Moralising borstal drama based on a play by Reginald Beckwith. Dirk Bogarde and Richard Attenborough are cast as juvenile delinquents despite being in their late twenties, and Jack Warner exudes considerate authority as the governor who tries to reform juvenile delinquents.
Young petty crook Jackie Knowles is arrested for his role as getaway driver in a botched robbery. As Knowles is already on probation for an earlier crime, in court he is sentenced to three years in a Borstal institution. Jackie intends to keep his nose clean, do his time and get out, but falls in with a crowd that plan to escape. Scheming Welsh boy Alfie Rawlins see’s the fellow inmate’s innocent charm as being integral to their escape plans and manipulates Jackie into wanting to join them by feeding his anxiety that his girlfriend, Kitty, is dating former Borstal boy Bill Foster.
During the escape Jackie coshes a Borstal guard, and after they are all quickly recaptured, he learns the stricken officer is undergoing a life-saving operation that may lead to a murder charge if unsuccessful. It’s left to Kitty and the Borstal’s progressive governor to try and help Jackie serve his time, rehabilitate and not reoffend. —Britmovie.co.uk