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. Dorothy Lintott (Frances de la Tour) in history and the intellectually enthusiastic Mr. Hector (Richard Griffiths) in General Studies, the Headmaster (Clive Merrison) is not satisfied. He signs on the young Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore) 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 (email@example.com)
In the scene following the reenactment of the final scene of Now, Voyager (1942) with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid, a picture of Bette Davis is seen over Mr. Hector's shoulder. See more »
Lockwood was killed in action with the York and Lancaster Regiment. They were disbanded in 1968. See more »
[talking about the school]
We're low in the league. I want to see us up there with Manchester Grammar, Haberdasher Askes, Leighton Park... or is that an open prison?
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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 »
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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