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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and sensational.
I don't wish to repeat the great comments by the other reviewers here, they've said it all.Just want to add, in a small way, that I am jealous of anyone who hasn't seen "If.." yet.That's because the new viewer is in for the treat of their lives.
This is surreal,stark, funny, sad and uplifting.Stars so many favourite actors of the late 60's...
Published on 18 Feb 2006

versus
39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the original version
This is not the original version of the film. This is the censored version and should be labeled as such. The fact that a censored version is being released so many years after its original release is a sad testament on society today. Shame on you for not releasing the director's vision!
Published on 4 Aug 2007 by M. Edge


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and sensational., 18 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: If... [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I don't wish to repeat the great comments by the other reviewers here, they've said it all.Just want to add, in a small way, that I am jealous of anyone who hasn't seen "If.." yet.That's because the new viewer is in for the treat of their lives.
This is surreal,stark, funny, sad and uplifting.Stars so many favourite actors of the late 60's and 70's(Arthur Lowe, Graham Crowden,Peter Jeffrey) but it's the trio of Malcolm McDowell,Richard Warwick and David Wood who make the movie. A complete joy,a film I always return to.DVD now please!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, surreal film, 8 Jan 2009
By 
marky77 (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: If.... [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
I had never heard of this movie before but it was on Film4 last night and I watched it on a whim because it stars Malcolm McDowell and I enjoyed his performances in A Clockwork Orange and Caligula.

The movie is about a trio of friends who are in the 6th form at a boys boarding school, one of who is having a relationship with a younger boy and another who becomes increasingly fixated on guns and rebellion.

Parts of the film are realistic and seem like an ordinary boys school in the 60's but other parts of the movie are very strange and surreal such as random scenes shot in black and white, the bizzare dog-like fight involving a girl in a cafe, and of course the ending, which I found quite powerful because I wasn't expecting it at all.

Deffinatly agree with it being in Film4's "Movies to see before you die" series. I'm certainly glad I didn't miss it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!, 23 July 2007
By 
Mr. L. N. Taylor "lntaylor3" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If.... [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
One of my all time favourites, and long overdue (as is O Lucky Man) for a DVD release. The DVD transfer looks great, but it's a pity the same can't be said for the sound which is Mono and rather flat. Some good extras including a Commentary from Malcolm McDowell and David Robinson, a BBC 45 minute special talking to screenwriter, assistant director, cinematographer, producer etc. The inclusion of Lindsay Anderson's 1954 Academy Award winning short Thursdays Child is a bit of an odd addition, perhaps a documentary on Anderson himself would have been more appropriate?? But nevermind, its the film that really counts, and it's brilliant! I was at boarding school myself when this was first released in 1969, and I didn't get to see it until it was shown on TV in the mid seventies. Aside from the surrealistic side, the portrayal of life in an all boys public school was pretty much spot on. I guess Travis just got to do what mosy of us would have liked to do! Malcolm McDowell is superb as Travis, what a pity such a talented actor is now usually seen in cameos on TV, or playing nutters in so-so low budget movies. Still, beats working for a living I suppose. If you haven't seen it, buy it. If you have seen it you will no doubt have already purchased. Now can we have O Lucky Man....PLEASE!!??
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If...." on BLU RAY - Which Issue Should UK and European Fans Buy To Avoid Compatibility Issues..., 26 Feb 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of Lindsay Anderson's incendiary 1968 'bucking-the-system' classic. And the BLU RAY is available in both the States and the UK. But which issue to buy?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED although it doesn't say so on Amazon.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the "Masters Of Cinema" release on this side of the pond (which boasts the same cleaned up transfer) is REGION FREE – so that will play on UK machines.

Check you’re purchasing the right version before you buy the pricey Criterion release...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock your world, 2 Jan 2007
This review is from: If... [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I saw this film first when I was about 14. It rocked my world. I was lucky enough to catch it again in my 20s and it still blew my mind. I am now 40 and consider it one of the few movies that genuinely changed my life.

No life is complete without seeing this.

I don't have a video player any more so cannot buy this video but to echo the other posters WHY isn't this on DVD yet???
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Film Ever Made, 19 April 2004
By 
james laming (Dorset England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If... [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Well, no DVD release yet, but even on video there's no excuse for not owning this beauty. Of course it's a matter of opinion, but...well, I make no excuses. Lindsay Anderson is a genius. McDowell is remarkable in his lead role...whatever happened, Malc? Peter Jeffrey's Headmaster is a joy. Anyone interested in artistic cinema should make the effort. Failing that, it's also a good yarn. Also reccomended: O Lucky Man, the sequel of sorts. British cinema never had it so good.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars seminal film of the 60's, 21 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: If... [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This was a seminal film of the '60s yet no sign of a soundtrack on cd. How many students related to this film. And the music..........Missa Luba........well, absolutely exquisite; what a synthesis of literature, film and music. Amust for anyone interested in British youth culture of the 60's.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contender for best British film ever made..., 25 Jan 2003
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: If... [VHS] (VHS Tape)
If... is the first part in a loose trilogy based around the central character of Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell), the subsequent parts being O!Lucky Man & Britannia Hospital. Written by David Sherwin, it was initially titled 'Crusaders' & takes its influence from Jean Vigo's classic surreal short Zero de Conduite (1933). Director Lindsay Anderson was a key figure in the British New Wave- which took it's cue from the Nouvelle Vague & itself would influence directors in the New German Cinema (such as RW Fassbinder). Anderson, as Godard & Truffaut, moved from film criticism to making his own films- such as the brilliant This Sporting Life (1963). Here he moves back to his alma mater, Cheltenham Boys College- though it could be any institution...
The film centres on episodes, which exist sometimes in a form of reality & drift otherwise into a surreal fantasy, each builds towards the denoument which sits well next to the 1968 riots in Paris (If...managed to capture the zeitgeist- see also the Civil Rights riots in the States or the predominantly middle class anti-war protestors both sides of the Atlantic). If... drifts from colour to monochrome- taking its cue from Godard & influencing later works such as Natural Born Killers & Nixon. It was widely reported that this was due to budget considerations, and it is hard to mould a theory of why each colour is used. As in Nixon (1995) it shifts film stock son frequently, there is no definite grammar as to what each represents- I just think it heightens the surreality & reverses what is fantasy & reality (we aren't sure if any of this is occurring- especially if we bear in mind the following films). A classic scene that demonstrates this is the episode where Mick & friend steal a motorbike & go out to a cafe in the middle of nowhere, where they meet the mysterious girl (Christine Noonan)- where we shift between (at least) three different conceptions of this situations (strangers? lovers? friends?) accompanied by the recurrent African music- which just happens to be on the jukebox. The girl recurs later as, perhaps the headmaster's daughter- she is seen gazing out of a window through a telescope. It is unclear- which is the joy of this film...
If... was certainly of great influence- Stanley Kubrick was a big fan & casted Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange as a result (also the 'war face'part here can be seen in Kubrick's later dark masterpiece Full Metal Jacket). The cast are fantastic- made more surreal by the appearance of sitcom regulars like Arthur Lowe, Graham Crowden & Robin Askwith. It is notable that Stephen Frears worked on this in a technical capacity, similar to Nic Roeg's camerawork on films like Fahrenheit 451 that lead to moving towards their own directing films...
If... is a perfect film, it makes complete sense when viewed next to other works of the time that exhibit a blend of Brecht & Kafka- such as Godard's Weekend (also 1968), Antonioni's Zabriskie Point (1970),Pasolini's Teorema (1968) ,Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1966) & Costa Gavras' Z (1968)- which all exhibit revolt & end in destruction (and I take a previous review that mentions The Prisoner, The Singing Detective is similarly shifting through the surreal- between fantasy & reality).
If... is one of my favourite films, and a contender for one of the best British films ever made- easily ranking next to A Clockwork Orange, Performance & Blow Up. A timeless allegory that is compounded by the culture surrounding incidents like Columbine & Dunblane. If only British cinema could be this daring again...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated,but still worth watching, 26 Mar 2009
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This review is from: If.... [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
Anderson's "If" reeks of the 1960s-the anti-authoritarianism,the readiness of militants to use violence,a strange,dream-like storyline.It hasn't aged well,as the optimism of the 1960s,especially the variety interested in social change and influenced by the events in Paris,Prague and Berkeley vanished pretty quickly.
For all that,it's funny,very well made,well acted(British viewers will recognise many stalwarts of British TV)and has great music-you won't be able to get "Missa Luba" out of your mind after watching this
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time too...., 11 July 2007
By 
Dizygotic (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If.... [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
This 'must-have' DVD is an extraordinary, iconic and beautiful film by the late Lindsay Anderson. A film always undervalued by Paramount for whom it was their third choice to take to Cannes, yet it won the Palme d'Or and was nominated for both a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. So undervalued that Paramount eventually caves in under pressure to produce the DVD 38 years after its release with a commentary recorded by Malcolm McDowell four years ago!

I saw the film on its release in a small cinema in Glasgow and came out changed. It was a keystone of British late 60s film that included 'Blow-Up' and 'Barbarella'. The surreal elements (the chaplain emerging from a chest of drawers, matron wandering naked through the corridors, the cafe scene...) imply that the school scenes were fantasy, yet several elements accurately reflected some independent schools at that time.

For many years the mix of colour and monochrome scenes, which add to the film's mystique, was thought to be a deliberate move by the director. However a documentary 5 years ago revealed a more prosaic reason. At a time when colour film stock was significantly more expensive than monochrome when the budget ran out the director was forced to film some location scenes in black and white.

The haunting 'Sanctus' (taken from the Missa Luba by Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin) became a chart hit. The petty tyranny and growing resentment were beautifully measured and caught the rebellious spirit of the late 60s with the student riots in Paris, 'The Prisoner' on TV and the ubiquitous Che Guevara posters. The denoument was every rebel's fantasy and it was interesting to see that the recent Dr Who episode "The Family of Blood" had an unashamed homage to this climax.

This film must be on every British film wanted list. Better far, far too late than never, but better it had been released years ago.
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Criterion Collection: If [DVD] [1968] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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