6.9/10
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177 user 115 critic

The History Boys (2006)

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2:05 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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.

Director:

Nicholas Hytner

Writers:

Alan Bennett (screenplay), Alan Bennett (play)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel Anderson ... Crowther
James Corden ... Timms
Stephen Campbell Moore ... Irwin
Richard Griffiths ... Hector
Frances de la Tour ... Mrs. Lintott
Andrew Knott ... Lockwood
Russell Tovey ... Rudge
Jamie Parker Jamie Parker ... Scripps
Dominic Cooper ... Dakin
Samuel Barnett ... Posner
Sacha Dhawan ... Akhtar
Clive Merrison ... The Headmaster
Penelope Wilton ... Mrs. Bibby
Adrian Scarborough ... Wilkes
Georgia Taylor ... Fiona
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

History Boys See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Griffiths' character rides a Velocette motorcycle. See more »

Goofs

Hector's motorcycle has a front number plate. By 1983 they had been obsolete by around a decade. See more »

Quotes

Headmaster: Fuck the Ren-ai-ssance! And fuck literature, and Plato, and Michaelangelo, and Oscar Wilde, and all the other shrunken violets you people line up. This is a school, and it isn't normal!
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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 »

Connections

References In Which We Serve (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Bewitched
Written by Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers
(c) Chappell & Co. Inc / Williamson Music
Performed by Rufus Wainwright
Courtesy of Geffen Records / Polydor UK Ltd.
Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV Licensing Division, part of the Universal Music Group
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User Reviews

 
A Brilliant Play Transforms Magically into a Brilliant Film
21 April 2007 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Anyone who can watch the rolling credits at the end of THE HISTORY BOYS without tearful eyes simply hasn't been paying attention to this intelligent, richly comic, philosophical and tender tale of eight boys ostensibly preparing for exams but also preparing for life. The writing by Alan Bennett closely adapted from his prize winning play that was on the boards of theaters around the globe before being captured for posterity on film is 'rich and strange' and so full of those values of achieving a true education that it serves not only the audience well but presents a gold standard for educators pondering how to transform their pupils into thinking, creative members of society.

Very briefly, THE HISTORY BOYS are eight brilliant but 'crass' young men in Cutler's Grammar School, each coming from backgrounds not considered 'quality' by the British class standards. These boys are rowdy but committed to gaining admission to Oxford - a step toward erasing their class standing and proving their worth. The headmaster (Clive Merrison), himself not too well educated, is bound to get these eight bright boys into the best schools and in that light he hires a new teacher Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore) to buff the boys into a classy group who will be able to pass their essays and oral examinations. The existing teachers are the testy, frank Mrs. Lintott (a fine Frances de la Tour) and the massively obese Hector (Richard Griffiths in a stunning performance) who teaches 'general studies', a time when he lovingly coaxes the boys to embrace poetry, music, sentimentality, drama, art, and in general everything that allows them to take the moment and live it fully. The boys are torn between Irwin's pragmatic 'teach them how to take exams' approach Hector's teach them how to embrace intelligence and life. Hector is known among the boys for fondling and the knowledge is accepted by the lads until Hector is seen fondling one of the boys on his motorbike and reported. This opens all manner of avenues of introspection, one of the boys confides to Irwin that he is homosexual, another of the lads declares that Irwin is gay and attempts a physical liaison with him, and the permutations move an down the line. But the exams come and the joy of accomplishing goals puts a different twist on matters and the ending is a touching as any on film.

The entire cast is the original group that started the play and in addition to the fine performances by the adults, the boys are extraordinarily fine: Dominic Cooper (Dakin), Jamie Parker (Scripps), Samuel Barnett (Posner), James Corden (Timms), Sacha Dhawan (Akhtar), Samuel Anderson (Crowther), Russell Tovey (Rudge), and Andrew Knott (Lockwood). There is an obvious camaraderie among the actors that obviously grew from their long association with the roles. But the most impressive performance is the polished veteran actor Richard Griffiths who has created a role that will long remain in everyone's heart long after the movie has passed playing. For this viewer this is one of the very finest films of the past year! Highly Recommended. Grady Harp


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