16 April 2005 | paul-1142
A little gem of a film, shot on location in Gerard Gardens Liverpool
This film was shot on location in Gerard Gardens in Liverpool, and was the UK's answer to films such as 'Blackboard Jungle'. The film stands the test of time quite well, with all the moral stories still (or even more) relevant today. The film feature some fine performance from some notable British actors such as David McCallum, Stanley Baker, Peter Cushing and Anne Heywood. Baker plays a Liverpool cop assigned to juvenile liaison duties, with the premise that if you catch the kids at an early age, they will end up being responsible adults.
Notable cameos in the film include Freddie Starr (Fred Fowell) and Melvyn Hayes (Gloria). Tsai Chin and Michael Chow play brother and sister (they are real life brother and sister) who are caught up in an arsonists web. Tsai Chin is still acting and can be seen in the latest Nicole Kidman film 'The Interpretor'.
Violent Playground features a gun siege in a school, so is unlikely to be shown on TV following similar events in Scotland / Russia.
I lived in Gerard Gardens where the film was shot (though was not born at the time), and have fond memories of the area. I have recently completed a documentary on Gerard Gardens which includes extracts from 'Violent Playground', and a small UK film 'Coast to Coast' which stars Lenny Henry and Pete Postlewaite. The tenements were demolished in 1987 and the films go some way in keeping the memory alive.
There were some complaints from the residents when the film was released, as the film portrayed the area in a bad light. Time has helped heal those wounds.
A little gem of a film, I would recommend you seek this out