The riot kicks off


The inmates destroy the mess hall

The Riot scene is the beginning of the climax to Scum.

Scene breakdownEdit

The scene begins at dinnertime in the borstal mess hall; the inmates sit in cold silence, arms folded, refusing to eat in protest of the incompetent handling of inmates Toyne and Davis, who have committed suicide, largely due to the system's negligence.

As warder Mr Sands strolls up and down the mess hall demanding they eat, the inmates suddenly break their silence with continuous chants of "Dead!". Sands, now desperate to regain order, marches up to Carlin (now an established 'Daddy') and orders him to eat, hoping the others will follow suit. The chants get louder and faster, and Carlin, boiling with rage, looks Sands in the eyes, stands to his feet and hurls his dinner tray against the wall - suddenly, dozens of tables and trays of food fly into the air as the inmates explode with frenzied anger, and the warders run for safety behind barred doors.

The inmates proceed to destroy the canteen tables, chairs and other furnishings, marching around a great pile of trashed furniture, still chanting "Dead!" - the inmates have finally fought back against the system that is destroying them.

The film concludes with riot ringleaders, beaten and bruised, hurled into cells. The scene then cuts to the Governor announcing that all damage must be paid for by the inmates earnings, followed by a warning, then a silent prayer for the deceased inmates; the final shot shows all the inmates standing and staring straight ahead in silence.

Filming LocationEdit

Both versions of the riot scene (the 1977 screenplay and the 1979 film) were shot on location at the Redhill Hospital in Surrey.

See alsoEdit