Film: 9371

Social History | 1970 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

A boy in a new neighbourhood has problems with local bullies or yobs. He has to face up to cowardice 1970's

A fair haired boy looks out of the window of his house at a group of boys walking up the street. His mother calls "Mark!" from downstairs. We can hear his parents talking. His mother says that she doesn't want him to associate with those children. His father says he should learn to cope a bit better. Close-up of his father, a smart man in a suit - "got to stand up to them, don't take any guff". His mother wears a blue pinafore dress and has tied back brown hair. Mark's younger brother, Donald, stands beside her. Both boys are wearing smart new school uniform and neither are happy about their move from the country to the city. A parade of shops, a poster advertising 7 Up, the group of (6) boys go into a shop. A man is serving two women with headscarves. When the boys walk in he tells them he doesn't want their sort and that they're nothing but trouble. They steal doughnuts and he chases them out of the shop.
Titles. Mark and Donald leave for school. They walk along a suburban middle class neighbourhood. Mark stops and close-up of his nervous face when he sees the bullies standing on the corner eating their stolen doughnuts. When the brothers try to pass the bullies step out in front of them. They have unruly hair and they wear jackets and jeans. The ringleader Bobby, demands a dollar a day from them for protection from him. Mark tries to push past but Bobby grabs him, throws him to the ground and punches him. Drum rolls during the fight and close-up of Bobby furiously punching. The shopkeeper comes out and shouts "leave him alone!". They leave and Mark stands with a bloody lip and torn jacket. He sends Donald on to school and a pretty girl with dark hair who saw the attack speaks to him. "New kids always have trouble with Bobby Martin". She introduces herself as Karen and asks what he's going to do.
Mark slips back into the house and hears his parents talking. His father says "he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag". Mark goes upstairs. In his bedroom he puts on a yellow jacket and takes some money from a money box. Downstairs a neighbour visits his mother. She says that she saw the fight and came over to see how Mark was. He slips out of the house before his mother sees him and heads to a train station. At the house his mother finds his ripped school jacket and the empty money box. Mark is counting his money at the side of the railway track when a man reading a newspaper bumps into him and causes him to drop his money on the track. Mark bends down to reach it but is pulled back by a station guard before a train comes hurtling into the station. He reprimands him for being foolish. Back at the house Mark's parents are sat in the living room with a policeman. Down by a dock, Mark sits by the water, then sees an old battleship. He gets on the ship and pretends to shoot down a passing aircraft. A police car drops Bobby off and he meets up with his gang. "I'll give him something that will really scare him". Mark is walking along a bridge when he meets the bullies. He runs into a wooded area with the boys in hot pursuit. They lose him when he climbs up a tree. At the house Mark's worried parents talk to the policeman again. Mark is walking through a park in the dark scared by the sleeping tramps. He sits under a tree and puts his hood up. Donald talks to Karen in the back garden explaining how Mark is afraid of everything.
Morning and Karen is sweeping the front porch of her house. Mark arrives and says he can't go home until he has done something about the bullies. She suggests Karate. They go to a Karate lesson where the teacher says he will give him one lesson. In the bullies den they listen to the radio and hear an appeal for Mark. They decide to go after his little brother. Donald walks along the street and the bullies jump out and grab him. A blonde girl bouncing a ball against a fence sees them dragging Donald to their den.
At the Karate lesson the teacher shows Mark how to break a board of wood with one hand. The teacher demonstrates using karate chop to break wood. Karen sits crossing her fingers. Mark has a go, pulling a face when it doesn't break, but succeeds on his second attempt. Karen and Mark walk past a shop and the blonde girl comes running out to tell them about Mark's brother. Mark and Karen run to the bullies' den. Mark enters and calls out "that's enough!". He frees his brother from the bullies' grip and squares up to Bobby. He does a karate chop on Bobby's chair making him fall to the ground. He glares at Bobby lying on the floor before climbing out of the den. He smiles and leads Karen and Donald away. Final shot of Bobby peering out of the den.

End


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