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Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like the book!, 28 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Screwed [DVD] (DVD)
This review is written from the point of view of someone who has read the book first, then watched the film.

If you're just planning on watching the film, you'll probably think its ok. You may even think its better than ok! Don't bother buying the film if you've read the book first; rent it or borrow it instead.

When I read Screwed, I didn't realise it had been made into a film. When I found out that it had, I was happy as I'd enjoyed the book and thought I'd give it a try.

As it turns out the film is a big disappointment by comparison to the book, which is a decent account of British prison life, from the point of view of a prison warden. Other than the fact that the film's cast is mostly male, and the setting is a prison built in the Victorian era, the film has virtually nothing to do with the book. The names aren't even the same in most cases, nor do many of the book's characters make an appearance! Barely any of the stories from the book have made it into the film, and those that have don't have the same impact as they did on paper.

The film turns the morality of Thompson's clique of prison wardens from the book right on its head. Instead of representing the screws as a work-hard, play-hard bunch, he's used the film to make them look like con-bashing, drug-taking morons. Thompson & Co have obviously opted to pander to the audience of Kidulthood etc by glorifying crime and making prisoners look hard done by. Including Noel Clark and Frank Harper in the cast won't have done any harm here either. Still, as long as it pays.

Ronnie Thompson should be gutted. I don't know how he allowed it to happen. I would have expected him to have a more significant input considering he was writer of Screwed the novel, screen writer of Screwed the film and was one of the producers of the film too. You would have thought that, since he wrote the book, he owed it to himself to keep the plot of the film as close to the book as possible. Well, he hasn't.... This film is a classic example of why some books shouldn't be made into films.

I won't bother with a synopsis of the movie, its already on here, and the people who liked the film have done a good job on that front.

If you watch the film, and don't plan on reading the book, you'll doubtless like it and won't see what I'm talking about. I like this genre, and in some respects I wish I'd seen the film first because I know I would have enjoyed it loads.

I've now given the film away.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 May 2012 13:46:19 BDT
I spent my working life as a PRISON OFFICER. I get mightily pissed off with being refered to as 1. WARDER 2. WARDEN or 3. GUARD. The term 'Warder' went out of use in the 1920s. 'Warden' is American except for use in this country to discribe the Governor of a Detention Center. Detention Centers were discontinued when Youth Offender Institutions came into being in the 1980s so the Warden rank died with their passing. A Guard is one of those chaps down in London who wears a red jacket and a bearskin and stamps around outside Buckingham Palace, among other places. I add that I would not treat the matter of imprisonment as anything but serious. Prison Officers, while not saints, are always portrayed as underhanded cowardly bullying types. I can assure the public that that in 99% of cases this is just not true. I am retired and it is with some pride that I can show many letters from ex inmates thanking me for my treatment of them while 'inside'. A real villain with a lot of serious convictions once told me that had he had a father like me he would never have strayed from the 'straight and narrow'. So please Prison Officers do a difficult and dangerous job. At least try and get the title right and give them the support and respect they deserve.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2012 17:45:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jul 2012 17:49:55 BDT
Hi Daniel

Thanks for the sermon, sorry to have pissed you off. While I have not committed faux-pas one or three I will confess to using term two throughout my review. Really I should know better, my father was a Prison Governor for around twenty years so I was close to that community, and hence my own interest in the genre.

You'll also find that the tone of my review is one of dismay that the the wardens were treated so badly in the film, especially when they were portrayed so decently in the novel of the same name. You may enjoy the novel if you haven't read it yet. I don't believe I've been anything less than serious in my review, though I'll admit to being a bit sarcastic at times.

To split hairs over a job title is a little petty. This is clearly your specialist area of knowledge but to the rest of us the terms you've mentioned above are inter-changeable. Indeed, that only serves to highlight our personal ignorance of an often overlooked part of society and hence the reason why I read and watch films to better educate myself. I could understand your point of view if I was trying to bring your former position into disrepute or saying negative things, but I wasn't; far from it.

I'm glad you had a rewarding career, and I think you're to be applauded for your efforts, especially in light of your positive feedback. Have you considered writing your own account of prison life? I would be very interested to read any honest, frank and accurate accounts of working in the Prison Service (or equivalent) from any part of the world. Indeed, can you recommend any such literature?

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my review.
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