7.7/10
18,327
157 user 104 critic

If.... (1968)

R | | Drama | 21 May 1969 (France)
In this allegorical story, a revolution led by pupil Mick Travis takes place at an old established private school in England.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (original script: "Crusaders") | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
David Wood ...
Johnny: Crusaders
...
Wallace: Crusaders
...
The Girl: Crusaders
Rupert Webster ...
Bobby Philips: Crusaders
Robert Swann ...
Rowntree: Whips
Hugh Thomas ...
Denson: Whips
Michael Cadman ...
Fortinbras: Whips
Peter Sproule ...
Barnes: Whips
...
Headmaster: Staff
...
General Denson: Staff
...
Mr. Kemp: Staff
Mona Washbourne ...
Matron: Staff
Mary MacLeod ...
Mrs. Kemp: Staff (as Mary Macleod)
Geoffrey Chater ...
Chaplain: Staff
Edit

Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Which side will you be on?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 May 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Se...  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The motorbike shop was filmed at the Broadway Motor Company on Gladstone Road, Merton, London SW19. The garage is now a Wetherspoons pub. See more »

Goofs

As Mick begins shaving off his mustache, he has a large amount of cream on his chin and he makes the first strokes at the left side of his mouth. When he turns around to look at the poster, there is less foam and the right side of his mouth is clean. In further shots the amount of cream and shaving progress vary inconsistently too. See more »

Quotes

Mick Travis: There's only one thing you can do with a girl like this. Walk naked into the sea together as the sun sets. Make love once... Then die.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's opening prologue states: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding PROVERBS IV:7 See more »

Connections

References Zero for Conduct (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Sanctus
from the "Missa Luba" (Philips Recording)
Sung by Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin (uncredited)
Conducted by Fr. Guido Haazen O.F.M (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the greatest of all British films
3 January 2008 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

The best film ever made about school life; the rituals, the drudgery, the humiliation and ultimately the excitement. Anderson's masterpiece works on a number of levels, not least as one of the cinema's great pieces of surrealism. It's a state of the nation movie, a fantasy, an account of public school life told with an almost documentary-like precision and it's as fresh today as it was when it first appeared, (hard to believe that was almost 40 years ago or that Malcom McDowell was ever this young).

Using Jean Vigo's "Zero De Conduite" as a template, (it's not a remake), Anderson's movie is quintessentially youthful and so accurately does it depict its milieu as to appear almost arrogant. He handles revolution with a grandstanding authority and homosexual, (and heterosexual), schoolboy yearning more romantically than any other film I can think of, (Wallace's display in the gymnasium as blonde, beautiful, tousle-haired Bobby Phillips looks on is blissfully homo-erotic), and he does this with a masterly control of the medium. (His comments about financial restraints dictating the fluctuations between black-and-white and colour photography may well be true but the choices seem inspired, nevertheless and the great Miroslav Ondricek's camera-work is superb).

He was also a great actor's director, often working with many of the same actors both in theatre and in cinema and he extracts marvellous performances from the likes of Arthur Lowe, Peter Jeffrey, Mona Washborne and Geoffrey Chater representing the Establishment as well as pitch-perfect performances from David Wood, Richard Warwick, Rupert Webster, Robert Swann and Hugh Thomas, all new to cinema, as the students.

The film made Malcom McDowell a star and for a few short years, (here, in "O Lucky Man", as Alex in "A Clockwork Orange"), that star burned brightly before he sold out to Hollywood and his career began to flounder in a series of mediocre American movies, reaching a nadir with "Caligula". But his performance as Mick Travis is a marvel and both it and the film that first encapsulated it remain among the finest achievements in British cinema.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?