7.6/10
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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:

Lindsay Anderson

Writers:

David Sherwin (screenplay), David Sherwin (original script: "Crusaders") | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McDowell ... Mick: Crusaders
David Wood ... Johnny: Crusaders
Richard Warwick ... Wallace: Crusaders
Christine Noonan ... The Girl: Crusaders
Rupert Webster Rupert Webster ... Bobby Philips: Crusaders
Robert Swann Robert Swann ... Rowntree: Whips
Hugh Thomas Hugh Thomas ... Denson: Whips
Michael Cadman Michael Cadman ... Fortinbras: Whips
Peter Sproule Peter Sproule ... Barnes: Whips
Peter Jeffrey ... Headmaster: Staff
Anthony Nicholls ... General Denson: Staff
Arthur Lowe ... Mr. Kemp: Staff
Mona Washbourne ... Matron: Staff
Mary MacLeod Mary MacLeod ... Mrs. Kemp: Staff (as Mary Macleod)
Geoffrey Chater ... Chaplain: Staff
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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:

Winner "Best Film" Cannes Film Festival See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

21 May 1969 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

If.... See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Memorial Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[after lights-out]
Mick Travis: [whispering] Stephans. Whatever you're doing now... don't.
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 »

Alternate Versions

In the UK, the BBFC requested that scenes of male and female frontal nudity be removed from the film in order to pass with an X certificate. The director removed the male frontals however, he negotiated with the BBFC and the female frontal nudity of a woman walking down a hallway was allowed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata, 5th Organ Symphony Opus 42 No 1
(uncredited)
Composed by Charles Marie Widor
See more »

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User Reviews

Well I know who I side with
17 December 2001 | by hugh1971See all my reviews

And it's not Travis! I've always hated the type of public school rebel portrayed by Travis. The finest rebels are those who stick with but subvert the system they despise. George Orwell (Eton) was such a person, who made fun of those who claimed to have been scarred by public school, or 'four years in a tepid bath of snobbery' as he called it. I admire far more the character of Mike (?) who finds release in his astronomy.

Having said that, I did find the film an excellent satire on the type of person who loves rules and regulations for their own sake - these people exist in every walk of life. But attempting to defeat these people by hysterical overreaction such as that of Travis merely results in them clamping down further.

I also realised how much Monty Python's Meaning of Life draws on the film - during the chapel scenes I could have sworn Arthur Lowe was going to stand up and intone 'Oooooh God you are so big!'

What we don't see from the likes of Lindsay Anderson is a similar satire on state schools, with their equally vicious and degrading practices. The nearest I've come to seeing this is the excellent 'Kes'.


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