869 titles
created 09 Aug 2012
a list of 306 titles
created 26 Jan 2013
a list of 1809 titles
created 20 Nov 2013

Related Items

Search for "Doing Time" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Doing Time (1979)

Doing Time (1979) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Doing Time.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rising Damp (1974–1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Popular sitcom set in a seedy bedsit lorded over by the mean, vain, boastful, cowardly landlord Rigsby. In each episode, his conceits are debunked by his long suffering tenants.

Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Don Warrington, Frances de la Tour
Dad's Army (1971)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The misadventures of a ragtag group of elderly Home Guard local defense volunteers at the onset of WW2.

Director: Norman Cohen
Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn
On the Rocks (1975–1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Alamesa minimum security prison has four inmates in a friendly rivalry with their guards and warden.

Stars: Rick Hurst, José Pérez, Bobby Sandler
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Terry and Bob from The Likely Lads (1964) continue their life after Terry arrives home from serving in the Army to discover that Bob is about to marry his girlfriend Thelma. Can Thelma lead... See full summary »

Stars: James Bolam, Rodney Bewes, Brigit Forsyth
Open All Hours (1976–1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Arkwright is a tight-fisted shop owner in Doncaster, who will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overheads low, even if this means harassing his nephew Granville. Arkwright's ... See full summary »

Stars: Ronnie Barker, David Jason, Lynda Baron
The Two Ronnies (1971–1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Long running BBC comedy show consisting of sketches and humourous musical routines involving the large Ronnie Barker and the small Ronnie Corbett. Most sketches involved both men, but ... See full summary »

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, The Fred Tomlinson Singers
Steptoe and Son (1962–1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Classic 1960s British comedy series about a middle aged man and his elderly father who run an unsuccessful 'rag and bone' business (collecting and selling junk). Harold (the son) wants to ... See full summary »

Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Frank Thornton
Going Straight (TV Series 1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Following his release from Slade prison, Fletcher tries to stick to the straight and narrow, but it isn't easy!

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Patricia Brake, Richard Beckinsale
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. But Harold, who likes the ... See full summary »

Director: Cliff Owen
Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Carolyn Seymour
Dad's Army (1968–1977)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During WW2,in a fictional British seaside town,a ragtag group of Home Guard local defense volunteers prepares for an imminent German invasion.

Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn
George & Mildred (1976–1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

George and Mildred Roper are forced to leave their home in South Kensington (as the landlords in Man About the House (1973)) when they receive a compulsory purchase order from the council. ... See full summary »

Stars: Yootha Joyce, Brian Murphy, Norman Eshley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Bus driver Stan Butler agrees to marry Suzy, much to the anguish of Mum, her son-in-law, Arthur, and daughter Olive. How, they wonder, will they ever manage without Stan's money coming in? Then Arthur is sacked, and Stan agrees to delay the wedding. Meanwhile, he hits on an idea: Arthur should learn to drive a bus. Somehow he does just that, and even gets a job. Stan then blackmails the Depot ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Booth
Stars: Reg Varney, Doris Hare, Michael Robbins


Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Wilde ...
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Christopher Godwin ...
Barrie Rutter ...
Daniel Peacock ...
Ken Jones ...
Philip Locke ...
Dines (as Gordon Kaye in closing credits)
Oliver Smith ...


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


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


Comedy | Crime


See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 August 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Doing Time  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The officers and prisoners played by Julian Holloway, Christopher Godwin, Barrie Rutter and Daniel Peacock were new characters created for the film. See more »


Godber declares that the model aircraft he's constructing is a Spitfire, but it's clearly a P51 Mustang. See more »


Samson: Oi, Fletcher.
Harry Grout: There'll be something for you in your Christmas stocking, Fletcher.
Fletcher: Oh, thank you sir. I'll look forward to that, sir.
See more »


References Within These Walls (1974) See more »


Sweet Sweet Sweet
Written by Colin Stewart, Paul Stewart and Robert Freeman
Performed by Plain Sailing
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Porridge; A good healthy diet of wit and intelligence, leaving you full and satisfied.
20 October 2006 | by (An English Shire.) – See all my reviews

England was writhe with crime, in the cinematic sense, toward the end of the decade that had brought us Glitter Rock and Punk Rock. Toward the end of the Seventies and with the crossover into the Eighties, prison movies were to include the brutal Scum (1979), the Houdini exploits of McVicar (1980), and not forgetting the vicious ladies known as Scrubbers (1983), these Made In Britain misfits are amongst the serious and uncompromising hardcore collection of the riffraff prison underclass of that time.

This era's theme of imprisonment had also been the subject of light relief and comic substance, to the happy go lucky tune of life's misplaced souls that were doing Porridge, (as the movies American title suggests Doing Time): the English term for being imprisoned, you were "Banged to Rights" you were "Doing Time" and "Doing Porridge".

Nineteen seventy-four saw the release of British comedy sitcom Porridge; written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, this later turned into the spin-off movie of the same name. Fundamentally an extension of the early seventies comedy show, we have the enduring and ever wistful Norman Stanley Fletcher, with his unforgiving contempt for authority and the establishment alike. The two writers here have not deviated from his original persona; a charm and charisma that transcends from television play and onto the movie screen, with his wise old owl intellect that knows best and never throws caution to the wind. Though the script is the classic all-round family entertainment variety, the actual storyline is somewhat basic and considering the genre here, apt.

Richard Beckinsale (1947 - 1979), as Lennie Godber, father to the beautiful Kate Beckinsale, born 1973, of Underworld (2003) and Van Helsing (2004), fame sadly passed away shortly after the making of Porridge, of a heart attack. While too young, his legacy has been passed on through his daughter, he would have been extremely proud to have seen her accomplishments. The world of light entertainment would never be quite what it was without him. Porridge is awash with the best of British, such as Fulton Mackay (1922 - 1987), Brian Wilde, Derek Deadman, Ken Jones and of course the greatest modern English comedy writer and actor the late Ronnie Barker (1929 - 2005).

This extension of the small screen had to have direction that was capable of retaining the attention span of an audience used to only the weekly half hour shows. The big screen adaptation is classic British cinema; the titters and chuckles among the theatregoers is only contagious. Humour abound, with its pessimistic and anti-establishment overtones that, while nonconformist, only reminds these prisoners of their individual plight. Here we see the pecking order of the hierarchy that are the building blocks of any modern day society. With its top dog Grouty, with his bodyguards Samson and Delilah, then there are the gofers, the go for this and go for that, the illiterates and we have the young and naive first offender Rudge, played here by Daniel Peacock, for example. In between this, we have the officers, just as misfit and imprisoned, though physiologically, as their jailbird counterparts. All bound together by a very wonderfully sharp and intelligent script, bringing about the adage sarcasm is the lowest from of wit, well this is not sarcastic humour, nor is this toilet humour, this is well written and thought out superlative comical fun. Any wonder then that during 1980 Porridge had won the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Comedy.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great Film DMint
Richard Beckinsale darthquincunx
Cops drouson
Is there a studio audience throughout this film????? lanny_kaster
seems a coincidence stevej6891-85-979895
Discuss Doing Time (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: