Sentenced to three years in Borstal, young Attenborough gets off to a dismaying start: outfitted with regulation short pants then propositioned by a Welsh-accented Dirk Bogarde, eager to become his 'special pal'. The fairly outspoken (for 1949) script criticises a system portrayed as suffering from cash starvation (echoed by the film's own rock-bottom budget) yet required to cope with hordes of incorrigibles: a recidivism rate of 75 per cent is indicated. It's a blend of cosy stereotypes, reforming zeal and post-war disillusion amounting to a gloomy admonition not to expect very much from life. A British noir, in that sense. From a play by actor Reginald Beckwith.
Cast and crew