If

If

DVD - 2007
Average Rating:
11
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In late 1960s England, Mick Travis and his school chums trump authority at every turn at their boarding school. He finally emerges as violent savior against the draconian games of one-upmanship played by both students and the powers that be.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, 2007, c1968
Edition: Special ed. double-disc set widescreen
ISBN: 9781934121603
1934121606
Branch Call Number: DVD DRAMA IF
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (112 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (28 p. : col. ill. ; 19 cm.)
Alternative Title: Thursday's children

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IF.... needs to be classed right up there with EASY RIDER and ZABRISKIE POINT as a seminal film of the 1960s cultural revolution. Winner of the 1969 Cannes Film Festival Palm d'Or, IF.... tells the tale of a rebellion at an English public school, an institution the film depicts as sadistically violent, homoerotic, militaristic, all painted over by a coat of religion and nationalism. The performances are as good as flawless. Malcolm McDowell equals what he was to accomplish a few years later in Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. The real treat for me though is the look of the film; watch it and it is as if you are living in 1968 -- the cinematography of Miroslav Ondrícek is that pristine.

p
princeofdarkness
Sep 30, 2016

A hodgepodge of satire, nostalgia and fantasy. You'll either be willing to take this as it's presented or not. Some nice moments here and there, coupled with a few unsubtle touches. The timeliness of the social commentary was seemingly coincidental and has lost some of its bite as years have past. Although some characterizations are in broad strokes, others have depth not readily apparent. It's worth watching, but maybe not worth remembering.

KittyMoonshine Oct 10, 2015

Malcolm is an amazing actor and he delivers in this film. For the time it was quite controversial, but I am not sure all of the film holds up for today. Never-the-less, it is a good film that exploits the absurdity of the British public school system of the time.

m
merrimoles
Dec 30, 2014

@peteman125
The authors of these 'clueless' reviews are probably not British. I can understand non-Brits having difficulty with this movie. Brits of a certain vintage, even if they didn't attend a public (i.e. private) school will immediately identify.

Froster Nov 29, 2014

Sneaky, subversive fun...the perfect representation of its era. What begins as a naturalistic look at the absurd culture of the British Public School, turns into total, clanging absurdism by the end of the picture. And the journey getting there is cheeky and skillfull. McDowell is such a potent presence that one immediately understands why Kubrick cast him later as his Alex. Well done, chaps!

Ozzy1948 Nov 08, 2014

A brilliant satire. Lindsay Anderson's indictment of the British public school system. Any "Old Boy" who attended a fee-paying boarding school prior to 1968 should watch this film.
Until the late 1960s the public school culture was rooted in the finest traditions of "fagging", where the youngest boys were basically the slaves of the prefect elite, and "flogging" or corporal punishment where prefects and masters could flog the boys for the least breach of rules or conduct. This film has an air of authenticity to anyone who went through those times, and it fairly accurately portrays the attitudes of some masters and prefects. It also shows a glimpse of public school life, including cadets and military training, the morning ice-cold showers and the brutal canings. Ironically, Lindsay Anderson filmed many scenes of the movie at his old school.
Not for the faint-of-heart, but a terrific 1960s counter-culture film.

peteman125 Sep 12, 2013

Lindsay Andeson's brilliant surrealistic meditation on rebellion and nonconformity. Malcolm McDowell is great and the use of music is superb. Pay no attention to some of these other clueless reviews.

m
martyrofevil
Sep 10, 2013

Mostly uninteresting and dull minus a handful of good scenes. The switching between black and white was pointless, distracting and annoying and is a big reason why I couldn't enjoy the movie.

2
22darrenmcshane22
Oct 22, 2012

great flim

m
Monolith
Sep 03, 2012

An abysmally uninspiring film. Dry, dreary tedium.

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