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 »
Bruce Pritchard is paralysed in a soccer game and is confined to a wheelchair in a convalescence home. But this doesn't slow his lust for life. Then he meets Jill and has to think about the... See full summary »
Award winning director Lindsay Anderson (If..., O Lucky Man!) subverts the mockumentary genre and presents to the audience a detailed and humored account of what truly means to be Lindsay ... See full summary »
In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges ... See full summary »
Jimmy is a self-loathing and frustrated musician who works at a candy shop. He takes out his rage on his long suffering wife and his business partner and best friend, who lives next door. ... See full summary »
Bombay-based Anil Agarwal lives a very wealthy lifestyle, mostly from wealth, estate, and business inherited from his grandfather, along with his wife, Anju, and a school-going son named ... 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 <email@example.com>
The boys order coffee at the Packhorse Café. The waitress pours the coffee into two cups and slides the cups towards the boys across the counter without spilling the coffee. Travis adds sugar to his coffee from a sugar tin. He spills some sugar and several small drops of coffee onto the counter. The spoon is left in the sugar can pointing towards the café entrance door. The boys then take their coffees away from the counter and walk towards the tables. The next shot shows the waitress standing behind the counter watching the boys. There is now a long streak of coffee on the counter which wasn't there before and the spoon in the sugar can is now pointing in a different direction. There is also no sugar spilt on the counter and no small drops of coffee either. See more »
"Don't forget boy Look over your shoulder 'Cause there's always someone coming after you"
The first entry to the Mick Travis trilogy ("If...", 1968, O Lucky Man, 1973, and "Britannia Hospital", 1982), "If.." is a surreal black comedy about an English private boys' school and a student rebellion. In his three films, Anderson had covered all aspects, politics, and institutions of British Society from 1968 to 1982 with its complex system of class differences and privileges. "If..." which was released in 1968 at the peak of youthful rebellion in Europe and USA, received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations and won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival where it competed with 27 films from all over the world.
Anderson was in part inspired by Jean Vigo's 41 minutes long "Zero for conduct" (1933) about the similar to "If..." subject. Like in Vigo's film, Anderson inserts some surrealistic episodes shot in black-and-white and according to him, it was driven by budget rather than style. Malcolm McDowell in his first big screen role and the first of three Mick Travis' movies is a charismatic leader of the rebel students who call themselves the Crusaders and like to break the rules. The cruel corporal punishments from the faculty and the older students provoked a bloody uprising against the school system.
Made almost 40 years ago, "If.." still has a power to shock as well as to entertain and it remains an outstanding and controversial depiction of the problems that have not disappear from the English public school system or from any school system as well as from society in general.
I am sure that Stanley Kubrick saw "If..." and was impressed by McDowell's debut performance, by his charisma that shines through his close-ups and especially in the final shot of "If...", and by his face that strangely combines innocence and youthful openness with cynical scornful almost reptilian contempt for humanity. I believe that "If..." was the reason Kubrick offered the part of charming psychopath Alex to the young actor.
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