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Scum (1977)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 934 users  
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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 (positive) press screening was held in London's Wardour Street, in Soho, after the producer and director had been recently told by the BBC that it was not to be aired on television. 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
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User Reviews

 
Hail Alan Clarke....................... King of Realism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5 February 2006 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Scum was originally apart of a trilogy that writer Roy Minton and Director Alan Clarke thought of whilst they were making Funny Farm in 1975. It consisted three films that focused individually on Police training, Army Training and Borstal. They approached a number of backers however it was deemed to costly to make therefore the idea was cancelled. However one backer did put up the money for one of these to be made. Clarke and Minton immediately went for Scum.

The television version of Scum is probably the most famous TV movie to be made in great Britain. This is quite a feat because the vast majority of people will not have seen this TV movie. They will be more aware of the 1979 feature film version. Either way whatever one you see you will be left breathless and shocked at what unveils before our eyes over 78 mins this beautiful bounty runs.

The story is set in one of her majesties Borstals in which underage criminals are dealt with. The lynch pin in the story manifests itself in the form of Carlin played to perfection by the ever wonderful Ray Winstone. Whose arrival at the Borstal from day one sends reverberations around the Borstals corridors because of his previous status as the Daddy in his last Borstal. He arrives with two other inmates Davis and Angel. Davis is instantly the target of bullies and Angel is abused through racial taunts because he is black. They are instantly greeted with physical and verbal abuse from the warders. As the film opens we meet the other trainees (inmates) and we begin to realize that they are far from the criminal hooligans that we would expect them to be. They are lost and vulnerable. They are abused by the people that are there to look after them. In all this comes the supporting character Archer played by David Threfall. An intellectual anarchist whose hours are passed pretending to be vegetarian and not wearing leather shoes on his feet. The Warders are portrayed as ruthless in bullying going so far as to show one of them watch on and let a rape continue.

Alan Clarke established his notoriety with this TV Movie and he continued to provoke the audience with his further films. Clarke is a bona fide realist in my mind he portrays individuals who are thrown into extraordinary circumstances and he his never afraid to pull a punch to create the genuine feeling of realism in his films. Only Ken Loach and scotch director John Mac Kenzie have this effect. But Alan Clarke is in my favourite I have yet to see a film of his that does not effect me.

The only problem I had with it was that it was not cast as well as the film version which has quality performances from non-actors. But all in all a bloody good show.


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