Scum (1979) - full transcript

This is the hard and shocking story of life in a British borstal for young offenders. Luckily the regime has changed since this TV film was made. The brutal regime made no attempt to reform or improve the inmates and actively encouraged a power struggle between the 'tough' new inmate and the 'old hands'.


Move, move, move, you spastic bastards!
Get in there, Carlin!

Come on! At the double! Move!

Right, in you get.

It's too hot.


-It's too hot, sir.
-Get in.



-Out there, coon. Move it!


4737, Carlin, in.

Get up straight, boy. Attention.

Name and number.

4737, Carlin, sir.

So, this is Carlin the 'daddy'.

The hard case from Bagthorpe.

Carlin, is it?

(SHOUTS) Is it?
-Yes, Sir.

Name and number?

4737, Carlin, sir.

And you're the little toerag
who thumped the officer at Rowley, eh?

Fancy, yourself, eh?

Thumpin' officers, hmm?

I retaliated, sir...

You speak when I tell you.

And they've sent you here
to be sorted out.

Well, you would've heard
of us, eh, Carlin?

-Heard of us, have ya?
-Yes, Sir.

And what did you hear?

-Nothing, sir.
-Oh, I see.

Well, I'll tell you here and now, lad.

"Nothing" was not
the correct information.

‘Cause we're gonna have your stinkin'
hooligan guts for garters, right?

(WINCING) Yes, sir.


Pick it up!

I said, pick it up!

Name and number.

(WEAKLY) 4737, Carlin, sir.

Right. We'll be seeing a lot
of each other here, lad.

Every move you make, we're down on you
like a ton of bricks, right?

-Yes, Sir.
-Right. Get him out of here.




(WHISPERS) Bastards, bastards!

Move it, scum!


Fall in line, Angel.


I'm Mr Sands.

Senior officer.

And I run this wing.

I run it. Right, Carlin?

Yes, sir.

I come down heavy, very heavy on anyone
who doesn't grasp that fact.


-(ALL)Yes, sir.

Angel, you're in a single room.

Some of the lads here
can be what you might call


And you're well advised to
keep yourself to yourself.

It's your first borstal, innit, lad?

Yes, sir, apart from the Scrubs, sir.

Yeah, well, forget the Scrubs, lad.
The holiday's over.

Davis, you were fool enough
to run away from an open borstal,

and you'll soon be wishing
you were back there.

-You're in a single room.

Carlin, you're in the dormitory, here.

Now, move!

That's yours, Carlin.

You know the rules
and you know why you're here.

I'll jump on you from a great height
if you so much as breathe.

-Got that?
-Yes, sir.

There's a lad...

A big lad called Pongo in that bed.

He, uh, heard you were coming.

Now, grab that bumper
and get to work on this floor!

I want to shave in it.


we don't leave our bedding
in that condition here.

Make up your bed pack
and put your gear away.

On the double. Move!

Next time, you're on report.


Look to your front, Banks.

-Carlin's been allocated to your wing.

Keep it shut, Richards!

Three of them together.

You'll have a bit more company,
won't ya?


And one of them's a jungle bunny.

-Yes, Sir.

I said quiet, Richards,
or you're on report.

RICHARDS: Yes, sir.







-Keep my seat warm.


-This is my room...
-RICHARDS: Stand up.

Name and number.

Up to attention when I come in here.

-But this is my...





What's this? Stand up on your feet, lad.
What do you think this is?

Stand up. Name and number?

-Angel, sir.

I can't remember, sir.

Can't remember?

Your number, lad, your number.
That's all you are.

Four digits. That's all you are.


Name and number?

4736, Angel, sir.

-Who did this?
-What, sir?

Don't give me lip, boy. Who did this?

Nobody, sir.

-No, sir.

-No, sir.

Damaging government property,
are we? You black bastard.

No, sir.

Then what the hell are we doing here,
you black Brixton slag?

Nothing, sir. Honest.

Fighting. You're booked for fighting.

-Governor's report, right?
-Sir, I wasn't, sir...

-Yes, sir.

Attention, hands by your side!
Name and number?

4736, Angel, sir.


4736, Angel, sir.

Straight out the banana trees, eh?

Well, you take it from me, nig-nog,

you go stealing white man's motor cars,

and you get white man's stick.

-Yes, sir.

Well, now get this cell scrubbed!

On the double!

You off your bleeding nut?


I'm a vegetarian, Carlin.

And I've read the rulebook.

I refuse to wear leather on my feet,

I get extra potatoes
as substitute for meat,

and I'm allowed fish, when on the menu.

They'll give you a stick for that, mate.

Oh, they do.

But it causes them a lot of bother,
doesn't it?

How long have you been here?

A month. Transferred from Dover.



I told them I was Christ.

Some cunning bastard
had the typical flash of genius

and they banged me in here.

A: the Governor's a religious maniac.

B: they will knock the shit out of me.

How long have you done?

Sixteen months.

Jesus Christ. You must love it.

(SIGHS) They're not getting me,
the bastards.

I don't eat shit for anybody.

I don't give a monkey's
if I do the full two years,

but, you know,

I'll get out of here on crutches,
but they won't.

By Christ, they won't get me.

Davis, you're nothing.

I'm the daddy here.

And there's nowhere you can run, right?

You may be a runner
from the holiday camp,

but you can't budge in here.

I run this nick.

And you pay your dues like the rest.


you deliver a quarter of your snout
to Stripey here,

every week on the dot.

But I don't smoke...

Well, you bleeding well do now, slag!

There's no dolly mixtures in here,

You deliver, every week.

Everything's done through me, here.

I'm the daddy,
and don't you ever forget it.


Pongo Banks, the daddy.

-Yeah, Carlin.

Your reputation was here
well ahead of you.

And you're gonna have
a teeny-weeny little bit

of bother with that young man.

(EXHALES) Do you wanna come in with me?


I don't want in with anybody.

I want to get through my time
in my own little way,

causing as much frigging trouble
to the screws as possible.

In my own little way.


You don't do yourself no favours,
do you, mate?


you watch yourself with those pigs.



Here, Davis. Over here.

What d'you want?



Davis, you slob!

This isn't a pigsty.
Get that floor polished.

Yes, sir.

Move yourself and get that floor done!

-BANKS: Right, Carlin.

You think you're the hard man, right?

Well, I'm telling you, you're not.

I run this gaff,

and you're dead if you come
any of it here!

Leave off, will ya?

I don't give a toss who's the daddy.

I don't want no trouble. Just piss off
and let me get on with me time, yeah?

We'll give you time, ya bastard.


Hey, Slasher? Look at that.

It had a nightmare.

There's more where
that came from, Carlin.

You just keep your bleedin' mouth shut.

You ain't no daddy here.



-What happened to your face?
-I fell, sir.

-Fell where?
-On the stairs there...

Quiet! Speak when I tell you to!

Somebody hit you, eh?

Answer. Somebody hit you?

No, sir.

-You're fighting already, is it, Carlin?
-No, sir.

We know about you, sonny.

Who was it?

I told you, sir. I fell on the stairs.

I weren't used to the concrete steps.
Me own fault.

I want none of your tricks here, laddie.
Understand that?

-Yes, Sir.
-Any more of this and you're in trouble.

Real trouble.

-Do you understand?
-Yes, Sir.

Well, move yourself,
you light-fingered little guttersnipe!

"Your sister went out on a Sunday
school outing last weekend,

"and she had a smashing afternoon.

"Bessie has had three pups,

-"and they're all smashing..."

"...all smashing and doing ever so well.

"We don't know what to do with them
as they're such an expense to keep."


"Anyway, your dad will decide
and find homes for them.

"You'll still have Bessie
when you come home,

"but we can't hang on
to the pups forever

"since we don't know
when you'll be coming home.

"So hope this finds you
as it leaves us, Donald.

"Let us know how you're getting on,
and be a good lad.

"I have to dash to catch the post.
Love from Mum and Dad."


Well, I mean, they can't
get rid of them, can they?

They'll hang on till I get out,
then I can take care of 'em.

I'll have a job.

I can buy their grub.

Will you write me a letter back,

We'll see.

Well, here, read it again, Ben.

Just the once.

-Don't you go to classes?

Well, haven't they taught you
to read yet?

No, I can't. I don't know
what they mean, you know?

I don't like asking. Read it again, Ben?


I'll give you some sweets on payday.



-"Dear, Donald..."

-You forgot the address.

"33 Cunningwell Street,


"Dear Donald..."

What do you want?

Seeing as you're lying around all the
bleedin' time, I brought you me radio.


You can borrow it till you get one sent.

Yeah, it's all right. Thanks anyway.

It's up to you, mate.

There's three of us in our dorm's
got one of these.

So we ain't gonna miss this one, are we?

Look, I'll leave it there, all right?

You let us have it back later
if you don't want it.


-SANDS: Come in.


4738, Davis, sir.

Whose radio is it, Davis?

-Eckersley's, sir.
-And what's it doing in your room?

-He lent it to me, sir.
-Oh, come on, lad. Let's have the truth.

You've borrowed it, haven't you?

No, sir.

You've borrowed it, haven't you, lad?
Now, don't bullshit me!

But ask him, sir.

He, he brought it in.

Eckersley has reported
his radio missing!

And it's here, in your room.

You're on Governor's report tomorrow.

-Good morning, Mr White.
-Good morning, sir.


GOVERNOR: Apart from absconding,

your record at your previous borstal
was clean, Davis,

and I have taken this
into consideration.

But I will stress that
if I deal with you leniently here,

it will certainly not be so light
should you appear before me again.

C of E, are we?

Answer the Governor.

Pardon, sir?


Church of England?

Yes, sir.

Good. Good.

Three days in the block
and loss of privileges for one week.

About turn! Quick march!
Move it. Move it. Move it.

-Come on, move.
-Double! Double!

Carlin, in.

Feet on the mat. Legs apart.
Face the Governor.

Name and number to the Governor.

4737, Carlin, sir.

Now, then, Carlin.

You were transferred here
because you assaulted an officer.

Though, heaven knows
what they expect me to do with you.

However, I will have no violence
in this institution.

There is no violence here.

-Do you understand?
-Yes, Sir.

Yet, no sooner
are you settled in than...

Well, the marks are visible
on your face.

I'm a generous man, Carlin.

But I will not have any trainee
take liberties.

If you are brought here again,
you will be in very serious trouble.

-Yes, sir.

Now, have you anything to say?

Not really, sir.

Except I wasn't fighting...

I fell.

I wasn't used to the concrete steps.

However, I can understand the officers
thinking that I had,

by the state of my face.

So, I've got no excuse really, sir.

I mean, what else could he think?

C of E, are we?

Yes, sir.
My religion's a great comfort to me.


Then it may even have
some guidance for your reform.

GOVERNOR: Three days in the block
and loss of earnings for two weeks.

About turn. Quick march. Move it!

Double it! Double it! Double it!
Double it! Move it!

Get in!




-Come to Mr Goodyear's office.
-Yes, Sir.


I'm granting your request
to marry, Betts.

And I hope this may induce you
to work hard,

cooperate and leave here
as soon as possible.

It all depends on you.

One week hence,

released for four hours,

under escort, to marry.

Right, Betts?

Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.

This causes
no little inconvenience, Betts,

-and is a cost to the taxpayer.
-Yes, Sir.

And I cannot pretend to be pleased

that you're marrying
in a registry office.

Oh, that's just for now, sir.

We're having a proper church do
when I get out.


Let's hope you're released
before the child is born.

Yes, sir.

Right. Take him away.

Right turn, Betts. Quick march.

Come on, move yourself.


Come then, Archer.
Name and number to the Governor.

4721, Archer, sir.

Ah, Archer.

Still vegetarian, are we?

Yes, sir.

-And barefoot, too?
-Yes, sir.

Well, Archer, we have every respect
for another man's sincere beliefs here.

The individual is to be encouraged.

And at no little trouble and expense,

we have procured plastic boots for you.

Do you appreciate that?

-Yes, Sir.
-No objection to plastic, have we?

-No, sir.

Then I hope the cooperation
will be reciprocated.


Have you read The Life of Saint Francis
of Assisi, Archer?

No, sir. But I'm sure
it's a most engrossing epistle.

Oh, itis.

It is.

The son of a wealthy man.

He was converted to Christianity
in 1208.

Turned from his life of pleasure

to commit himself to poverty
and the life of the gospel.

You should read it.

Well, as a matter of fact, sir,
I wanted to mention

access to literature to you.

You see, sir,

I'm finding myself
strongly drawn to Mecca.

-Mecca, Archer?
-Yes, Sir.

You mean, you're asking me...

Yes, sir...

It's something stirring within me.

I'm sure you understand
what I mean, sir.

Archer, you will see
the chaplain tomorrow.

But I'm an atheist, sir.

It's on my record.
Atheist and vegetarian.

You told them you were Christ
at Dover, Archer.

You'll see the chaplain tomorrow

and will have no more talk of Mecca
in this establishment.

Get him issued with the boots.

Right turn, Archer!

Quick march, at the double.
Get those feet up.

Well, well.

Enjoy our little holiday, did we?


Now, you rest assured, my beauties,
whenever you feel like a break,

it's always there.

Always at your disposal.

-Right, Carlin?
-Yes, sir.

Now, put your gear away in your rooms,

and out again sharpish.

I want work out of you toerags
and plenty of it.

Now, move! Come on! Move it!

Pick your feet up, Carlin!

They won't wear it, Banks.
You know they won't.

What are they gonna do, then?

Walk about with pound notes?

Pound notes aren't allowed in here,
are they, Dougan?

Very stiff penalties
for anything but small change.

And there's stiff penalties for anyone
that tries to undercut my rate.


You make sure that certain parties
know that, Dougan.

Now, then, that's eight quid
altogether, right?

I'll get seventy pence for a quid
from the screw, right?

Your cut's five pence
and mine's fifteen.

That leaves fifty pence.

Fifty pence for a quid?

I've got overheads.

Haven't those bastards
heard of inflation?

They get fifty pence for a quid
from now on.

You tell 'em that.

And if they don't like it,
they can see me.





-Carry on.

WOODS: Stop it, Stripey!
I'm not hurting you!

-Gonk! You're in my bleedin' way!

It's all right, Archer.

What's up with you, weirdo?

Want striping, do ya?

You might get left alone here,

but I'll cut you to ribbons
if I get any of your poxy lip!


Back, grass!

I said, back, shithead!




Carry on.




-Right, Banks, you bastard!

I'm the daddy now.

Next time, I'll kill ya!


Who was it, Richards? Who was it?

-Carlin? The coons?
-I slipped, sir.

I'll give you slip.

Who was it?

Don't know, sir.

Come on, who saw it?

(MUMBLING) No one, sir.

Where's Banks?

Don't know, sir.

-Dozy bastard, Banks!

You let him do you over, you twat!

I slipped, sir.

Don't come that with me!

Who do you think you're talking to?


I want you to name Carlin!

I slipped, sir.


-4206, Sumner, Sir.

4737, Carlin, sir.

4568, Jackson, sir.

Okay, Carlin.
You're really for it this time.

Banks and Richards have both named you.

You'll get three years for this, scum.

I don't know
what you're talking about, sir.

You bloody well will, toerag.

I run this wing.

And I'm not having it disrupted

by a dirty little back-street villain
like you.

You'll sign a statement downstairs.

I've got nothing to say, sir.
I'd like to see the housemaster.

You will, Carlin. You will.

And the Governor, sir.
I've got a witness.

Shit witness!

I'm having you, lad.

You banged that officer at Bagthorpe,

and you must be thinking you've walked
quietly away from that one.

But he's here.

He's me.

He's every screw in this borstal.
Every one of us.

Now come on, big man.

How do you fancy
taking a poke at me, eh?

Come on!

I didn't bang no screw, I retaliated.

There was two of 'em,
kicking the shit out of me.

Well, retaliate here!

Come on!

I'll have you.




Where's Banks?


Lights out!

Right. What're we going to talk about?

Any problems?

Come along.
That's why we have these meetings.

Why am I so far away from home, Matron?

Because you murdered that kid.

All right, Eckersley.

Formby, I am forever
explaining this to you.

Why don't you let it sink in?

He's fourteen years old.


Quiet, Archer.

I never get a visitor.

That is unfortunate, Formby.

But for young offenders like yourself,
who need to be...

Now, you have to be detained
during Her Majesty's pleasure.

That is the sentence commensurate
with your offence.

And you do realise I know
that it was a most serious crime.

But, unfortunately,
there are no special places

for boys like you at present.

So you are to remain here.

Now, here you've got the opportunity
to learn and to improve.

If you behave and apply yourself

willingly to your duties
and to the rules,

there's every possibility
that Her Majesty or her representatives

may approve your release
and rehabilitation

much earlier than you imagine.

Much earlier than what, Matron?

Try to remember that you are
more fortunate than those boys,

similar to yourself,

who are held
in Wormwood Scrubs for years,

until they're old enough
for transfer to prison.

All right?

-My dog had three pups.

I had a letter.

Yes, Woods, I read it.

Where are you going, Sumner?



Out, Matron.

Sit down, please, Sumner.


Anything else?

(SOFTLY) Trust.

Pardon, Archer?

I suggest a discussion
on the nature of trust.

Are you sure that's not more a matter
for you to take up with the housemaster?

You see, Matron,

we're continually bombarded
with instructions to trust.

And yet, at the same time,
we're continuously informed

that we're completely untrustworthy.

All of us.

It is our common experience.

Does anyone want to continue
this discussion

suggested by Archer?

Three pups. I hope we keep 'em.

Thank you for coming.

Next week, same time.

And if any of you have any problems,

whatever they are,
do not hesitate to come to me.

And if I can't help,
I'm sure Mr Goodyear will.

Forty pence for a quid, that's it.

I can't go with that,
they'll cut my throat!

That's the way things are
from now on, mate.

40p, that or nothing.

If you're gonna come that, Carlin,
the whole bleedin' nick'll be on ya.

-Right behind Banks.
-Or Baldy.

Stuff 'em.

Look, if Banks gives them 50p,
I've got to give them less.

That's psychology.

It's the only way
I'll keep hold of them.

If I'm not harder than him,
you'll have some muggin paying sixty.

Do you see what I mean?

Forty's way under, Carlin.

It won't be worth that risk,
in money and like that.


Okay, forty-five.

I get forty-five.

But I want it made clear
it was a favour.

You tell him, Dougan.

You had to bleedin' well
plead with me, right?


You had to bleedin' well beg me, right?

-All right.


-Yes, Sir.

-Mr Goodyear's office.
-Yes, Sir.

The rest of you to association.
I don't want you in here.

It's one of the most rewarding aspects
of this job,

encouraging ability and individuality.

And a consequence of this
is that natural leaders will emerge,

as they have throughout history.


as I am sure you are aware,

the gift of leadership

entails responsibilities.

Like setting a good example,

keeping order.

Leadership means order.

Do you understand that?

Yes, sir.


Now, then.

You came here with a bad reputation,

but I am prepared to take you
as I find you.

You'll have every chance
to prove yourself

in this wing, Carlin, and

even earn back
some of the time you've lost

through your more unfortunate escapades.

I run this wing.

I want that firmly understood.

Nobody rocks my boat.

Do we understand each other?

Yes, sir.

Very well, then.

Just one thing, sir.


I would like a single cell.

Oh, I think we can arrange that,
Mr Greaves?

-Right, sir.
-Anything else?

-No, sir.
-On your feet.

Right turn, quick march.


Well, in you go, Woods.
Name and number to the housemaster.


All right, Carlin.

But don't push it.

If there's any bother,
we'll have your bleeding guts.


I said, right?

Yes, sir.

Right. On your way.

Now, come on. Come on!

This isn't racial, it's a game.

A game!

You lot, down this end.

You there,

you swap round with them.


Come on!



No punching in the face.

No kicking in the goolies!

And no biting.


Wait for it!





Break it up!


No, no!



Right, lads.

It's a draw.



That bloke from A wing
sent a word from Baldy.

Their tinted daddyman.
He wants to meet ya.

I don't talk to shit.

He wants to meet, Carlin.
We know what for.

DOUGAN: He's a right hard nut.
When's it gonna be?

I'll find him.

-No strings.
-Get it down you, sharpish.

-Vegetarians? I've shit 'em.


Carlin, mate. That old Baldy
says the boiler house tomorrow.

There'll be a whole crowd of us there
shovelling shit.

Says just you and him, right?

All this, for nicking thirty bob's
worth of scrap.

You're joking.

Thirty bob's worth of eff-in' junk.

Me older brother had a bit of form,
so they stuck it on me.

My ma went bleedin' potty.

-Jesus, one for the book.

What'd you do?

Bank or what's it?

No, Carlin.

I was merely trying
to further a respectable career

in the employ of a timber merchant.

-A clerk.

Me old lady was...

She was ill, all the time.

You know, fragile.

And there was all this stick
about giving her a hard time.

And her wanting to see her son
secure, respectable and all that shit.

Anyway, I was sticking out
in the office.

Only thing was, I got too ambitious.

I wasn't satisfied with dipping me hand
in the petty cash for stamps.


I worked on the cash sales.

I was making forty and fifty quid
on the side most weeks.

Going to work in a cab.

Until some hard-faced mare came back
for a swap when I wasn't there.


So here I am.

First offence?

Well, you know my mouth.

Gave the magistrate a bit of lip.
Didn't know the ropes, did I?

She sat there fart-faced under her wig

and packed me off to borstal.

Where's your tool?

What tool?


This tool.

-Do you want some more?

Now, I'm gonna tell you once.

Just once!

-Are you listening, coon?
-Yeah. Yeah.

-You run A wing...

Okay. But for me.

-I give the orders, right?

You'll get your perks,

but I'm the daddy, right?


Why don't you get some coal dust rubbed
on the marks, you black bastard?



You want me, Carlin?

Yeah. Come in.



Rhodes, innit?


Sit down.

-Peter Rhodes.

You got moved from C wing, right?


What for?

The housemaster.

-Having a go at you.

The daddy there had tried it,
but I could handle that.

Then Badger started in his office.

Sweating, he was.

Dirty pig.

So I threatened him with the Governor,
home office, parents.

The whole bleedin' lot.

He had me moved.

I see.

Well, Peter...

Well, what I mean is...

I'm no poof.

I want to get that straight
from the start.

There's nothing bent about me.

But what I mean is...

Well, you know as well as me,

you can have a hard time,

you can have an easy one.

You want the best, it's at the top.

And I'm the top here.

Do you know what I mean?

Well, what do you say?

I've never done it before.

Neither have I.

I'm no poof.

All right.

You're my missus.


I'll be leaving, Toyne. What is it?

Come on, Toyne,
what is it you want?

My letter. It came today.

Yes, I know.

Will you read it?

But I have already.

Read it.

"Dear, Ronald, sorry we have not
wrote to you for so long,

"but things have been busy.

"Anyway, we thought we'd better
let you know

"that Candy died last week
and we buried her.

"She looked very pretty
and looked peaceful.

"And since you have not seen her
for some time

"we thought you should know this.

"Well, I have to dash, things are busy.

"Good luck. George and Beth."

Well, Toyne.

Somebody's pet?

A dog?


My wife.

Candy was my nickname for my wife.

Oi, Betts is back!



Straight to the lavatory,
relieve yourself.

What a wedding night.

I want you to use your influence
to keep things down.

If you see what I mean.

-Let me know if there's any...

-'m going to my cell, sir.
-Run boy!

I will, sir

-Mr Greaves.

-I didn't do anything, sir.
-All right, Matron, I'll handle this.

Where are your clothes, Angel?

Sir, I was taking a bath, sir,
and then they were gone, sir.

-What do you mean gone?
-Gone, sir.

-Is this your room?
-Yes, Sir.

Your clothes are here, Angel.

But they were upstairs, sir.

Governor's report.

Mr Greaves, bang this man
up to Governor's report.




Thanks, Mr Duke.

It won't happen again.



You may be a smart arse, Archer, but
you're nothing but a fool to yourself.

I get by.

You'll do the full stretch,
you know that?


They're not having me.

Mr Duke,

I've got to save myself.

Despite whatever methods
you bastards devise to destroy me.

I get through or I don't.
But it's my way.

Now, watch your lip, Archer.

I won't stand insolence.

Talking's one thing
but I'll not tolerate insolence.

-Right, lad?
-Right, sir.

Look at you sitting there
with that daft smile on your face.

Why aren't you over there
with the rest?

I'm an atheist.

What do you think
that lot are, disciples?

Every Sunday an officer's
allocated to watch you,

because you're too bloody pig-headed
to sit in chapel for half an hour.

And every Sunday
that's a little bit more you owe us.

You know what the boss is like.

You're committing a mortal sin
sitting there.

They're all atheists,
but they don't put it about.

I heard you were thinking
of turning Indian.

I think about all sorts of things.

Haven't you seen
enough of them in here?

Why don't you keep your nose clean
and get out?


I never was any good at that.

Just pass the time quietly.

Ah, now, you don't hear me moan,
Mr Duke, do you?

I smile.

I smile a lot.

You're loose in the head, lad.


When I was in the Scrubs,

sweating it out down there
in that filthy cell,

I had this matchbox.

And it said on this matchbox,
"It takes sixty muscles to frown,

"but only thirteen to smile,

"so, why waste energy?"


I'm doing me time on a matchbox.

Oh, Jeez.

You see, when I was out,

I always reminded myself

I could take something good
from every experience.

But the only thing
I'll take from borstal is evil.

Because you won't toe the bloody line.

No, no. Not that, Mr Duke. No.

You take Mr Goodyear.

He rattles out bullshit
about character building

morning, noon and night.

And it's not on.

It's impossible.

How can anyone build character
inside a regime based on deprivation?

It's a one-way contamination.

(STUTTERS) Good, fine minds
thrown in with...


Crazy, perverted people.

What am I doing here?

Why ain't I in another wing?

Where there might at least somebody
I can talk to.

You know, where I can be civilised.

If it's not a screw at me, it's a con.

Why didn't they send me to an open nick?

Well, you're too old for this lot.
I'll give you that.

You should have got a prison sentence.

Right? Right?

I was happier in prison.

Now I finish me time in a mob
of snotty young hooligans.

Two years of this, before I retire.

How long have you done?

A long time.

Oh, that's a hefty sentence, Mr Duke.

One way or another, all in prisons.

Public service, Archer.

Haven't you realised some of the lads
actually like it in here?

Aye, it's called 'Institutionalised'.

They're secure.

Oh, that.

Yeah, well, in here

you act, you're punished, you're free.

Outside you act, you're punished
by your own guilt complexes

and are never free.

Which book did you get that from?

This one.

Certainly not from what's on offer here.

I don't wish to

underestimate your lifetime's work,
Mr Duke.

But the punitive system
really does not work.

My experience of borstal
convinces me that

more criminal acts are imposed
on prisoners,

than by prisoners on society.

Convinces you, eh?

You fancy half that lot
charging up and down your street.

Fancy your mother
tackling that lot on the rampage.

No, of course you bloody well don't.

So what do you do about it, eh?
Come on. What do you do?

Well, I'd talk about it first.

Like we are.

Talk's bullshit. You lock ‘em up.

I'd also consider
what happens to their guardians.

Watch it, lad.

No, I'm serious, Mr Duke.

Take yourself.

For a weekly wage, you've been
locking up men and boys

most of your working life, right?

Now, hanging down your leg is a chain,

your key chain.

And the length of that chain indicates
the amount of time

you have spent in the service.

You may have been unfortunate

in terms of promotion.

But the length of that chain
gives you rank over other officers

of similar rank only.

But, at the same time,

it is a constant reminder

that you have spent your life
in prison service,

and are still only a basic officer.

Now, who gets the stick for that?


Who pays for that daily humiliation?

Stand up, Archer!

And wipe that bloody grin off your face
before I knock it off.

Name and number?

4721, Archer, sir.

You think you can have
the piss out of me, Archer.

I give you a chance to...

I give you my coffee,

and you think you can stand there
and have the piss out of me.

No, sir. I didn't.

It's just that I never get the chance
to express myself.

It's a good job you don't, lad.

But I was only concerned with
men being stripped of their dignity.

Cons and screws.

We aren't much different
in here, are we?

You're on a report for insolence.

Right, sir.

Stand up straight!

Hey, Doug.

I wonder how my puppies are.

If I had a visitor,
they'd tell me, wouldn't they?

Dunno how long it will be
before I get another letter.

No trains either on a Sunday, are there?

Wish we had a car.

Could bring the pups with them.

Woods, I haven't had a visitor
since I've been here!

So don't come banging to me
about your bleeding greyhounds.

Now piss off!



-Write a letter for me.

-Go on.

No, I'm thinking.


Perhaps tomorrow, then?


Oh, Jesus.

Should've have seen her, lads.

Oh, Jesus, beautiful.

I managed to touch her,
like, you know...


These visits are gonna drive me
bloody crazy.

Come on, what's this then?
Look at this floor.

You idle sods.

I want it clean!


I want to see my face in it.

Move yourselves!

That includes you, Toyne.

Though the reports may seem minor,
taken individually,

they do mean that, altogether,
you aren't pulling your weight, Woods.

Three days and lose one month.

About turn. Quick march.

Come on, move it! Move it.

-Double up, double up.
-Archer, in here.

ESCORT: Feet on the mat. Legs apart.
Name and number to the Governor.

4721, Archer, sir.

Insolence again, Archer.


Misplaced trust, sir.

How's Mecca these days, Archer?

No further information through yet, sir.

But I have been meditating.

Whenever possible.

I see.

Have you ever read Alan Brooke's
book on Churchill?

I don't believe I've had
that literary pleasure, sir.

You should.

You should.

Seven days in the block
and lose one month.

About turn.

For your meditation, Archer.

Quick march. Come on. Move it.

-Come on. Double up.
-Quick march. Double it!

Woods, out.

Back in.

Angel, out.


Archer, out.

-What is it, Archer?

There was no exercise today, sir.

Request to see the Governor, sir.

Archer, the rulebook...

The rulebook says, "Exercise
is dependent on the weather."

It looked like rain.

But it didn't, sir...


GREAVES: Dirty cell, Archer.
Governor's report.


The whole of the A wing
thought the fish was bad?

Yes, sir.

-What about the other wings?
-ALL: Yes, sir.

I think I can explain this, sir.

I do remember the day in question.

First of all, that fish was not bad.

But... But I admit it was strong.

Strong, yes, I admit that, but not bad.

What do mean "strong", Mr White?

Well, it's probably some of this
new Atlantic fish they're bringing out.

Strange taste. It can seem strong.


Well, you know,
you should complain at the time

if you think something might be off.

I did, sir.

Oh. And?

Mr White ate it.

Can't have been that bad then,
can it, son?

Do you think I'd poison myself?

That was my dinner.

Yes, well, we'll keep an eye out
for Atlantic fish. Anything else?

The batter is all soft, sir.

It always is. The whole wing moans.

Mr White?

Of course the batter's soft.

It's impossible to make crispy batter.

In all my years catering,
in all kinds of institutions

I've never been able
to make crispy batter.

The only way to do that
is to buy the powdered stuff.

We just don't have the money for that.


Come in.

Tea, sir?

-Tea, Mr Goodyear?
-Why not. Why not.

Can we smoke, sir.

One quick burn,

with permission
of the assistant governor.


-What do you want?

We'll tell you what we want.


Hold him up. Hold him up.












Come along, you lazy swines,
get on with Mr Philpot.



Davis, what're you doing there?
What happened?

-(SHOUTS) Well, lad?

Nothing, sir.

I fell.

-Well, fall back onto your feet.

This isn't Kew Gardens, laddie.

On your feet!


Look at her.

Look at that.

Imagine that in the back
of a Mercedes, eh?

Just like a bird I used to knock off.
Great pair of bristols.

Do anything, she would.
Anything you wanted.

Yeah, I had a few birds like that.

Thin, though. Thin birds always
going potty for me.

What's up with you, poofter?

There should be a law against him.

Yeah, nutter. The bent bastard.

Hey, Sumner?

Christ. When I get out of here
away from these bleedin' cranks.

The big time. Big stuff.

I've got some ideas.

There's one thing
about the nick, Formby.

You never come out short on ideas.

And you know where you went wrong.
Get it from your mates.

Sort through their mistakes.

You can learn a lot in here
if you use your loaf.

Banks are best, though.

Well, you do one big job
and you're set up for life.

Planning. That's all it needs, planning.

And plenty of bottle. In, bang, and out.

You got no shortage of birds then.

Well, I never have been short of birds.

Always have plenty of crumpet after me.

The only crumpet you've had, mate,
is with your bleedin' fist.

You'll be eating my fist in a minute.

Now, leave off.

I'm sick of hearing you.

Hey, hey. Hark at our bent friends.

You two fancy yourselves, eh?

You'll be back in here.

And then on to prison.

And in and out
for the rest of your lives.

And it all be for a little more than
taking a tin opener to a gas meter.

‘Cause you're all talk.

All mouth. And you couldn't organise
a piss-up in a brewery.

Either of you.

So, let's have some peace in here
and stop your juvenile fantasising.

I'll have you, Sumner.

Cut it out.

-I'm warning you, Richards.
-You're warning me?

Yeah. We all saw how big you were
when Carlin sorted you out.

You and your mate Pongo.

And if there's any bother,
you'll get it again.

And Ecklersley's due for it
if he steps out of line.

You know that. Don't you, Eckersley?

If anyone comes near me,
he'll get striped, all right?

Yeah, so just remember, shitbag,
that people get moved around.

And Carlin ain't gonna be here changing
your nappies forever.

The way he's arse licking,
he'll be out in a month.

And I'm gonna carve you two bastards up.

First chance I get.
Just remember that, the pair of yal!



-Can I talk to you?
-What about?

Well, it's personal.

You can talk in front of the missus.

No, it's more personal.

More personal than my missus?

Well, then you better take your little
problem to the virgin matron, eh?

Or that arse-licking Goodyear, yeah?


On, forget it.

I ‘ave.

Come on, move it!

Davis! You're like a wet fart.

Get a hold of yourself, lad.

You've got a body there somewhere!

Use it!







Right, Davis, what is it?


Speak up, lad. Why'd you ring that bell?

Do you know that's an offence?


I'm lonely, sir.



I daren't close my eyes. I feel bad.


(SOBS) I don't know what to do.

Cut that out, Davis,
or I'll give you something to cry about,

you mardy-arsed little toerag.

You touch that bell again for no reason,

I'll have you down the block
before your feet touch the ground.

Now get your subnormal head down!





Wakey, wakey, Davis.

Right, Davis. Governor's report.

Right! Back in your rooms!

Come on. Back in your rooms!
Or I'll put you in there!

Bang them up, Mr Greaves.

Move it, Archer!


Eat, or it goes in the bins.



Carlin, eat!




(CHANTING) Dead! Dead! Dead!





(CHANTING) Dead! Dead! Dead!


Move it, Archer! Carlin!



Move it! Move it.




the damage must be paid for.

Loss of earnings for all until
every damaged article is paid for.

And to encourage you to work hard

and make good this wilful debt
with all expediency,

there are no privileges.


You have to earn them.

Now, with regard to our absent friend,

I would remind you all

that sad and unfortunate accidents occur
in institutions like this

just as they do outside.

We are all accident-prone,

even here.

It is most regretful.

But I will tolerate
no further outbursts,

like the one recently witnessed.

I will not tolerate it.


One minute's silent prayer
for our departed friend.