This is a small, perfectly formed jewel of a film. Growing up in a similar small town, at the same time, in the north of England, I can vouch for its authenticity. The scenes and dialogue are very true to life: the paper round, morning assembly, the ordeal in the headmaster's office. The scrap in the playground, the fags behind the gym. Certainly I knew plenty of young lads like Billy Casper, though probably the circumstances weren't quite as grim as depicted - nobody I knew had to share a bed with an ogre of an older brother. The film is beautifully shot, with wonderful use of natural lighting, and very effective marrying of images to music. There are some great performances too: Brian Glover and Colin Welland have rightly passed into legend for their depiction of two very different teachers. Of course David Bradley is unforgettable, and dominates the story. The film has seeped into the consciousness of the group of friends I grew up with, and resonates still. Don't be put off by the subject matter; there are plenty of funny moments and overall the effect is to uplift the spirit.