Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Scrubbers (1982)

Scrubbers (1982)

Inspired by the success of the 1979 film Scum, this British drama graphically depicts the ugliness of life within a woman’s borstal (youth detention centre).

Two girls escape from an open borstal: teenage mother Annetta (Chrissie Cotterill) wants to visit her baby daughter (who is being raised in a convent) and lesbian Carol (Amanda York) hopes to be recaptured and sent to a closed borstal where her girlfriend Doreen is being held.

Carol’s plan works, although she is devastated to find that Doreen (Debby Bishop) has found herself a new girlfriend inside.

When Annetta is arrested at the convent and sent to the same closed borstal, she assumes it was Carol who grassed her up and proceeds to plan her revenge.

Carol finds protection in the form of inmate Eddie (Kate Ingram), while Annetta’s constant bullying attempts keep her in solitary confinement. But Carol’s world is turned upside-down when Eddie is released from borstal and her protection is gone.

All the actresses – many of them unknowns – are (clearly) too old to be playing 20-year-olds but the film is well-acted, well-scripted, thought-provoking and unpleasant.

Carol Howden
Amanda York
Annetta Brady
Chrissie Cotterill
Kathleen
Elizabeth Edmonds
Eddie
Kate Ingram
Mac
Mandi Symonds
Glennis
Kathy Burke
Doreen
Debby Bishop
Pam
Eva Mottley
Sandy
Imogen Bain
Molly
Honey Bane
Sharon
Camille Davis
Gwen
Rachel Weaver
Mary
Dawn Archibald
Hilary
Faith Tingle
Phyllis
Lilian Rostkowska
Eva
Anna Mackeown
Budd
Dana Gillespie
Crow
Pauline Melville
Strapper
Pam St. Clement
Jones
Miriam Margolyes
Daly
Jacqueline Holborough
Shaw
Caroline Needs
Mrs Paddy
Olwen Griffiths
Miss Holly
Carol Gillies
Governor
Richard Butler
Leo
Brian Croucher
Dr Siles
Tim Kightley
Puff Guts
Robbie Coltrane
Sister
Jane Freeman
Terry
Steve Alder
Rex
Ken Shorter
Gary
Bradley Hardiman

Director
Mai Zetterling