Rent Scum (1979)

4.0 of 5 from 118 ratings
1h 32min
Rent Scum Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Raw, violent and shocking, 'Scum' is a compelling story set in a contemporary Borstal. It tells of life in an institution run by violence and brutality rather than reason, where the boy who can fight his way to the top of the heap and reign as "Daddy" will gain the respect of the inmates and sadistic "screws" alike.
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Davina Belling, Clive Parsons
Roy Minton
Odyssey Quest
Drama, Thrillers
Release Date:
Run Time:
92 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Exclusive Interview with Co-Producer Clive Parsons and Writer Roy Minton
Release Date:
Run Time:
97 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
  • Audio commentary with actor Ray Winstone and film critic Nigel Floyd (2006)
  • No Luxuries (2019, 20 mins): actor Mick Ford looks at his character of Archer and his working relationship with director Alan Clarke
  • An Outbreak of Acting (2019, 16 mins): actor Ray Burdis on retumingto the role of Eckersley for the feature film
  • Smashing Windows (2019, 12 mins): actor Perry Benson recalls the daily experiences of being on set
  • Continuous Tension (2019, 18 mins): director of photography Phil Meheux analyses the documentary approach of his cinematography
  • Criminal Record (2019, 10 mins): associate producer Martin Campbell on remaking the banned teleplay for the big screen
  • Back to Borstal (2019, 32 mins): executive producer Don Boyd reflects on his efforts to reinvigorate British cinema in the late seventies
  • Concealing the Art (2019, 30 mins): veteran editor Michael Bradsell recalls collaborating with Alan Clarke
  • That Kind of Casting (2019, 22 mins): casting director Esta Charkham on the influence the Anna Scher Theatre had on production
  • Interview with Roy Minton and Clive Parsons (1999, 16 mins): the writer and producer look back on Scum twenty years after its release
  • Interview with Roy Minton (2005, 20 mins)
  • Interview with Davina Belling and Clive Parsons (2005,9 mins): the producers of Scum discuss its transition from banned teleplay to feature film
  • Interview with Don Boyd (2005, 13 mins)
  • Cast Memories (2005, 17 mins): archival documentary featuring interviews with Phil Daniels, Julian Firth, Mick Ford and David Threlfall
  • Original TF and 'X' certificate theatrical trailers
  • Image gallery: promotional and publicity material

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Reviews (2) of Scum

Young winston - Scum review by PT

Spoiler Alert

This is the film that guaranteed Ray Winston the stardom he now has. Winston plays young offender Carling who wants to do his bird keeping his head down. The Daddy of the joint will not let Carling do his time hassle free though, which prompts Carling to take another path to survive the violent regime.

A harrowing portrayal of borstal life and a great performance from the young Winston. If you've been living on Mars, or you're too young to have seen it when it was first released, I would definitely recommend it.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

The Better Version. - Scum review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

Clarke earned a reputation for making violent and uncompromising dramas for the BBC, and when his Play for Today version of this story was shelved by the broadcaster, he and writer Roy Minton made an even more brutal cinema version. Scum is the best prison drama the UK (probably any country) has ever made, and that includes the many POW films. It is a sensational exposure of the British borstals of that period, soon to be abolished. The story centres around two offenders' fight for the supremacy of their part of the system, to be the 'daddy'. A battle ultimately won by Ray Winstone's Carlin. These prisons socialise the inmates to conform with the prevailing culture, but the values they learn to adhere to, are utterly insane. No one survives. The institution and the sentences are incidental to the real savagery of the experience; these boys brutalise each other. The rape and subsequent suicide of one of the characters is particularly harrowing. This is a film where the lack of budget actually enhances the look of the drama. All is grim, and hostile, and malign. 

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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