February 27, 2017


Scum – 1979 | 98mins | Drama | Colour


Plot Synopsis


Originally commissioned in 1977 for the BBC’s Play for Today series, but banned by the BBC before transmission. Writer Roy Minton approached Alan Clarke to have his social commentary screenplay remade as a feature film consisting of a largely unknown cast.

Scum is the shocking and brutal story of life in British Borstal for young offenders. Run by the violence and cruelty of both inmates and officers, the law of the jungle that brutalises all within its walls; the film portrays a vicious system and doesn’t pull any punches. Into this inhuman system come three new inmates, Angel (Davidson Knight), Davis (Martin Phillips) and Carlin (Ray Winstone), who has been transferred from another borstal for retaliation against violent officers. Brutalised by a system that likes to stir up hostility between groups, Carlin fights back to regain his dignity, rising to the top of the prisoner hierarchy to become the Daddy, the hardened leader of the gang. He realises that the only way is by beating the system at its own game and eventually erupts as leader of a bloody climatic riot.

Production Team

Alan Clarke: Director
Michael Porter: Art Direction
Phil Meheux: Cinematography
Judith Lang: Costume Design
Michael Bradsell: Editing
Debbie Scragg: Makeup Department
Clive Parsons: Producer
Davina Belling: Producer
Roy Minton: Script
Steve Spencer: Sound Department
Terry Poulton: Sound Department
Tony Message: Sound Department
David John: Sound Department
John Chandler: Sound Department
Hugh Strain: Sound Department


Ray Winstone: Carlin
Mick Ford: Archer
John Judd: Sands
Phil Daniels: Richards
John Blundel: Banks
Ray Burdis: Eckersley
Julian Firth: Davis

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