From a fact-based screenplay by David Leland (Wish You Were Here) and directed by Alan Clarke (Scum), Made In Britain is a hard-hitting drama that received huge acclaim when it was first screened on ITV in 1983.
Trevor (Tim Roth in an unforgettable screen debut) is a teenage skinhead in London in the 1980s. He is bright and articulate but he is also racist, anti-social and a habitual offender.
Caught smashing the windows of a Pakistani-owned shop he is sent to an assessment centre by social worker Harry (Eric Richard), who escorts him to the centre and hands him over to the deputy superintendent, Peter (Bill Stewart). To his disgust, Trevor is put in a room with Errol (Terry Richards), a black boy.
When given some money for bus fare to the jobcentre for himself and Errol, Trevor steals a car and spends the bus money on glue, which he and Errol sniff.
Arriving at the jobcentre, Trevor argues with the employment officer and throws a brick through the centre’s front window. Trevor and Errol then break into a disused swimming pool where Trevor recovers some hidden tools he uses for housebreaking and car stealing.
Trevor arrives back at the assessment centre too late for the lunch sitting and attacks the chef when he refuses to give him any food. Trevor is restrained and dragged into an empty classroom where Peter, care-worker Barry (Sean Chapman), and the centre’s chief superintendent (Geoffrey Hutchings) confront him.
The chief superintendent explains to Trevor that the assessment centre is his last chance to change before his life becomes a vicious circle of poverty, crime and prison. But Trevor says he wants to go to prison and the only reason he is in trouble is that he is fighting for Britain.
In an attempt to pacify Trevor, Peter offers to take him banger racing if he promises to behave. On the way home from the banger racing, Trevor steals Peter’s keys and that night he and Errol use them to break into the centre’s offices. They find their own assessment records and, after reading them, Trevor urinates on them.
The two boys then escape from the centre and steal a minibus, driving to the house of the Asian shopkeeper whose windows Trevor broke and the two of them shout racial abuse and smash the shopkeeper’s windows again.
Errol falls asleep in the minibus so Trevor drives to a local police station and deliberately crashes into a police car. Trevor flees and the police arrest Errol.
Trevor goes to Harry’s house and gets him out of bed. He tells Harry about the jobcentre and shopkeeper’s windows, the stolen keys and the minibus. At Trevor’s request, Harry calls the police.
Trevor is placed in a cell at the police station and two police officers tell him that he will stay there until his court appearance on Monday morning. One of the officers hits Trevor with a truncheon and informs him that he is facing a sentence in either a youth detention centre or a borstal.
The police also tell Trevor that he has made himself a target and when he is released, they will be looking out for him. Trevor grins.