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Violent Playground (1958)

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).

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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
Stanley Baker
Johnny Murphy
David McCallum
Cathie Murphy
Anne Heywood
Sergeant William Walker
John Slater
Priest
Peter Cushing
Heaven Evans
Clifford Evans
Mary Murphy
Brona Boland
Patrick Murphy
Fergal Boland
Alexander
Michael Chow
Primrose
Ts’ai Chin
Slick
Sean Lynch
Meg
Bernice Swanson
Tommy
Nosher Powell
Mrs Catlin
Sheila Raynor
Mrs Baker
Irene Arnold
Jilly Baker
Oonagh Quinn
William
Keith Crane
Maureen Owen
Lynne Roberts

Director
Basil Dearden

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