The Guinea Pig
The Guinea Pig (1948) is a British drama directed by Roy Boulting and starring Richard Attenborough. The screenplay is by Warren Chetham Strode and Bernard Miles, who also stars. The cast also includes Sheila Sim, Cecil Trouncer, Joan Hickson and Timothy Bateson. A young Anthony Newley is also featured. The film was released in the U.S as The Outsider.
Richard Attenborough portrays a working-class schoolboy who, through a special social experiment, is sent to Saintbury, an elite private boys' school, which is portrayed as rife with snobbery. Attenborough's character is supposed to be in his mid-teens, although he was actually 24 when the film was made.
The film implies, no doubt correctly, that caning would be the main form of punishment at such a school. The hero gets caned twice, once by a prefect and again by his housemaster (Trouncer).
The spanking scenes
The prefect's caning scene is shown as taking place behind closed doors, the whacks only being heard on the soundtrack. For the housemaster's caning, the boy is ordered to bend over a chair. The scene fades just as the master's cane is placed across the seat of the trousers.
The use of the word "arse" was controversial in Britain at the time of the film's release. The school location scenes were filmed at Sherborne School, which was no stranger to the cane in real life.