Dangerous Youth – when routine bites hard

film poster featuring group of young men

Awaydays, 2009. Courtesy of Studiocanal

Juvenile delinquency, youthful rebellion and an alienation from what life offers – the birth of the teenager and the creation of youth culture provided cinema with a new agenda.

Exploiting the rock and roll music explosion in Britain and the city’s notorious and alarmist reputation as a volatile place, Liverpool’s first take on the angry teenager movement was the Frankie Vaughan vehicle 'These Dangerous Years' in 1957. Frankie was 29 at the time.

Social deprivation amongst the tough urban neighbourhoods of inner city Liverpool was the focus of 'Violent Playground' in 1958. The film examines gang culture and social unrest - rock and roll is again seen as a threat - where limited life choices and peer pressure are in direct conflict with the church and police.

The city’s obsession with football is the backdrop to the provocative 'Awaydays', set in 1979. The story explores youth sub-cultures, identity and belonging against the disillusionment with contemporary life. The gang’s seemingly non-aggressive image masks violence for kicks.

"Where's my life gone? Where's it going?...Pointless jobs. Pointless lives. Work. Television. Football."
Kevin Sampson, author, 2015

twitter #reelstories