'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 »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Scum (1979)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Uncompromising story of life in a Borstal prison, a British juvenile offender institution in the 70's

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Ray Winstone, Mick Ford, Julian Firth
Essex Boys (2000)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The film is based loosely around events in December 1995 that culminated in the murders of three drug dealers in Rettendon, Essex, UK. On 6th December Patrick Tate, Craig Rolfe and Tony ... See full summary »

Director: Terry Winsor
Stars: Charlie Creed-Miles, Sean Bean, Gareth Milne
Quadrophenia (1979)
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, Phil 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Charlie is a London youngster who,with his friends,indulges in streaking and petty crime. However he aspires to better himself though his reckless friend Justin ruins his chances of working... See full summary »

Director: Nick Love
Stars: Paul Nicholls, Roland Manookian, Phil Daniels
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
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The life and imprisonment of Glasgow hard man and gangster Jimmy Boyle.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: David Hayman, Jake D'Arcy, Sean Scanlan
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
Awaydays (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

On the Wirral in the grim early years of Margaret Thatcher's premiership, the opportunities for thrill seeking young men looking to escape 9 to 5 drudgery are what they've always been: sex,... See full summary »

Director: Pat Holden
Stars: Nicky Bell, Liam Boyle, Stephen Graham
The Business (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frankie decides he's had enough with his life as a street thug living on a South London estate, and jets off to spain where he meets big time businessman Charlie, who's currently running ... See full summary »

Director: Nick Love
Stars: Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Geoff Bell
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
Face I (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ray is an aging ex-socialist who has become a bankrobber after seeing the demise of socialism in 1980s Britain. Teaming up with a gang of other has-beenish crims, he commits one bank job ... See full summary »

Director: Antonia Bird
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone, Steve Sweeney


Cast overview, first billed only:
John McVicar
Walter Probyn
Sheila McVicar
Georgina Hale ...
Ronnie Harrison
Terry Stokes
Peter Jonfield ...
Bobby Harris
Matthew Scurfield ...
Streaky Jeffries
Leonard Gregory ...
Jimmy Collins
Joe Turner ...
Jeremy Blake ...
Ronnie Johnson
Anthony Trent ...
Terence Stuart ...
Harry Fielder ...
Harry Aitch


'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 security prison be able to hold him ? This is the true story of his life, his criminal exploits and his eventual rehabilitation. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sentenced to 23 years-and he won't accept one day of it


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

August 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

МакВикар  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


McVicar's full name was John George McVicar. See more »


When McVicar escapes, he is running up the street and he passes the same two-tone Bedford van twice. See more »


John McVicar: Make sure you're not involved, woncha? Cos I'll put a tool right in your belly!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Comment in opening titles: "The prison escape shown in this film is based on true fact. Certain other events and characters have been fictionalised". See more »


Referenced in Alan Meets Roger Daltrey (2005) See more »


My Time Is Gonna Come
Written by Russ Ballard
Performed by Roger Daltrey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Roger Daltrey's most successful film role
16 July 2000 | by (Worcester, England) – See all my reviews

A gripping portrayal of a seasoned villain's desire to escape from prison and start a new life. Roger Daltrey succeeds in making John McVicar appear to be a decent family man despite his hard-man antics. Adam Faith is excellent as Walter, McVicar's colleague in prison. Again, he is portrayed to be a cheeky Cockney geezer, immensely likeable.

From the outset, the prison guards are given no sympathy, they are brutal,unfair and dim-witted. Daltrey's vocals are used extensively to colour the film and the viewer is left in no doubt as to the director's sympathies. John McVicar is now a respected writer and broadcaster.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Different version? mrbeasley
the quote at the end of the movie labadie-labadie
Straffen = Streaky? norton77
Why listed as 90min but dvd/VHS says over 1h47? p-halley
Very good music joegranby
McVicar's Trainers mattb1975
Discuss McVicar (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: