177 user 114 critic

The History Boys (2006)

2:05 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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





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


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


History. It's just one bloody thing after another. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

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 (United Kingdom), 15 October 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$100,803, 24 November 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,706,659, 25 February 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At one point it is said of Hector that he likes Auden. Richard Griffiths, who plays Hector, went on to play Auden in 'The Habit Of Art' also written by Alan Bennett. See more »


In the staff room when Hector says 'French Kiss' to the games master, he is holding a copy of the Racing Post. The Racing Post wasn't launched until 1986, three years after the year the film was set. See more »


Rudge: I did all the other stuff like Stalin was a sweetie and Wilfred Owen was a wuss.
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 »


Bye Bye Blackbird
Written by Mort Dixon & Ray Henderson
(c) 1926 (Renewed 1953) All Rights for the Extended Term Administered by the Fred Ahlert Music Corporation on Behalf of Olde Clover Leaf Music
(c) Remick Music Corp.
By kind permission of Ray Henderson Music Inc and Redwood Music Ltd care of Carlin Music Corp.
(c) Warner Bros. Inc. by kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by Samuel Barnett, Jamie Parker and the History Boys
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Appalling movie which seeks to justify pedophilia
14 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

I found this an utterly appalling movie in so many ways.

First of all - the premise of the movie is false - its not about growing up in an English public school in the 1980s because none of the school boys behave anything other than sock puppets of Alan Bennett - The boys dance in their underwear quoting poetry, sing vaudeville songs and practically encourage their beloved fat gay teacher to molest them on a regular basis with some reluctance. Does this strike you as the behavior of normal English school boys or the warped fantasy of a pervert?

Second, I find it absolutely bemusing that so many reviewers choose to ignore the homosexual pedophilia aspect of this film. Why are reviewers not disgusted when the fat sleaze bag of teacher gropes the genitals of the school boys?? Please do not consider this a spoiler since the scene was replayed in the trailers for the film.

Third - I find it puzzling that the main characters who are shocked by his abhorrent behavior are cast as the chief villains.

Fourth - the amount of dialogue devoted to History teaching is about as scant as a fig leaf. Worse, its also absurd as the new teacher instructs the boys to give a cynical and glowing report on the activities of Stalin and Hitler, two of the greatest mass murderers in human history.

Look if Bennett wants to produce his own gay fantasy film where teenage school boys want to have sex with their male schoolteachers - fine - but put it in the adult section together with the other X-rated films - the ones showing porn stars playing the characters of schoolgirls. But trying to claim that this film is an authentic account of school life in the 1980s is absolutely absurd.

23 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 177 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page