Set in Paisley, the 'NED' capital of Scotland, this film provides a comprehensive and candid look at the daily lives and habits of these "Non Educated Delinquents", from their pulling ... See full summary »
Despite having a drunken, abusive father and a brother who leads a local gang John McGill is a studious boy for whom a bright educational future seems to beckon. However his studiousness isolates him and when he is invited to join the gang it gives him a sense of belonging. However he becomes increasingly more violet, stabbing a boy in the neck, for which his brother is blamed and jailed, and dropping a breeze block on a rival gang leader, causing him permanent brain damage. John is temporarily thrown out of his home by his mother and suspended from school though when he is readmitted he is placed in the remedial class. John now has no interest in education but in being the top boy amongst the NEDS or non-educated delinquents. He is invincible, and even the lions at the local safari park let him pass without attacking him. Written by
don @ minifie-1
The film uses "Non-Educated DelinquentS" as a "backronym" for "neds" as it is commonly used in modern day Scotland since the 90s. The English equivalent is chav. Many people including police officials and politicians (including famously Rosie Kane MSP) have discussed the term ned using this definition. As the term ned has been used far longer and dates back to the 19th century according to the OED it is not proven that this is the true origin of the term. See more »
The film is set in 1973. In the disco scene, "Teenage Rampage" by The Sweet is one of the records played. "Teenage Rampage" was released in January 1974. The band's previous single, "Ballroom Blitz" (September 1973) would fit with the film's chronology, but "Teenage Rampage" is better suited to the narrative which may explain the decision to use the later recording. See more »
Take your seats. And stop your crying. Why is it that whenever a boy is sent to this class he seems to think he's in the beginning of a never-ending downward spiral to failure? Now, I'm starting to take this personally! I am just as bloody good as any other teacher in this or any other bloody school!
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This is the sort that wins lots of plaudits and it's not difficult to see why . It's like jumping in to the Tardis and finding one self in a distinctive time and place so much so you sometimes find it difficult to believe that you're watching a mere film and genuinely believe you're stuck in the time zone it's set . Then suddenly the social realism of the film starts over doing things a little and the hyper realism starts detracting from the reality
There does tend to be an element of British cultural bourgeois mind set called " The cult of the proletariat " . By this I mean the bourgeoisie have an instinctive intrigue of all things relating to the lower working class environment but have a dread of ever experiencing it . It's no coincidence that protagonist John McGill is academically gifted and instead of pursuing the academic dream of attending University starts descending in to a path of crime and self destruction . There's no convincing incitement for any of this and the fact McGill could have been someone instead of a no one is quickly forgotten . All this gives the impression that McGill's life is a Shakespearian tragedy
From a technical point of view there's absolutely nothing wrong with Mullen's film and shows what can be achieved with a small budget . It's superbly and convincingly acted by everyone especially by Conor McCaron as John McGill . The problems lie in exaggeration . When the film was released Mullen was on record as saying what violent times the 1970s were and he's not wrong . The strap was commonly , perhaps too commonly used by teachers at school but yet would you ever hear a teacher swear ? The dialogue might be authentic but the Glasgow vernacular constantly using the F word and the C word and ending nearly every spoken line with " Man " will make it very difficult for a non working class Scottish audience and one suspects the working class Scottish proles may not be the target audience
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