Made in Britain

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Made in Britain
MadeinBritain.jpg
Directed by Alan Clarke
Produced by Margaret Matheson
Patrick Cassavetti
Written by David Leland
Starring Tim Roth
Music by The Exploited
Cinematography Chris Menges
Production
company
Distributed by ITV
Release date
  • 25 February 1982 (1982-02-25)
Running time
76 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Made in Britain is a 1982 British television play written by David Leland, and directed by Alan Clarke, about a 16-year-old racist skinhead named Trevor, and his constant confrontations with authority figures. It was originally broadcast on ITV on 10 July 1983 as fourth in an untitled series of works by Leland (including Birth of a Nation), loosely based around the British educational system, which subsequently acquired the overall title of Tales Out of School. As with many Alan Clarke works, the director attempts to depict English working-class life realistically, without moralising or complex plots. The play features strong language, violence, racism and an anti-establishment feeling. Cinematographer Chris Menges's use of the Steadicam contributed to the fluid and gritty atmosphere of the play.[1]

Plot[edit]

The play begins with Trevor being tried in court charged with throwing a brick through the window of a Pakistani man, Mr. Shahnawaz. He has also been charged with shoplifting from Harrods. Trevor is defiant when questioned by the judge. Trevor's social worker, Harry Parker (Eric Richard) takes him to Hooper Street Residential Assessment Centre, where his punishment will be determined.[1] The centre's deputy superintendent, Peter Clive (Bill Stewart), admits Trevor, and he's allocated a room with Errol (Terry Richards).

The next day, Trevor leaves the assessment centre, to job-hunt. Trevor, accompanied by Errol, breaks into a car and drives to the job centre. Near the job centre, he buys Evo-Stik for huffing,[2][3] and immediately enters the job centre. Trevor breaks the queue, demanding a job from the job centre attendant. When asked to wait, he storms out, and hurls a brick through the window. He makes his escape, and walks with Errol to an abandoned swimming pool where he has hidden some tools. Trevor pockets the tools, and hands Errol a bunch of keys, instructing him to get it into the centre, and hide it.[3] He then breaks into another car, and takes it and drives away.[2] He orders Errol to get out, saying he is visiting some mates.

Later Trevor is eating a sandwich in the car. Peter Clive arrives and notices Trevor in the car. Trevor discards the sandwich and walks into the assessment centre. Peter Clive tells him to get rid of the car.[3] Trevor agrees.

Inside the assessment centre, Trevor refuses to co-operate. He demands lunch, only to be informed that he is too late. In a rage he tries kicking down the cafeteria door. The chef (Jim Dunk) rushes out, only to be kicked in the groin by Trevor, who unleashes a vicious attack on him,[3] before being stopped by care worker Barry Giller (Sean Chapman). Trevor is then held down by the chef and Barry, and locked up in a room.[4]

The superintendent (Geoffrey Hutchings) arrives, proceeding to show Trevor an overview of what he has been through and where he is heading - prison.[5] He explains that the assessment centre is Trevor's last chance to change the cycle of poverty, crime and prison.[3] Uncharacteristically, Trevor is not aggressive and is lost for words. The superintendent is extremely articulate and faces little resistance from Trevor. As soon as the superintendent leaves, Trevor is back to his usual self.[1][6] Trevor refuses to keep the peace, and eventually Barry and Peter decide to send him to a secure unit. However, while Barry is out making arrangements to send Trevor away, Peter offers to take Trevor banger racing if he promises to behave.[3] Trevor accepts the offer, on condition that he be allowed to drive. Peter informs Barry about the change of plans, and warns Trevor that he is doing him a favour by giving him another chance, and that if Trevor lets him down, he'll team up with the chef and some of the biggest lads in the centre to kill Trevor.

They go to the races as planned and Trevor is given a chance to drive, as promised. Trevor seems to enjoy the experience, but gets into an accident, after which his car will not restart. Trevor is unable to complete the race. On the drive back to the assessment centre, Peter informs Trevor that he was up against professional racers, did well. He also tells him that he could join a racing team if he wished, and need not go around stealing cars any longer. Trevor makes no reply, and blankly stares out the window.

They reach the assessment centre late and have to be let in by the janitor, since Peter cannot find his keys. After everybody has retired to bed, Trevor wakes up Errol and shows him Peter Clive's keys, which Trevor claims to have picked up after Peter dropped them.[3] Trevor and Errol make their way into the office, where Trevor rummages through the documents until he finds their respective files. Trevor reads through Errol's reports and contract, and finds a report titled 'The Future', which reads:

"It seems unlikely for this child to return home, his mother having rejected him for her own lifestyle. Bearing this in mind, future care seems to be the alternative. We would recommend a care order be made, in order to be able to continue our assessment of his needs".

He then proclaims to Errol "You're in here for life, mate!" Errol looks confused and dejected and asks "What'll I do?" Trevor is enraged. He drops the files on the floor and tells Errol to urinate and defecate on it. Errol defecates on his files, and Trevor urinates on his.[3][7]

Trevor and Errol get out of the assessment centre, and drive away in the centre's Ford Transit van. They reach Mr. Shahnawaz's neighbourhood and hurl stones through the windows, and scream racial slurs. They get into the van and drive away. Trevor drives to a police station, and smashes the van into a car. Errol is rendered unconscious by the impact. Trevor exits the van and runs away, leaving Errol to be apprehended by the police.[1]

Trevor begins walking to Harry Parker's apartment. On his way, Trevor looks into a shop window displaying a television, clothes, mannequins, and other items. He stares at them and their accompanying price tags, intently.[4] He begins running into a tunnel, and screams "Bollocks!" Inside the tunnel, he discards his T-shirt, and screams at a passing vehicle after trying to kick it. Trevor walks past a school, presumably his, pausing to gaze through the iron gates before continuing on his way.

It is early morning by the time Trevor reaches Harry Parker's home. Harry is busy packing, and is preparing to leave on a holiday with his family. He is displeased to see Trevor in this state. He tells him to go back to the assessment centre before it is too late. Trevor informs Harry of his misadventures, and tells him that he is turning himself in. Harry, although reluctant at first, makes the necessary calls to the police.[3]

Trevor is seen in a prison cell, pressing the buzzer in the room. The police officer orders him to keep his hands off the buzzer. Trevor walks away, but returns and proceeds to press the buzzer with his head. This time, another officer, P.C. Anson (Christopher Fulford) enters, with a truncheon. He orders Trevor to stay quiet, but Trevor continues to provoke him, saying that he is a juvenile offender, and that he must be taken care of and sent back to the assessment centre. Anson orders him to shut up and sit down. He tells Trevor that he would be taken to court in a few days, and this time he will end up in a detention centre or a borstal, not an assessment centre. He threatens to have his fingerprints taken as soon as he leaves the borstal, and use them to convict him of every unsolved taking and driving away in the district, dating back months. Trevor is still unfazed and sarcastically sneers "Sounds great!" Anson is livid, and brings the truncheon down, hitting Trevor on the kneecap.[4] P.C. Anson smiles and says, 'You think you're hard, don't you?' Trevor, for the first time, looks defeated. He slumps in agony and shock, his face reddening. The warder tells Trevor that he is all talk, and decries his protests, saying that he has no choice but to respect authority and obey the rules, like everybody else.

The play ends with Trevor recovering from the pain and grinning, as the warders shut the door of his cell.[4]

Cast[edit]

Music[edit]

The music in the opening scene is the song "UK82" by Scottish punk rock band The Exploited.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "DVD Outsider: Made In Britain Synopsis and Review". Retrieved on 25 June 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Channel 4: Made In Britain Review". Retrieved on 25 June 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "BFI Screenonline: Made In Britain Synopsis". Retrieved on 27 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d Grunert, Andrea. "Emotion and Cognition: About Some Key-Figures in Films by Alan Clarke". Artbrain. Retrieved on 25 June 2008.
  5. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Made In Britain Review". Retrieved on 25 June 2008.
  6. ^ Nightingale, Chris. "A Taste of the British: Made In Britain Review". Retrieved on 25 June 2008.
  7. ^ "DVD Verdict: Made In Britain Review". Retrieved on 25 June 2008.

External links[edit]