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Scrubbers (1982)

R | | Drama | 1 February 1984 (USA)
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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amanda York ...
Carol Howden
Chrissie Cotterill ...
Annetta Brady
...
Kathleen
Kate Ingram ...
Eddie
Amanda Symonds ...
Mac
...
Glennis
Debby Bishop ...
Doreen (as Debbie Bishop)
Eva Mottley ...
Pam
Imogen Bain ...
Sandy
Honey Bane ...
Molly
Camille Davis ...
Sharon
Rachel Weaver ...
Gwen (as Rachael Weaver)
Dawn Archibald ...
Mary
Faith Tingle ...
Hilary
Lilian Rostkowska ...
Phyllis
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Storyline

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 and sent to a closed borstal where she knows her girlfriend Doreen is being held. Carol's plan works, although she is devastated to find that not only has Doreen found herself a new girlfriend inside (who both taunt and tease Carol), when Annetta is arrested at the convent and sent to the same closed borstal, she assumes it was Carol who "grassed" her up and proceeds to plan her revenge. Carol finds protection in the form of inmate Eddie, while Annetta's constant bullying attempts keep her in solitary confinement; however, Carol's world is turned upside-down when Eddie is released from bortsal and her protection is gone... Written by Rhino <rh1n0@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IT'S A CRIME WHAT PRISON CAN DO TO A GIRL!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aonde Nasce um Crime  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's "Scrubbers' title is an English prison slang term that means "undesirable person". In Britain, it can also refer to a "promiscuous woman", whilst in Ireland, it means "a common or working class woman". See more »

Quotes

Mac: [Mac's final song] A Borstal girl came home one day / To find her love had gone away / She asked him why he went astray / He turned to her, and he did say / "Once, you could have been my wife / If you had led a decent life / But you preferred a life of crime / So, back in side, and do your time."
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Bit of Scarlet (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Disturbing, heavy going and extremely watchable
9 September 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

As the previous user noted, SCRUBBERS is indeed a knock-off of the earlier borstal drama SCUM, only set in a reform school for girls. What did he expect though? The two films even share the same screenwriter in the excellent Roy Minton!

There are differences, however. If anything, I'd say SCRUBBERS is far more extreme and distressing than its all-male counterpart, if only for the harrowing scenes in which a heavily tranquilized inmate suffers vivid (and VERY upsetting) hallucinations concerning her young daughter. You can see where Trainspotting got the idea from, but this film does it so much better. The attack scene with the wooden cosh is a little unrealistic, but you'll never forget the riot in the workshop, the chaotic conclusion of the inmates' concert (be warned - this is not a film for the squeamish) or the intentionally understated suicide. I won't give any more away, as this is a film everyone should see at least once. Don't expect feelgood entertainment or something that invites repeated viewing, though.

The whole cast perform exceptionally well, and the eagle-eyed will be able to spot many semi-familiar faces, including former blues singer Dana Gillespie (yes, the one with the 44-inch bust!), Pauline Melville (who played Vyv's ratbag mother in the eighties sitcom The Young Ones), Kathy Burke (playing a younger variation on her future star-making turn as 'Waynetta Slob'), Pam StClements of EastEnders fame and even Robbie Coltrane as a character appropriately nicknamed 'Puff Guts'.

There is also a little in-joke from the film's production house, HandMade Films - one scene has the inmates watching a notably violent excerpt from the earlier HandMade triumph THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY on television. Which is proof positive that the British Film Industry was once in very good health indeed.

Provocative, gut-churning and upsetting. See it.


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