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Scum [1979] (Ray Winstone) [DVD]

Ray Winstone , Mick Ford , Alan Clarke    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Price: £5.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Scum [1979] (Ray Winstone) [DVD] + McVicar [DVD] [1980] + Quadrophenia [DVD] [1979]
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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Mick Ford, Julian Firth, John Blundell, Phil Daniels
  • Directors: Alan Clarke
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Odyssey Video
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Feb 2003
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CZI8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,418 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Controversial story of the cruelty and violence inside a Government Borstal. The film powerfully and sensationally portrays one man's struggle against all odds to be top dog in a system that is intent on breaking his spirit.

Product Description

The son of a bricklayer who also spent some time as a laborer before studying acting and directing in Canada, Alan Clarke (who died in 1990) got his start at the BBC in the 1960s. By 1977, he had directed his explosive and controversial television feature, Scum, starring Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) as a survivor at a corrupt and brutal juvenile prison. Harrowing, claustrophobic, and deeply tragic, Scum was banned by the BBC for graphic brutality (and, quite likely, criticism of the justice system), leading Clarke to remake it with Winstone and the same script as a 1979 theatrical release. Both versions are included on this disc, and each is a unique experience. The earlier Scum is a lean, low-budget, relentlessly nightmarish drama while its second take is moodier, slower, and intermittently shocking. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "There is NO violence here!" 28 Dec 2011
Callous, cruel and cold-hearted best summarises the 1979 British film `Scum', starring Ray Winstone who portrays the role of Carlin; a prisoner transferred to a borstal in London. His character depicts the role of many inmates at the time, where prison systems endorsed a much harsher treatment to their inmates as a form of punishment. The film follows the character of Carlin amongst other characters and exposes what their experiences were like in a strictly controlled prison system by menacing prison guards.

Throughout the film there are explicit scenes of violence, rape and suicide. There is also the continuous use of strong language and racists remarks. The protagonists authenticated such scenes of violence especially the rape and suicide scenes. At the time of filming this too must have been sensitive to film, just as much as it would be in the present day; however this just depicts the true harshness and disturbing behaviour that occurred in borstals. The film clearly depicts the severity of the conditions in which the inmates had to deal with; it is this that demonstrates how prison systems have changed.

Scum's interpretation of borstal system in the 1970's is in contrast to today's prison/ detention centres where the environment in which the inmates are exposed to is of a calmer nature. Some may argue that today's prison systems are much more lenient in terms of punishment received and how they are treated in such places. Thus this asserts the question of whether today's prison systems are lenient; is it true that prisons today offer a more privileged system?

There are obvious signs that there were no appropriate rehabilitation schemes for the prisoners in the film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Film. 5 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Admire Ray Winstone as an actor and person and was curious about his early work.Although I found the film a bit disturbing it was still good and British made.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's your tool? 25 May 2000
By A Customer
As films set in borstal go this has to be one of the best. The cast includes a young Ray Winston and a number of extras from the Bill. The comedy of Archer and the despair of Davies make this a stimulating and disturbing portrayal of life in a young offenders institution. Carling's ascension to the role of 'Daddy' is swift and violent with those who have conspired against him being clinically dealt with. Carling's methods are cold and calculated, but in turn extremely effective. Other characters include Archer, a man whose sole aim in life is to make life difficult for the 'screws' by not conforming to the strict borstal regime.
If you enjoy disturbing British cinema from the seventies then Scum is for you. The violence is graphic and the language is strong, but there is also humour and a genuine insight into the disturbing world of Borstal life.
Back grass..................
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 20 Jan 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
after all these years still as good. bought this cause the mrs didn't know where the cockney from the betting ads came from.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold-hearted and hard watching 5 Jan 2012
By Pip_12
Harrowing, cold-hearted and engrossing are just a few words to describe the 1979 film Scum, directed by Alan Clarke and written by Roy Minton. It shows the apparent brutality within a 1970's British borstal, including hard watching scenes of violence, racism, suicide and most notoriously rape. The film follows the experiences of Ray Winstone's character, "4737, Carlin" and other inmates; as they struggle for justice among themselves and from the crooked wardens.

The film starts with three young men in a police vehicle: Angel, Davis, and Carlin, being driven to a borstal. Scum does not reveal the convictions of these three men, but emphasises more upon the borstal environment. In 1902, borstals were introduced for young male offenders to protect them from the influence of older offenders. They were designed to be religious and educational, with a focus upon military routine, discipline and authority. As shown throughout the film, there was a strong belief on the use of corporal punishment as an effective way to suppress delinquent behaviour. Scum portrayed life within borstals as a continual conflict between the inmates and wardens ("screws") through scenes of violence, racism, suicide and rape. Inmates would fight among each other in order to gain hierarchy power, with the top status as "The Daddy". Wardens would take full advantage of their authority, often beating inmates and turning a blind eye to incidents involving "The Daddy", as he was deemed to have leadership qualities. Scum leads viewers to see the matron as a mother figure for inmates, during group discussion sessions, but similar to the wardens; she does not show any compassion or sympathy towards them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 12 July 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yea a good old classic
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 July 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
thank you
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scum 21 Jun 2014
Just as arresting as I thought. Good script, superb visuals, and gritty moments.

Might have been repelled by this when I was 20, but not at 65.

Unflinching in its purpose. Well worth sticking with.

I'm glad I did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brought for partner he loved it
Published 3 hours ago by dj humphreys
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of the best films yet love would recommend
Published 2 days ago by sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting glimpse at a bygone age when Borstals were around ...
Interesting glimpse at a bygone age when Borstals were around. Winston shows his early promise here and the Trade Mark aggression that has made his name.
Published 5 days ago by Mr Peter T Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant very quick delivery
Published 11 days ago by Dave Hanratty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant movie
Published 17 days ago by janice fella
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best
Published 18 days ago by Paul in Epsom
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality for cheap price.
Great film, have tried to get this in stores but couldn't. But I found it here cheap great quality and works perfectly.
Published 3 months ago by mel swain
5.0 out of 5 stars In Borstal, survival rules
An epic warning about the penal system. The story was originally made for the BBC, who have refused to screen. Alan Parker remade it, this is the result. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BlackDog661 ©
1.0 out of 5 stars dvd scum
when I received this item I didn't unwrap it for ages, but when I did it was faulty, I didn't make a complaint about it as it was my own fault!
Published 4 months ago by RAGGA
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Violence, but thats to be expected in this type of story line, good to watch, but a little overpriced for such an old vhs movie, which is shown in the star rating.
Published 7 months ago by Michael
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