Truman (Stanley Baker) is a tough Liverpool detective on the trail of a notorious arsonist known as 'The Firefly'. However he is unimpressed when forced to accept the post of Juvenile Liaison Officer and does not relish his new role until he meets Cathie Murphy (Anne Heywood). Truman becomes suspicious of Cathie's brother Johnnie (David McCallum) the leader of a local gang and as their relationship develops Johnnie's behaviour becomes more erratic. After Johnnie is embarrassingly ejected from The Grand Hotel the police are on his trail and arrive just as the hotel is ablaze. Johnnie escapes in a van killing his accomplice in the process. With the police in pursuit, Johnnie acquires a gun and takes a group of schoolchildren hostage. The priest tries to convince Johnnie to give himself up before tragedy strikes.
Low Budget Social Realism.
- Violent Playground review by Steve Mason
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Sort of a British response to The Blackboard Jungle, set in the high rise slums of fifties Liverpool. David McCallum is a juvenile delinquent, and his gang of psycho-toughs features Freddie Starr and Melvyn Hayes (Gloria from It Ain't Half Hot Mum!). I mainly watched it for Stanley Baker's cop in pursuit of an arsonist. It is a solid film until the last twenty minutes, a shoot out in a school, which is excruciating rather than prophetic.