SCUM (18)
D: Alan Clarke
GTO/Berwick Street (Clive Parsons & Davina Belling)
UK 1979
97 mins


W: Roy Minton [based on his television play]
DP: Phil Meheux
Ed: Mike Bradsell

Ray Winstone (Carlin), Mick Ford (Archer), Julian Firth (Davis), John Blundell (Banks)

Originally written and filmed for BBC television, the material was subsequently banned due to the controversial violence. Writer Roy Minton adapted the same story for cinematic release, and the final result ended up being even more violent, with graphic scenes depicting rape, racism and suicide, as well as industrial strength language. I guess censorship simply doesn't work.
Scum is the story of life inside a Borstal boy's prison and the injustices within, culminating in a riot between the inmates and the guards.
Though the material is unashamedly violent, the performances, especially from the younger cast members, are excellent. It's not a pleasant watch, and there's not much point to the story, but it's very understandable to see how it has become a cult classic.

Ray Winstone in Scum
Ray Winstone in Scum