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:

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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
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
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
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 (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
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
Meantime (TV Movie 1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An odd film, primarily looking at how the dole affects the underclass in Britain. Tim Roth stars as Colin, a slow and possibly intellectually disabled man living with his parents and ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Marion Bailey, Tim Roth, Phil Daniels
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
The Krays (1990)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

This fact-based movie follows the life of the twin crime-lords in London's '60s underworld.

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Billie Whitelaw
Dog Pound (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
The Firm (TV Series 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Wilford Brimley, Anne Twomey, Carolyn Byrd
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

Debut major role in a full length cinema movie of actor Philip Jackson. See more »

Goofs

when Carlin enters the 'games' room for the first time he passes three lags playing snooker. the score board on the wall behind them changes between one score and another and then back and then back again. See more »

Quotes

Mr Sands: [to Angel] Hands by your sides! Attention! Name and number?
Angel: 4736, Angel, sir.
Mr Sands: Louder!
Angel: [Slightly louder] 4736, Angel, sir.
Mr Sands: Straight out the banana trees, eh? Well, you take it from me, nig-nog, you go steal white man's motor cars and you get white man's stick, right?
Angel: Yes, sir.
Mr Sands: Now, get this cell scrubbed. On the double!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) 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

difficult to watch, but worth seeing once
25 November 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I've now seen this movie several times, although admittedly watching it can hardly be classed as a 'pleasure'. Alan Clarke made this feature after his TV play from two years earlier was banned, and perhaps had more freedom here to explore the issues.

Carlin (an early, showy appearance from Ray Winstone) is sent to Borstal where he quickly establishes himself as a tough boy with a regime of strength. Typical Winstone performance in many ways. In the prison with him are his shadow Richards (played by Phil Daniels); cynical, bare-footed Archer (Mick Ford, these days more often seen the other side of the law in such dramas as 'Silent Witness'); black inmate Angel (Davidson Knight); and quiet Davis, the boy who gets picked on for being a loner (a quite staggering performance from Julian Firth, who never really lived up to this early promise).

Scum is uncompromising - violent (there's a rape which leaves little to the imagination, a suicide, several fights); scathing in its condemnation of the 'system' (which thankfully is not like this now) - and yet finds time for character development and convincing plot. Without any music it is purely presented in documentary style, matter-of-fact 'this is how it is'.

Not a fun movie, but one which tries to make a point, and, if nothing else, has the power to shock and make you remember certain sections for a long time after viewing. Recommended.


17 of 17 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:
?