6.7/10
385
19 user 3 critic

Violent Playground (1958)

Struggle between a Liverpool Juvenile Liaison officer and a young and dangerous pyromaniac.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writer:

James Kennaway (original screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Baker ... Truman
Anne Heywood ... Cathie
David McCallum ... Johnnie Murphy
Peter Cushing ... Priest
John Slater ... Sgt. Walker
Clifford Evans ... Heaven
Moultrie Kelsall ... Superintendent
George A. Cooper ... Chief Inspector
Brona Boland Brona Boland ... Mary Murphy
Fergal Boland Fergal Boland ... Patrick Murphy
Michael Chow ... Alexander
Tsai Chin ... Primrose
Sean Lynch ... Slick
Bernice Swanson Bernice Swanson ... Meg (as Benice Swanson)
Freddie Starr ... Tommy (as Fred Fowell)
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Storyline

Struggle between a Liverpool Juvenile Liaison officer and a young and dangerous pyromaniac.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

teenager | rock music | See All (2) »

Taglines:

EVERY CITY HAS ITS DANGEROUS YOUTH. Stark, explosive drama - as the camera lays bare the heart of a big city and probe the secrets of its Violent Playground.

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1958 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Desperat ungdom See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot July-September 1957, copyright 1958. See more »

Goofs

Scotland road school is set in Liverpool, but near the end of the film, after the classroom siege, when the priest is outside the school front, in the background you can see a London Trolleybus glide by. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Play Rough
Sung by Johnny Luck (Fontana Recording Artist)
Lyric by Paddy Roberts
Music by Philip Green (as Phil Green)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A little gem of a film, shot on location in Gerard Gardens Liverpool
16 April 2005 | by paul-1142See all my reviews

This film was shot on location in Gerard Gardens in Liverpool, and was the UK's answer to films such as 'Blackboard Jungle'. The film stands the test of time quite well, with all the moral stories still (or even more) relevant today. The film feature some fine performance from some notable British actors such as David McCallum, Stanley Baker, Peter Cushing and Anne Heywood. Baker plays a Liverpool cop assigned to juvenile liaison duties, with the premise that if you catch the kids at an early age, they will end up being responsible adults.

Notable cameos in the film include Freddie Starr (Fred Fowell) and Melvyn Hayes (Gloria). Tsai Chin and Michael Chow play brother and sister (they are real life brother and sister) who are caught up in an arsonists web. Tsai Chin is still acting and can be seen in the latest Nicole Kidman film 'The Interpretor'.

Violent Playground features a gun siege in a school, so is unlikely to be shown on TV following similar events in Scotland / Russia.

I lived in Gerard Gardens where the film was shot (though was not born at the time), and have fond memories of the area. I have recently completed a documentary on Gerard Gardens which includes extracts from 'Violent Playground', and a small UK film 'Coast to Coast' which stars Lenny Henry and Pete Postlewaite. The tenements were demolished in 1987 and the films go some way in keeping the memory alive.

There were some complaints from the residents when the film was released, as the film portrayed the area in a bad light. Time has helped heal those wounds.

A little gem of a film, I would recommend you seek this out


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