This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors play multiple roles, giving the film a stagy tone.
Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It's the day when Her Royal Highness is ... See full summary »
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.
A juvenile offender impresses the reform school Governor with running abilities. He is in turn given special privileges to encourage him to win a race against the local public school, but he is therefore teased his fellow rebellious peers.
Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of guest house run by... See full summary »
In an indictment of the British public school system, we follow Mick and his mostly younger friends through a series of indignities and occasionally abuse as any fond feelings toward these schools are destroyed. When Mick and his friends rebel, violently, the catch phrase, "which side would you be on" becomes quite stark. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The motorcycle stolen by Mick is a 1968 BSA A65L Lightning (654cc parallel twin). See more »
The boys order coffee at the Packhorse Café. The waitress pours the coffee into two cups and slides the cups towards the boys across the counter without spilling the coffee. Travis adds sugar to his coffee from a sugar tin. He spills some sugar and several small drops of coffee onto the counter. The spoon is left in the sugar can pointing towards the café entrance door. The boys then take their coffees away from the counter and walk towards the tables. The next shot shows the waitress standing behind the counter watching the boys. There is now a long streak of coffee on the counter which wasn't there before and the spoon in the sugar can is now pointing in a different direction. There is also no sugar spilt on the counter and no small drops of coffee either. See more »
Go on. Look at me. Look at my eyes. I'll kill you. Sometimes I stand in front of the mirror and my eyes get bigger and bigger. And I'm like a tiger. I like tigers. Rrrrah!
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The film's opening prologue states: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding PROVERBS IV:7 See more »
"Don't forget boy Look over your shoulder 'Cause there's always someone coming after you"
The first entry to the Mick Travis trilogy ("If...", 1968, O Lucky Man, 1973, and "Britannia Hospital", 1982), "If.." is a surreal black comedy about an English private boys' school and a student rebellion. In his three films, Anderson had covered all aspects, politics, and institutions of British Society from 1968 to 1982 with its complex system of class differences and privileges. "If..." which was released in 1968 at the peak of youthful rebellion in Europe and USA, received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations and won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival where it competed with 27 films from all over the world.
Anderson was in part inspired by Jean Vigo's 41 minutes long "Zero for conduct" (1933) about the similar to "If..." subject. Like in Vigo's film, Anderson inserts some surrealistic episodes shot in black-and-white and according to him, it was driven by budget rather than style. Malcolm McDowell in his first big screen role and the first of three Mick Travis' movies is a charismatic leader of the rebel students who call themselves the Crusaders and like to break the rules. The cruel corporal punishments from the faculty and the older students provoked a bloody uprising against the school system.
Made almost 40 years ago, "If.." still has a power to shock as well as to entertain and it remains an outstanding and controversial depiction of the problems that have not disappear from the English public school system or from any school system as well as from society in general.
I am sure that Stanley Kubrick saw "If..." and was impressed by McDowell's debut performance, by his charisma that shines through his close-ups and especially in the final shot of "If...", and by his face that strangely combines innocence and youthful openness with cynical scornful almost reptilian contempt for humanity. I believe that "If..." was the reason Kubrick offered the part of charming psychopath Alex to the young actor.
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