Featuring one of several police characters Stanley Baker played in the late 50s/early 60s, Violent Playground fuses a crime story with a social-realist tale of delinquent youth.
Baker gives a nuanced performance as a macho cop transferred from criminal investigation to youth liaison with Liverpool’s street gangs and, in particular, one gang led by teen hooligan Johnny Murphy (David McCallum).
At first viewing his new job as demeaning, his work and budding romance with Murphy’s sister (Anne Heywood) sees him gradually adopt a more sophisticated and humane approach to policing.
The only genuine Scouser prominent in the cast is 15-year-old Fred Fowell, a future Merseybeat entertainer who became television funnyman Freddie Starr (pictured at right).
Detective Sergeant Jack Truman
Sergeant William Walker