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Doing Time (1979)

Porridge (original title)
This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Fletcher
... Lennie
... Mackay
... Barrowclough
... Harry Grout
... Bainbridge
... Governor
Christopher Godwin ... Beal
... Oakes
Daniel Peacock ... Rudge
... Warren
Ken Jones ... Ives
Philip Locke ... Banyard
... Dines (as Gordon Kaye)
... McMillan


This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the prisoners and an all-star celebrity team. Fletcher is unaware that the match is only a diversion so that an escape can take place. When Fletcher and his cell mate Lennie stumble on the escape, they are taken along, and find themselves having to break back into prison to avoid getting into trouble. Written by measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Strictly a laughing matter! See more »


Comedy | Crime


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Release Date:

10 August 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Doing Time  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie came out after the sequel Going Straight (1978) had finished, but it is set before with Fletcher in the same prison as the original series. See more »


When Fletcher reluctantly becomes the trainer he says that he is a lifelong Leyton Orient fan. In the TV series he supports Tottenham Hotspur. See more »


Godber: I can't understand why Mackay hasn't come down on us like a pile of bricks.
Fletcher: 'Cause he lost something in the kitchen today, that's why.
Godber: What? Pride, you mean?
Fletcher: Nah, something else. Shift.
Godber: Why?
Fletcher: It's hidden in your mattress.
Godber: Oh, I see, so if we get a search I'm the one who gets the blame.
Fletcher: Oh, yes, oh, yes, oh, yes.
Godber: You think of everything, you do.
Fletcher: I try.
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Referenced in Comedy Connections: Porridge (2003) See more »


I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
Music by George Frideric Handel
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User Reviews

Darker Nooks and Crannies of Slade and the Soul...
15 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais seized the opportunity the 1970s genre of British sitcom movies offered. they took it, few other scriptwriters did. This was, namely, the chance to do on the silver screen what they could not do on prime-time BBC.

Lovable caricatures are subtly toned down here - Fletcher begins with the persona from the sitcom then changes. The quipping, upbeat Fletcher is revealed as a mask for the born loser/survivor he truly is.

The opening scenes where new character 'Grudge', a new, young inmate, is booked in and led around by the wardens could easily have been taken from John McKenzie's 'A Sense of Freedom'. Mckay, too, is deftly rendered a touch more three-dimensional. His mantra bemoaning the inmates' status as lower than normal people betrays his true feelings.

Peter Vaughan's Kray-like 'Grout' again all but turns to the camera and says "That's a cartoon version of me on the telly - I'm really a nasty piece of work'. The film very subtly does that which recent Brit comedy-turned-movie 'The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse' deliberately attempted - the creation of real-world versions, far less comfortable versions, of the stalwart caricatures of the TV show's pantheon.

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