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Scum (1977)

TV Movie  |   |  Crime, Drama
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,008 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

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 »

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Title: Scum (TV Movie 1977)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Carlin (as Raymond Winstone)
...
Martin Phillips ...
Davis
Davidson Knight ...
Angel
John Blundell ...
...
Ray Burdis ...
...
Ian Sharrock ...
Tony London ...
Peter Kinley ...
Sheridan Earl Russell ...
Jackson
Colin Mayes ...
Sumner
Trevor Butler ...
Philip DaCosta ...
Formby (as Philip Da Costa)
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Storyline

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 or improve the inmates and actively encouraged a power struggle between the 'tough' new inmate and the 'old hands'. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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Crime | Drama

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The game seen played in the sports hall is called British Bulldog. See more »

Quotes

Formby: [In the self-help meeting] Why am I so far away from home Matron?
Eckersley: Because you murdered that kid.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Bad Boys (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Wide Boy
Written by Rick Lloyd
Performed by The Amazing Mike Kahn Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I Thought The Film Version Was Better
22 August 2004 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I'll try not to comment on the controversy of this television drama . Everyone knows it was banned by the BBC prior to being shown on its PLAY FOR TODAY slot in 1977 and it wasn't until the early 1990s that the BBC relented by showing it with little fanfare .

Over all I thought the film version was better . Structure wise Roy Minton's script is more or less the same as the movie version with one added strand here where Carling is allowed to have a " wife " , in reality one of the younger prisoners , as a perk for being a daddy , a story strand that doesn't really work in my opinion . Director Alan Clarke would later re-employ nearly the entire cast for the movie version with the exception of Archer , and I couldn't thinking while watching the movie that Archer was written as a type of hippy . Here David Throfall plays Archer as .... A hippy . I don't want to criticise Mick Ford's performance in the movie but here we see the role played as it was written and is the superior version , but this is the only aspect where the original teleplay out scores the movie

I think because the movie version can get away with so much more than a television drama ( At least one made in the 1970s ) this version isn't so gritty and compelling . The film includes extreme language in every scene which adds to the realism and as has been mentioned the infamous rape scene isn't as shocking and depressing as the one in the movie version so compared to the 1979 cinema release the original television drama might be something of a disappointment leading the viewer to ask what was the controversy about in the first place ?


9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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