IMDb > Scum (1977) (TV)
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Scum (1977) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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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... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Scum — the dress rehearsal. See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ray Winstone ... Carlin (as Raymond Winstone)

David Threlfall ... Archer

Martin Phillips ... Davis
Davidson Knight ... Angel
John Blundell ... Banks

Phil Daniels ... Richards
Ray Burdis ... Eckersley

Patrick Murray ... Dougan
Ian Sharrock ... Rhodes
Tony London ... Woods
Peter Kinley ... Betts
Sheridan Earl Russell ... Jackson
Colin Mayes ... Sumner
Trevor Butler ... Toyne
Philip DaCosta ... Formby (as Philip Da Costa)
Peter Francis ... Baldy
Steven Butler ... Other trainee
Michael Deeks ... Other trainee
Mark Dunn ... Other trainee
Christopher Gilbert ... Other trainee
Simon Howe ... Other trainee
Mike Mungarvan ... Other trainee (as Mike Mungaven)
Reggae Ranjhe ... Other trainee (as Reggae Ranjha)
William Vanderpuye ... Other trainee
Richard Butler ... Governor
John Judd ... Sands
Bay White ... Matron
Peter Gordon ... Goodyear
Stewart Harwood ... Greaves
Robin Hopwood ... Burton
Dennis Castle ... Duke
David Stockton ... White
George Lee ... Chief Officer
Julian Hudson ... P.T. Instructor
Sean Hopwood ... Block Officer
Ray Jewers ... Block Officer
Joe Fordham ... Block Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Danny John-Jules ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Directed by
Alan Clarke 
Writing credits
Roy Minton 

Produced by
Margaret Matheson .... producer
Cinematography by
John Wyatt (photography)
Film Editing by
Ken Pearce 
Production Design by
Anthony C. Thorpe  (as Tony Thorpe)
Costume Design by
Roger Reece 
Makeup Department
Marion Richards .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Ron Edmonds .... dubbing mixer
Michael Turner .... film recordist
Ray Jewers .... fight arranger
Other crew
Chris Cherry .... production team (as Christopher Cherry)
Keith Evans .... production team
Guy Halifax .... production team (as Guy Hallifax)
Jennifer Hammond .... production team
Michael Jackley .... production team

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:78 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Ireland:18 | UK:15 | UK:18 (DVD rating)

Did You Know?

Alan Clarke and Roy Minton got the story remade as a feature film: Scum (1979).See more »
Formby:[In the self-help meeting] Why am I so far away from home Matron?
Eckersley:Because you murdered that kid.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Wide BoySee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Scum — the dress rehearsal., 5 June 2015
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England

Scum (1977) was originally produced as part of the BBC's Play for Today series, but the result, shot in a gritty docu-drama style, was considered too harrowing for broadcast and was effectively banned. Two years later, director Alan Clarke remade his play as a film, which became one of the most talked about movies in British school playgrounds during the early 80s thanks to its unrelenting violence, racist language, and a particularly notorious rape scene.

So, how do the two versions compare? Well, barring one or two minor scenes, the original TV play and the 1979 film are almost identical to each other in terms of basic content and structure, with much of the same dialogue, many of the same cast members, and Clarke using the same set-ups and angles for his shots. However, the two versions do differ from each other in terms of performances: although the cast are more than adequate in the TV version, the play feels a bit like a dress rehearsal when compared with the movie, the cast seemingly still working out how best to tackle their roles. Two years down the line, and everybody absolutely nails it, but here there are one or two performances that fall a little flat.

That said, the play is still a fine piece of work, a powerful and highly controversial drama—one that, to this day, I find it hard to believe the BBC even contemplated showing in 1977.

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