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The History Boys (2006)

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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.


Nicholas Hytner


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





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


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 | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [UK]





Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

History Boys See more »


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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although he plays a teacher, Stephen Campbell-Moore is actually younger than three of the boys. See more »


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


Mrs. Lintott: Durham was very good for history. It's where I had my first pizza. Other things too, of course, but it's the pizza that stands out.
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 »


References Juarez (1939) 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

Overblown and Euphuistic
23 February 2011 | by Built11See all my reviews

With pretensions at loftiness, this film was well-received by the Brits, less so by others, (except for those insecure people who pretend to "get it" in order to feel accepted by the "in" crowd). It has it's moments, but is unrealistic and bombastic in scope. A celebration of borderline gay pedophilia, combined with witty pubescent brainiacs offhandedly spouting obscure literary quotes make this film nearly unwatchable.

Cute in some parts, tediously precocious in others, it's lofty premise is bogged down by a fatal lack of realism, and a story that completely ignores rationality for a weird semi-homo-erotic fantasy-idealism that somehow makes impropriety and perversion ordinary, even acceptable.

And I'm a gay man!

I gave it a rating of 3 for it's beautiful cinematography, its directional excellence and yes, even its cute actors. It has its moments of hilarity, its engaging wit and even a few captivating devices.

But to put the dialog of an educated and seasoned adult into the mouths of these "babes" is laughable. To further portray them in classes that are as randomly unrealistic as these stretches the bounds of credibility. And to further infuse a homosexual pedophilia into the mix as if it were both commonplace and ordinary, "just a bit of fun", as one character defends it, is both offensive and repulsive to me.

If you want to be perceived as smart, chic and trendy, then by all means, sit through this film and rave to your friends about how brilliant, witty and progressive it is. But if you have enough courage to be yourself, then don't bother wasting your time with it.

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