Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Crime, Drama
  • 1979
  • 98 mins

Scum

Scum

Synopsis

Ray Winstone stars in Alan Clarke's blistering film about a British borstal school's descent into chaos

About

"I'm the daddy now!" screams Winstone's young offender Carlin. And who's going to argue with him when he's just smashed his adversary's face in with a sockful of billiard balls?

Scum is a ruthless condemnation of the British borstal system. First produced as a TV drama for the BBC in 1977, it was shelved for being both "too realistic" and a "work of fiction". In other words, it scared the hell out of the suits. Writer Roy Minton then took the script to Alan Clarke to make as a feature film with a largely unknown cast.

The film effectively uses stark brutality to demonstrate its point: that if you treat people like scum they'll behave like scum. And brother, does Clarke make his case as Carlin works his way through an unrelenting battery of rape, racism and razor-blades, corrupt officials and cruel humour to become the school's top dog.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Martin Philips, Phil Daniels, Tony London, John Blundell, Mick Ford, Ray Winstone
  • Director: Alan Clarke
  • Writer: Roy Minton
  • Producer: Davina Belling, Clive Parsons
  • Photographer: Phil Meheux

In a nutshell

Brutal, visceral, iconic, and acted with ferocious conviction by Ray Winstone. As compelling now as it was in 1979.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Lawless Breed

    Rock Hudson stars in Raoul Walsh's western, which traces the evolution of a Texan gunslinger.

    On Film4: 18 Jan 5:15PM

  • Film4

    Yakuza Apocalypse

    Takashi Miike's ultra-violent, darkly comic horror about a vampire mobster seeking revenge.

  • Film4

    Wild In The Streets on Film4

    A thrillingly dark and dangerous season of anarchy, paranoia, violent action, gang warfare and urban crime

  • Film4

    The Grand Budapest Hotel on Film4

    Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Murray star in Wes Andersons The Grand Budapest Hotel, playing for the first time on Film4.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten

    Film4.com Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with Film4.com editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share