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Studying the British Crime Film$
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Paul Elliott

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733742

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Delinquency

(p.137) Chapter Seven: Juvenile Delinquency
Studying the British Crime Film

Paul Elliott

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores British delinquency films. The phrase ‘juvenile delinquent’ has been used to describe criminal children since the mid-nineteenth century. Although an endlessly prescient and emotive area, the subject of the juvenile delinquent represents both continuity and change for British society and cinema — on the one hand offering an ever present folk devil and barometer for social mores and, on the other, lending a constantly evolving image that forever allies itself to other problems. It also offers special insight into how successive generations view themselves and their successors. The first manifestation of the juvenile delinquent in British films could be thought to be characters such as Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock (2010) or Ted Peters in Dancing with Crime (1947). However, it would not be until the 1950s and 1960s that the British juvenile delinquent made a full appearance on film and then it would always be under the watchful eyes of a responsible adult. The chapter then considers Lewis Gilbert's Cosh Boy (1953) and Basil Dearden's Violent Playground (1958), as well as the films Scum (1979), Made in Britain (1982), and Scrubbers (1983).

Keywords:   British delinquency films, British juvenile delinquent, criminal children, British cinema, British films, Cosh Boy, Violent Playground, Scum, Made in Britain, Scrubbers

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