This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors play multiple roles, giving the film a stagy tone.
Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It's the day when Her Royal Highness is ... See full summary »
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.
A juvenile offender impresses the reform school Governor with running abilities. He is in turn given special privileges to encourage him to win a race against the local public school, but he is therefore teased his fellow rebellious peers.
Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of guest house run by... See full summary »
In an indictment of the British public school system, we follow Mick and his mostly younger friends through a series of indignities and occasionally abuse as any fond feelings toward these schools are destroyed. When Mick and his friends rebel, violently, the catch phrase, "which side would you be on" becomes quite stark. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Very early in the film the viewer is given a hint of the counter-cultural themes the film revolves around when in the young boys' dormitory there are posters of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (man of revolution) and Geronimo a.k.a. Goyathlay (man of rebellion). See more »
The Chaplain attributes the Voluntary being played on the Chapel organ to
'Dieterich Buxtehude' when in fact it is the Toccata from Charles Marie Widor's Organ Symphony. See more »
Brilliant mixture of social criticism and fantasy rebellion. One of the most powerful movies of the 1960s.
'If...' is a fascinating and powerful film set in an oppressive and archaic public (that's private to us non-Brits) school. It is one of the most original and innovative of all British movies of the 60s, a decade which began in some ways with 'Peeping Tom' and ended with 'Performance', two much maligned movies which in hindsight are astonishing achievements. 'If..' is equally as striking (and disturbing) as those two criminally underrated movies, but in contrast actually achieved quite a level of popularity on its original release. Even so I don't believe the movie gets the attention it deserves. Hopefully it will be rediscovered by a new generation of movie lovers as it is still very relevant and powerful even now, thirty five years later. Malcolm McDowell (his film debut) stars as the ring-leader of a small group of dissatisfied students who don't fit in with their ultra-conformist contemporaries. His performance is first rate, and in several scenes you can almost see Alex, his droog to be ('A Clockwork Orange'). The movie mixes documentary like realism with fantasy sequences involving "The Girl" (Christine Noonan), and eventually violent rebellion. A movie very much of its time it still is very watchable today and has lost little of its power and ability to surprise. Lindsay Anderson, arguably Britain's most underrated director, continued to expand upon McDowell's Mick Travis character in two subsequent movies, but 'If..' has a very different feel from those "sequels", if they can truly be termed that, and can be watched as a stand alone movie. I was impressed with this movie when I first saw it on black and white TV as a young lad, and I was still impressed when I watched it again the other week. And I will guarantee it will not be my last viewing of this brilliant film! A must see for anyone with any interest whatsoever in 1960s pop culture or film.
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