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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
'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 »
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 The film was originally made as a BBC play but it was banned before ever being shown.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>
Ray Winstone did not hit Phil Daniels with the sock containing the snooker balls despite the scene being done in one take. A crew member laid on the floor and handed Winstone another sock containing ping pong balls. Nevertheless, Daniels claimed it was very sore when Ray whacked him with the sock. 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 »
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?