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20 of 20 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

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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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20 of 20 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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8 of 8 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" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: If.... (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray] [1968] (Blu-ray)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if ..., 1968, you say you want a revolution ..., 30 Jan. 2011
By 
Greywolf (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: If.... [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
I was a 15-year-old Grammar school boy when Lindsay Anderson lobbed this cinematic hand-grenade into the heady brew of 1968's year of revolution. Due to my local cinema failing to clear people out between sittings, I saw it three times in one afternoon and evening. Yep, I liked it that much. Well, 'like' is far too weak a word. I was both stunned and hugely elated by it. The awful English public school Anderson portrays on screen was so like my own. Its teachers, mostly ghastly, often vacuous, frequently sadistic, occasionally well-meaning, could have been my own. The institutionalised bullying rang viciously true too.
Anderson uses the school as a stand-in for Britain, with its petty rules and restrictions, its out-dated, irrelevant, pointless and often surreal traditions, its suffocating class system and its glorification of poisonous ignorance. Mick Travis, if ...'s ultimate outsider hero, is the Guy Fawkes to this nauseous place, leading his tiny band of rebels against the cloying conformity of what passed for life in this microcosm of late 60s Britain.
It's a funny, surreal, satirical, occasionally shocking parable, reflecting with withering accuracy the chaos then enveloping much of the world as protests that had begun in opposition to America's brutal war in Vietnam spread to oppose stifling power elites around the world. Protesters took to the streets in their millions in cities from London to Tokyo, clashing with riot police and soldiers, students took over universities, revolution was in the air. Anderson's genius was to capture these troubled times and compress them into the enclosed environment of an English public school. One result that proved remarkably prescient was that Travis' little band were shown to be vastly outnumbered by the forces of conformity. It was a doomed revolution, but one that seemed even bolder for that.
As a film, it's a delight to look at, partly due to a lack of money that meant Anderson couldn't afford to shoot it all in colour. This leads to some particularly dreamlike sections being in eerie monochrome that enhances their dreamlike quality.
The acting is uniformly good, with Malcolm McDowell outstanding as Travis, giving a performance of alarming power that belies the fact that this was his first film role. This riveting central performance is, however, well matched by many others, including Peter Jeffrey as the apparently well-meaning headmaster. Even fairly minor roles are played to perfection. Arthur Lowe is extremely well-cast as the ineffectual housemaster, Graham Crowden is superb as the affable armchair revolutionary history master, as is Brian Pettifer as the long-suffering Biles, subjected to continual school-boy cruelty throughout the film ("Biles, why are you a freak?").
The film is full of memorable lines ("Run! Run in the corridors!" ... "Jolly, jolly good, Stephans, jolly, jolly good...") and startling images ... look out for one of my favourites involving the school chaplain and a confrontation in the headmaster's office. Priceless.
Oddly, there seems to be a scene missing. This is a sequence where the history master takes a group of boys, including Travis and co., on a field trip to a local church. It included some of the most politically pointed dialogue in the whole film. I remember it being there in the cinema and it is in the book that's lifted directly from the script (If... A story), yet it has been missing from every version I've seen since the original cinema release (and I've seen several). Does anyone know what happened to it? If it still exists, it would be good to see it restored.
By one of those alarming quirks of fate that pepper our lives, not long after I saw this film in 1968, I was offered a rifle, ammunition and 6 live hand grenades by a young army deserter. Fortunately for my Grammar school, I have been a pacifist since I was 4 years old ... but if ...
Incidentally, if ... you want to follow the further adventures of Mick Travis and friends, you can do so in the gloriously surreal O Lucky Man! [DVD] [1973] and the darkly bitter commentary on Thatcher's Britain, Britannia Hospital [DVD] [1982]. A fourth Travis film, to be called 'if ... the reunion,' was planned and largely scripted (by if...'s writer, David Sherwin) but, sadly, it was never made.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!, 23 July 2007
By 
Del 58 "Del 58" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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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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14 of 15 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TO be taken with 'If' ( on Pink Floyd's patchily brilliant 'Atom Heart Mother'.), 4 Mar. 2015
By 
Mr. G. Morgan "wes" (Haywards Heath, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If.... [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
Orwell once remarked that England was like a family with the wrong members in charge; here, I assume it is being insinuated, we have a country run by the mad and the silly or sloppy-stern at a time when the self-styled swinging 60's blinded many to the idiocy of our institutions: education in this case, (the 1960s didn't really happen until a decade later outside London anyway, not where this was filmed, in sleepy Cheltenham, in any case). Directed by the self-hating Lindsay Anderson, himself educated at a Public school [ note to our American friends, that means Private in new money], this was a landmark in British cinema. Malcolm MacDowell, as a sort of proto Droog, excels as the de facto leader of a group of Public school malcontents whose insubordination culminates in a kerfuffle at their school's Founders' Day (attended by a knight in armour! a mordant satire on the attendance of 'old boys', invariably mocked as old duffers by we boys and far from respected); these churchy occasions are when such places honour their founders and are, moreover, reliably tedious. Inserted is a mysterious scene where they head north of Cheltenham on a motorbike and meet a saturnine beauty in a caff, where there's a cat-like courting and she joins the confreres for the denouement (birthplace of Ralph Richardson and reliably stiff-upper-lip toffs including the Private Eye's legendary twit Sir Bufton Tufton, [actually a fictional moniker appended to a photo of a man from my home town of Cirencester]; had we needed a mainland Simla, it would've been Chelters!). A fantasy inspired in equal measure by Jean Vigo's 'Zero de Conduite' and Les Evenements in 1968 Paris, this beautiful dream is compounded in its mystery by idiosyncratic use of colour and black and white sequences that inspired many a theory (in fact they were short of film stock! subverted my A level teacher's interpretation). Both funny - great turns by Arthur Lowe, Peter Jeffrey as the down-with-the-kids Headmaster and a wilfully eccentric history master played by Graham Crowden; the sadistic prefects exhort their subordinates to "Run! Run! in the corridor!" - and as worrying/inspiring as the photograph of a huge rifle-bearing Nigerian/Biafran soldier who adorns the boys' dorm room, this tells you much about the wild and woolly 1960's. Sui generis, except for the estimable Vigo, surely its inspiration. Brilliant use of 'African Sanctus' the justifiably renowned theme music. Sublime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the good life, 7 July 2014
By 
W. Rodick (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: If.... (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray] [1968] (Blu-ray)
Five stars with reservations. If you have the Criterion double dvd the picture and sound quality (when upscaled) are just about the same on this blu ray. I watched this Masters of Cinema edition on 100' projection. The picture is sharper but colours and grain are virtually the same. Having said that, of course, the Criterion disc is extremely high quality. In theory the audio of the blu ray is stereo but in practice it is still the mono soundtrack across two front speakers. The subtitles and screen text are pin sharp. I do not know if the blu ray version of the Criterion dvd is significantly better.

As for the movie itself, it is both wondrous and wonderful. Having recently experienced the full might of the Justice system being perversely abused I fully engaged in Mick Travis and his friends' stunning revolt against hypocrisy and the vile depravity of the ruling class. "You look after the House and the House will look after you" offers the Headmaster. License to make documents go 'missing.'

If you are interested in the Extras on this one disc release I noted that the Menu stated that the interviews were carried out between February and March 2014.
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