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If....  [DVD]
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Three British boarding school students decide to revolt and turn their repressive school upside down.
The Palme DOr-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, its a true collectors piece for fans of the film.
And make no mistake about it, its the superb movie thats 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 McDowells astounding performance (which would earn him the part in Stanley Kubricks A Clockwork Orange). Its arguable that hes never been better than he is here, and hes 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, its not only recognised as one of the finest British films ever made, but its regarded in many quarters as a classic of cinema full stop. And if youve not yet had the pleasure, this DVD release finally, belatedly, can open the film up to a whole new audience. Lets hope it does. --Jon FosterSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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...
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.
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent film with all the charismatic efforts of the cast who play anarchists in a public school. The soundtrack matched the action on the screen perfectly so much I bought the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by lightning720
A series of impressions of public schools that eventually turns out to be a story of how this system by traumas turns boys into opressors, ending up in the mother of all school... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Per Mille
The past really is another country. This film is in some ways so realistic a depiction of a Britishness that was coming to an end. Some great acting. Terrific film.Published 4 months ago by askal
This film by Lindsay Anderson is a scathing portrait of the class system in the UK .The bullying and corporal punishment as seen on screen made by blood run cold . Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. Travis
Absolutely brilliant. Tremendously ground breaking in the late 60s when released. Won the best picture award at Cannes. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Will Mac