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Roy Minton's teleplay about Borstal life and its vicious circle of violence, remade as a movie after being banned by the BBC: a toughened docudrama (schools of BBC/old Warners/Corman) that carries the same force as the improvised weapons Ray Winstone uses to bludgeon his way through the Borstal power structure. A far-from-blunt instrument itself (and containing some necessary leavening humour), this is potentially knife-edge film-making: will audiences buy the reformist liberalism and stomach the violence, or in fact buy the violence and racism and miss the message? The careful calculations show, but you're still likely to leave at the end feeling righteously angry.

Release details

Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alan Clarke
Screenwriter: Roy Minton
Cast: Ray Winstone
Mick Ford
Julian Firth
John Blundell
Phil Daniels
John Fowler
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