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If.... [1968] [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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  • If.... [1968] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Malcolm McDowell, David Wood, Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, Rupert Webster
  • Directors: Lindsay Anderson
  • Writers: David Sherwin, John Howlett
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment (UK)
  • DVD Release Date: 23 July 2007
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NJLYV2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,195 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Three British boarding school students decide to revolt and turn their repressive school upside down.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Palme D’Or-winning British classic, If...’s long wait for a DVD release is finally over, and the end result does it proud. Boasting commentaries, interviews and a quality documentary too, it’s a true collectors’ piece for fans of the film.

And make no mistake about it, it’s the superb movie that’s the star here. If... is, for those new to it, set in a British public school, and from this setting it has plenty then to say on authority and society. Directed by the late, great Lindsay Anderson, the film centres on Mick Travis, magnetically portrayed by Malcolm McDowell.

Superbly marrying fantasy and more realistic elements, If... is packed with iconic, and often quite surreal moments, leading right up the to the famed and indelible ending that sticks long in your mind once the credits have rolled.

A strong, powerful influence for many who followed it, If... is powered by Malcolm McDowell’s astounding performance (which would earn him the part in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange). It’s arguable that he’s never been better than he is here, and he’s in good company, thanks to a top-quality supporting cast too.

Perhaps the greatest complement to If... though is that, decades after is initial release, it’s not only recognised as one of the finest British films ever made, but it’s regarded in many quarters as a classic of cinema full stop. And if you’ve not yet had the pleasure, this DVD release finally, belatedly, can open the film up to a whole new audience. Let’s hope it does. --Jon Foster

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 18 Feb. 2006
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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).
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