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Doing Time (1979)

Porridge (original title)
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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Wilde ...
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Christopher Godwin ...
Daniel Peacock ...
Ken Jones ...
Philip Locke ...
Dines (as Gordon Kaye)
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


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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
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Did You Know?


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


During the football game, all shots of the game itself are in heavy overcast weather. Shots of Fletcher, the Governor and the substitute bench, however, occur with a clear blue sky behind them and the sun in their eyes. See more »


Fletcher: Cheer up, might never 'appen.
Rudge: Already 'as, I'm 'ere ain't I?
Fletcher: Now look. Whatever you're in 'ere for you did it didn't ya?
Rudge: Banged to rights? Yeah!
Fletcher: Yeah. Just like me. If we 'adn't have been caught we'd have been Jack the lad wouldn't we? But no. We was. We was collared, so don't bleat. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
See more »


References The One That Got Away (1957) See more »


Barwick Green
Music by Arthur Wood
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User Reviews

Best of the big screen British TV comedies
21 September 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

PORRIDGE is perhaps the most successful of the many big screen adaptations of British comedy TV series of the 1970s. It's certainly the funniest. The writing of this film is near-perfect, featuring the same cast that we all know and love and yet expanding the storyline with extra characters and a bigger plot than usual. I thought that it was actually better than the bigger budgeted ESCAPE TO VICTORY which tells almost exactly the same storyline.

The film is a success thanks to Ronnie Barker, whose Fletcher remains the life and soul of the party. He's witty, articulate, and always ready with a funny one-liner. The supporting cast of character actors are fine too: Peter Vaughan is reptilian and frightening, Richard Beckinsale warm-hearted and goofy, and Fulton Mackay strict but human. The inclusion of new faces like Julian Holloway, Sam Kelly, and Gorden Kaye is a delight. There isn't a great deal of plotting here, but the football match is well staged and funny and there's never a slow moment

  • just lots of funny ones.

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