This is the hard and shocking story of life in a British borstal for young offenders. The brutal regime made no attempt to reform or improve the inmates and actively encouraged a power ... See full summary »
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Frankie is sent from London to Spain to make a delivery to Charlie, who likes the kid and shows him the ropes including the use of guns and drugs. Frankie likes the sun, pools and the cute, bikini clad girls and stays in Spain.
Shocking and realistic portrayal of a young offender's institution
The story on which Scum is based was originally penned to be a part of a BBC series 'Play For Today' but was not shown at the time. It was made into a film two years later by Alan Clarke; and the reason it was not shown earlier is clear to see; as Scum is a shocking and unflinching account of life in Britain's now defunct Borstal system. The film is gritty and realistic and features no shortage of violence, so it's hardly a surprise that it didn't go down particularly well with Britain's conservative film censors. The film revolves around a young offender's institution in Britain. The place is shook up upon the arrival of a young man named Carlin. Carlin was moved from another institution for fighting with a guard, and arrives with his reputation already in front of him. He soon finds out how the prison works and quickly seeks to take out "the daddy" and his cronies to take control of the place himself.
Ray Winstone would go on to have a good career playing hard man types; and this is where it all started. The actor has a much younger look about him than the grizzled actor many will know better; but he still fits the bill well here and is always believable in his role. The film also features a number of faces that will be familiar to anyone who knows anything about British TV. Scum doesn't just rely on violence to deliver its shocks; the whole atmosphere of the central location is thoroughly grim and the guards' attitude towards the inmates does not inspire confidence in the system that the film is portraying. The film does not generally directly expose the flaws of the prison system; although this is given some attention by way of Mick Ford's Archer character; that cleverly condemns the system through dialogue. The story runs smoothly for the first two thirds of the film, while the final third is dedicated to the film's most shocking scenario; a sequence of events that is most likely, from anything in the film, to stay with the viewer once the film is over. Overall, this is an excellent little film that deserves to be viewed by anyone that considers themselves a fan of wayward cinema.
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