Silent Scream Review

Image for Silent Scream

Biopic recounting the last prison days of convicted murder Larry Winters, and the events which lead up to the brutal act itself.


Taking its title from the poem of the same name, Silent Scream the movie tells the story of Larry Winters, a lifer in Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison Special Unit until his death in 1977 as a result of an accidental drugs overdose.

The ever-intense Iain Glen is Winters and the movie homes in on his last night alive, recalled through a not-altogether successful celluloid patchwork of this troubled but talented man's memories, poetry and writings, all animated with the nightmarish sketches of screenwriter Bill Beech who initially worked with Winters on the film.

In this genuinely moving account - from Winters' gritty upbringing on the outskirts of Glasgow to his flight from an unhappy liaison with the Parachute Regiment and the final damningly mindless murder of a barman in Soho, right up to the grim reality of Barlinnie - it is not so difficult to imagine why Winters was driven to acts for which he earned a reputation, along with the likes of Jimmy Boyle, as one of Barhnnie's more dangerous inhabitants.

At times teetering dangerously towards the pretentious, Silent Scream is redeemed by Glen's compelling performance - a tour de-force which won him The Silver Bear award for Best Actor at the 1990 Berlin Film Festival - and the disturbing but powerful insight it imparts of the worlds, both real and imagined, in which Larry Winters spent his desperate days and nights.

Frightening and nearly forgotten it's about time this was dusted off and re-evaluated