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Scum (1977)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  28 September 1979 (UK)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,820 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 34 critic

This is the hard and shocking story of life in a British Borstal for young offenders. Luckily the regime has changed since this film was made. The brutal regime made no attempt to reform or... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mick Ford ...
Julian Firth ...
Davis
John Blundell ...
...
John Judd ...
...
Peter Howell ...
Governor
John Grillo ...
Ray Burdis ...
Alan Igbon ...
Meakin
John Fowler ...
Bill Dean ...
Duke
...
Hunt
Nigel Humphreys ...
Taylor
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Storyline

This is the hard and shocking story of life in a British Borstal for young offenders. Luckily the regime has changed since this film was made. The brutal regime made no attempt to reform or improve the inmates and actively encouraged a power struggle between the 'tough' new inmate and the 'old hands'. The film was originally made as a BBC play but it was banned before ever being shown. So 'Alan Clarke' and 'Roy Minton' got it re-made as a film. This is a tough and brutal film and should not be viewed lightly. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In borstal survival rules! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Escoria  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Threlfall, who originally played Archer in the BBC version of Scum (1977), was offered the role in the movie but was unavailable owing to prior commitments with the Royal Shakespeare Company. See more »

Goofs

All Borstal inmates were subject to the same mandatory haircut of short back and sides, yet a vast array of hairstyles are shown throughout the film, including afros. See more »

Quotes

Duke: Keep it moving, there 's no sandcastles on Margate beach. Come on Archer, no slaggin' for you, you long streak of cabbage.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Scrubbers (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Dirty Last Night
(uncredited)
Music by John Dickson and Elfed Hayes
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Spot On!!
21 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a resident of the United States who has worked in this country's "enlightened" prison systems, both juvenile and adult, I must say that the depiction of life in the boy's school is as realistic as it can be.

Prisons do not work. So called "reformation" is basically limited to repetitious mind numbing labor that is, for the most part, useful to the institution since they often sub-contract inmates work in the "industries" section to outside firms, mostly government related.

There is nothing about SCUM that I saw as exaggerated or unrealistic. The institutions I have worked at were filled with under educated guards who enjoyed their so-called authority over their charges. Many were in collusion with the "powerful" inmates and often victimized the weaker inmates by celling them with people who were seeking a "wife". This was done by the guards in order to pacify the violent inmates and help maintain calm in the cell block.

But, as to this film, I can only say that it is realistic, brutal and direct but then so is prison. No one is sent to prison to change or reform, they are sent there to be punished and the internal workings of the system are far more brutal than anything a court will dispense.

One line from the film that encapsulates the entire process of "penology" is uttered by the character named Archer when he tells the guard he is talking with that it has been his observation that more crimes are committed against the inmates than they have collectively committed against society. THAT should have been the advert tag line for this excellent and most enjoyable video.

The character DAVIS just epitomized the suffering of every slight, passive inmate in any prison or jail in any part of the world. His sense of desolation after he was raped by the thugs in the greenhouse spoke volumes about the sadistic and ignorant nature of both the inmates that perpetrated this act and the cowardly "guard" who witnessed it and did nothing.

Knowing that as I write these words, there are many DAVIS types in prisons everywhere gives one cause to reflect on the very nature of so-called humanity.

WATCH THIS FILM!!


54 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Who are the two screws at the beginning of the film firebird_1984
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Moral of the story? metalcj
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