Brit-grit cinema got a kick in the bollocks with Alan Clarke’s brutal borstal drama, a remake of his TV version banned by the BBC two years earlier.
Rather than tone it down, Clarke cranked up the intensity, still potent today, to deliver an unflinching look at incarceration, where rape, suicide and racism are as normal as slopping out.
Barely out of shorts, Ray Winstone’s ‘hard case’ Carlin remains the film’s ‘daddy’ – but from Mick Ford’s non-violent veggie to Julian Firth’s bullied runaway there are standouts in every cell.
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