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The History Boys (2006)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  22 December 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 17,157 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 164 user | 111 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge.



(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Parker ...
Clive Merrison ...


In 1980s Britain, a group of young men at Cutlers' Grammar School all have the brains, and the will to earn the chance of getting accepted in the finest universities in the nation, Oxford and Cambridge. Despite the fine teaching by excellent professionals like Mrs Lintott in history and the intellectually enthusiastic Hector in General Studies, the Headmaster is not satisfied. He signs on the young Irwin to polish the students' style to give them the best chance. In this mix of intellectualism and creative spirit that guides a rigorous preparation regime for that ultimate educational brass ring, the lives of the randy students and the ostensibly restrained faculty intertwine that would change their lives forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Meet The Boys Who Are Making History! See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

History Boys  »

Box Office


£2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£794,672 (UK) (13 October 2006)


$2,706,659 (USA) (23 February 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the extras in the film are also members of staff at the National Theatre in London (where Nicholas Hytner is the artistic director) who were invited to visit the set and have the chance of appearing in the finished film. See more »


The locker room at the school has a passive Infra red detector clearly visible over one of the doors more recently used for intruder alarm systems. This type of device would not have been available until the early 1990s. See more »


[about telling his wife about the motorbike/boys]
Hector: I'm not sure she'd be interested.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the film, the title - "The History Boys" - is taken letter by letter from random parts of an essay on the dissolution of the monasteries, a common history topic, which the History Boys themselves write later on in the film. See more »


Spoofs Brief Encounter (1945) See more »


Mustapha Dance
Written by Joe Strummer / Mick Jones / Paul Simonon / Topper Headon
(c) Universal Music Publishing Ltd on behalf of Nineden Ltd
Performed by The Clash
Licensed courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

the best film i've seen on growing up
15 October 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

So many moments in this film struck a chord with me. As a grammar school student applying for Oxbridge, I have to disagree with the previous reviewer. The worries and pressures, as well as the arrogance, humour (and sheer smart-aleckness) that surround the boys' dialogue perfectly capture the hilarity and torture of adolescence. The dialogue is a little stage-y, but that doesn't seriously tarnish its impact. I think this film expresses the uncertainty and risk involved in life in a way that is both poignant and witty; often both at the same time. Ideas about what education should really be could not be more beautifully expressed than in this picture of young boys with their whole lives stretched out in front of them, and old teachers still unsure of what it's all about. Subtle and brilliant.

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Favorite History Boy? coin_operated_girl
two hours of sexual tension with NO CLIMAX! colincreevy-1
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