MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 470 this week

Scum (1979)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  28 September 1979 (UK)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 6,583 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 35 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 »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 22 Apr 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 16 Nov 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 46 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Scum" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Scum (1979)

Scum (1979) on IMDb 7.7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Scum.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Made in Britain (TV Movie 1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Trevor is a 16 year old, sometimes-violent skinhead with no regard for authority, and would rather spend his time stealing cars than sitting in the detention centre to which he is sent. His... See full summary »

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Tim Roth, Terry Richards, Bill Stewart
Scum (Video 2011)
Short | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Directors: Benjamin Farrar, Ashly Margaret Rae
Stars: Benjamin Farrar
Elephant (TV Short 1989)
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A depiction of a series of violent killings in Northern Ireland with no clue as to exactly who is responsible.

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Gary Walker, Bill Hamilton, Michael Foyle
Dog Pound (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three juvenile delinquents are sentenced to a correctional facility where they encounter gang violence, death, and harassment from staff and other inmates.

Director: Kim Chapiron
Stars: Adam Butcher, Shane Kippel, Mateo Morales
Nil by Mouth (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The family of Raymond, his wife Val and her brother Billy live in working-class London district. Also in their family is Val and Billy's mother Janet and grandmother Kath. Billy is a drug ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Oldman
Stars: Ray Winstone, Kathy Burke, Charlie Creed-Miles
Scrubbers (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Two girls escape from an open borstal for two very different reasons; Annetta to attempt to visit her baby daughter, who is being raised in a convent; and Carol, who hopes to be recaptured ... See full summary »

Director: Mai Zetterling
Stars: Amanda York, Chrissie Cotterill, Elizabeth Edmonds
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Realistic story of working class Yorkshire life. Two schoolgirls have a sexual fling with a married man. Serious and light-hearted by turns.

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Siobhan Finneran, Michelle Holmes, George Costigan
Scum (2010)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A young man's return home becomes more than he bargained for as he discovers that an evil substance is quickly turning his sleepy Texas town in to a zombified nightmare.

Director: Paul Gonzales
Stars: Keleigh Kremers, Josh Cantu, David W. Evans
Quadrophenia (1979)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

London, 1965: Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company's mailing division. Only when he's together with his friends, a 'Mod' ... See full summary »

Director: Franc Roddam
Stars: Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Philip Davis
Scum (TV Movie 1977)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Ray Winstone, David Threlfall, Martin Phillips
Comedy | Horror | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Cocky cockney snooker player Billy Kid accepts the challenge of a grudge match from Maxwell Randall (the Green Baize Vampire), six times world champion; the loser will never play ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Phil Daniels, Alun Armstrong, Bruce Payne
McVicar (1980)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

'John McVicar' was a London Bad Boy. he graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Clegg
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Adam Faith, Cheryl Campbell
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Carlin was a Glaswegian but was changed to a Cockney when Alan Clarke saw a then unknown Ray Winstone walk in a unique way. 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

[Angel, Davis and Carlin are all lined up against a wall]
Mr Sands: Right. I'm Mr. Sands, this is Mr Greaves. I'm the senior officer and I run A wing. I run it. Right, Carlin?
Carlin: Yes, Sir!
Mr Sands: I come down very heavy on anyone who doesn't grasp that fact. Right? Right?
Carlin: Yes, Sir!
[Mr Sands walks up to Angel]
Mr Sands: Angel, you're in a single room. Some of the lads are what you might call..."prejudiced". You're well advised to keep yourself to yourself. It's your first borstal, innit lad?
Angel: Yes, sir, apart from the Scrubs...
Mr Sands: [...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Bad Boys (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Mecca, Archer?
11 June 2005 | by (Somewhere in England) – See all my reviews

The grandaddy of 'incarceration' films - this is one of the best, oft copied but never bettered.

I liked it because it's so damn British. The one liners are legion; you all know what they are and where, but among a stellar list 'Mecca, Archer' rises just above and never fails to have me in fits. The way Goodyear looks at the Governor just after this great outburst is also revealing; as is the look of satisfaction on Archer's face when he finally succeeds in riling the 'religious maniac'.

Of course, there's a serious message in here; expedited best in the conversation between Archer and Mr Duke over 'coffee'. Analysing the situation, as Archer attempts to do, will simply not be tolerated and is interpreted as dissent by a man who embodies the 'system' and is intellectually and emotionally unequipped to deal with his own, and the State's ultimate failure to deliver.

Like true class acts, this film works on several levels; it's a no nonsense drama bedecked with Taj Mahal one liners everyone loves, yet it also works on a deeper level; you cannot punitively 'correct' all offenders with violence and cruelty. You are not corrected, you are merely broken, as Davis and Toyne are. If you're not broken, you run amok, but the point is you're not 'cured'.

When this film was on TV in 1983, just after Channel Four started broadcasting, they edited the notorious potting shed sequence to such an extent that the heinous act committed was virtually excised, thereby diluting the dramatic effect to virtually zero. Interestingly enough, they also edited out the bit where Mr Greaves ignores Davis' second press of the bell. Why? Presumably because they feared the ire of the State at the highlighting of its inadequacies? I suppose they can be forgiven, Channel Four was new then after all, but it's quite revealing nonetheless.

If I'm home alone, I quote this film as I'm wandering around the house. I don't quite know why. It's all about the importance of individuality, standing up for yourself and not just 'accepting' things. That's probably the reason. Now, where's your tool?


25 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who are the two screws at the beginning of the film firebird_1984
Whats so bad about rape scene? JackLondon2004
Did ITV4 ruin it? jiminy80
Anyone Actually Been In Borstal? Mr_Pink_2003
why did they rape him? red_dragon8089
Moral of the story? metalcj
Discuss Scum (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?