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 »
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 »
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 »
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 The film was originally made as a BBC play but it was banned before ever being shown.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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
Keep it moving, there 's no sandcastles on Margate beach. Come on Archer, no slaggin' for you, you long streak of cabbage.
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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!!
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