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If

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Posted 2nd May 2009 at 09:41 AM by Sam@Cult Labs

If





Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange) takes on the establishment in this allegorical tale about the horror's of the British Public school system. Made in 1968, when popular culture seemed to be questioning everything, If... mirrored the global explosion of youth rebellion and it presents an educational system for the sons of the well off that seems designed to brutalize and beat the will out of young boys.

Directed by Lindsay Anderson (O Lucky Man! Britannia Hospital), it's a great film in it's own right but also acts as an interesting historical curio and is also one the great films about the young kicking against the pricks. In the film, pupil Mick Travers and his friends must endure all many of indignities at the hands of their schoolmasters and seem stuck in a system from which there is no escape. Mick has other ideas and he leads fellow pupils in a violent coop, taking control of the school building.

McDowell seems to set the blueprint for his performance as Alex in Kubrick's Clockwork Orange and If seems to be the movie that landed him his most famous role, as the parallels between the characters are obvious.

Surreal and off kilter, If... caused controversy at the time of it's release due to it's incendiary message and celebration of armed uprising. Regardless of this, it's one the great British films of the 1960s.
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