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If...

R Released Mar 9, 1968 1h 51m Drama List
90% Tomatometer 49 Reviews 87% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
Teenage rebel Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) returns to his upper-crust English public school, caught between the sadistic older boys known as the Whips and the first-year students, known as Scum, who are forced to do their bidding. The petty thefts and anti-social behavior of Travis and his two henchmen, Johnny (David Wood) and Wallace (Richard Warwick), soon attract the attention of both the Whips and the school's out-of-touch administration, and lead to an unexpected showdown. Read More Read Less
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Critics Consensus

Incendiary, subversive, and darkly humorous, If.... is a landmark of British countercultural cinema.

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Critics Reviews

View All (49) Critics Reviews
Pauline Kael New Yorker The ways in which Anderson tries to illustrate the desire for freedom are so mechanical and carry so little conviction that I think one may conclude that the heroes are shooting because he needs to discharge his rage. Jul 6, 2022 Full Review Adam Nayman The Ringer From its title on down, If ... is a movie about the power and peril of imagination, and the seductive thrill of wishing that we might externalize our inner lives for all to see and fear. Apr 6, 2020 Full Review Ben Walsh Independent (UK) If.... remains a relevant and visceral howl at the "Establishment". Rated: 5/5 Mar 20, 2020 Full Review Harvey G. Cox Tempo (National Council of Churches) Especially in its fantasy episodes, If... celebrates the emergence of subjectivity, feeling, expression and imagination that means so much to young people today. Jan 6, 2021 Full Review Paul Schrader Los Angeles Free Press The is an acute sense of disappointment about If, not only over the great film Anderson failed to create, but also the lesser film he passed by. Jun 30, 2020 Full Review Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Vogue This is the most interesting film so far this year. Mar 20, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (888) audience reviews
Alec B One of those movies that really sees people as they are. Most remember the brutality of the ending but few remark on its enigmatic nature. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/28/24 Full Review Luiz E At first we were confused looking for its real meaning. The meaning I attach to the film is that the system became so oppressive that it brought about its own downfall. This goes far beyond a British school, it's no wonder that each chapter of this film can be attributed to various moments in human history. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/21/23 Full Review Audience Member I didn't really get it. I understand this is about how bad public schools can be in the uk. It's also about being rebellious but then it trips into some American school shoot up disturbing fantasy stuff. I'm not sure how it all came together. Bit weird. That's the point but also not just weird, a bit unenjoyable. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member strange film title and a strange film. it starts off looking very dated, but once you go with it you don't notice the age after a short while. I would be interested to know who this was reviewed at the time as it is a curious film. I think I liked it? you could always see the direction it was going, so no surprises as such, but mostly well executed. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Christopher B A film whose themes and even lead are closely related to Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), the film varies underneath these surfaced level similarities. If.... makes for a film with many layers and is truly deserving of its reputation as one of British counterculture's greatest achievements in film. Not as brutal or blunt as A Clockwork Orange (1971) the film is still no cake walk and you must be prepared accordingly. If you are, you will be in for quite a viewing. It's another student against teachers and what society deems appropriate but one that deals with this issue in a much more violent and surreal experience than other works, most notably Zero de Conduite (1933) by the legendary Jean Vigo. This too was a surreal look at student rebellion but one that is much less violent and not as angst filled as If.... Now almost a half century later it is still considered one of the greatest of youth rebellion and anti-establishment films of all time. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 10/20/22 Full Review lucca b A surreal, absorbing, subversive, gripping and darkly humorous examination of anarchism and rebellion that, thanks to its expert filmmaking and excellent cast, particularly Malcolm McDowell, it becomes one of the landmark films of 60s British counterculture, as it paved the way for the cultural phenomenon that was A Clockwork Orange. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
If...

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Teenage rebel Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) returns to his upper-crust English public school, caught between the sadistic older boys known as the Whips and the first-year students, known as Scum, who are forced to do their bidding. The petty thefts and anti-social behavior of Travis and his two henchmen, Johnny (David Wood) and Wallace (Richard Warwick), soon attract the attention of both the Whips and the school's out-of-touch administration, and lead to an unexpected showdown.
Director
Lindsay Anderson
Producer
Lindsay Anderson, Michael Medwin
Screenwriter
David Sherwin, John Howlett
Distributor
Paramount Pictures
Production Co
Memorial Enterprises
Rating
R
Genre
Drama
Original Language
British English
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 9, 1968, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Jul 15, 2017
Runtime
1h 51m
Sound Mix
Stereo, Mono
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