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If... (The Criterion Collection)

Malcolm McDowell , David Wood , Guy Brenton , Lindsay Anderson    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Dangerous Feb. 20 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This movie with Malcolm McDowell is a strange and bizarre piece of work, and prior to the modern day obsession with serial killers, this one is ahead of its time. I saw this film many years ago, and it still stays in my mind as a "trip." Of course being made oin l968, it is thematic for the times. It's got the music of the 60's and the styles and the language, but the character is out there, and the ending...you've got to see it to believe it. And this is many years before the Columbine massacre. All in all, though, I'd classify this movie in the dangerous realm, but interestingly provocative. Recommended!! (Not for the kiddies, though!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nihilist fantasy - silly story, good acting Dec 22 2009
Youth desires freedom - always has, always will. This movie, with some strong acting, captures that yearning. And it has the only attractive homosexual scene (romantic rather than explicit) that I've ever happened to see. Beyond that, the story gets silly. Yes, there were some harsh boys' schools, already reformed or gone when this film was shot. As a larger social analogy, "If" attacks a society that was at worst boring, at best wonderful, but hardly evil - Britain in the Sixties could not be classified as Stalinist or Hitlerian. Beyond our teens, most of us outgrow that sweet, intense need for anarchy. We accept with some degree of grace the limitations that define the human condition, usually through love for our spouses and kids who need us to behave in responsible ways. Other individuals (including an awful lot of artistic types) never do manage to mature. Most of the immatures just continue fantasizing like juveniles - that part of myself is still drawn to this film. Other immatures collapse over time into genuine nihilism, usually through intoxicants but sometimes violence, breeding sorrow and destruction for anyone unfortunate enough to love them. Incidentally, If is an exceptionally overpriced DVD (at the time of writing) for no apparent reason beyond corporate greed. So let's machine gun the capitalist pigs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Already a Lucky Man Feb. 21 2002
Format:VHS Tape
When i got out of the Navy and moved to Atlanta in 1972, there was a great hole-in-the-wall cinema (174 seats, one broken) called "The Film Forum". George and Mike Ellis served the best fresh popcorn in town, and ran movies you just didn't see anywhere else in the early 70's -- I first saw "The Boys in the Band", "The Ruling Class" and "Phantom of the Paradise" at the Film Forum. I saw so many great films there that i can forgive them for running "Harold & Maude" about every fifth week...
In addition to two shows a night every evening of their regular feature for that week, they also ran a special $1 midnight movie on Fridays and Saturdays. (In later years, "Rocky Horror" became the midnight standard for a couple of years.)
And that is where i saw "...if..." for the first time.
I've been an anglophile most of my life (beginning at a rather tender age with "Swallows & Amazons"), so i had some idea of what English Public (private) School life was likely to be like, and may have understood what was happening here more quickly than some of my firends who saw it with me.
In the context of what starts out as a pretty starightforward-appearing school film, Anderson & MacDowell give us a rather Marxist allegory of modern class struggle, steadily but almost imperceptibly moving from realism to a surreal parable of revolution.
The final sequences, with the little old lady with the submachine gun blazing away screaming "Bastards! Bastards!", the school prefects organising the "good" (loyalist) students to fight the Revolution and pitched battle raging, have stayed with me ever since, even when i wouldn't see the film for years at a time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie and shipped incredibly fast March 4 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent movie and the booklet inserted in the DVD case is very informative. The product shipped incredibly fast. I look forward to purchasing more DVD from the Criterion Collection.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the original version Aug. 3 2007
By Mutaya
This is not the original version of the film. This is the censored version and should be labeled as such. The fact that this film is being released in a censored version so many years after its original release is a sad comment on society today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly brave film-making April 28 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
A mix of naturalism, surrealism, dark humor and social commentary in an examination of an upper-class English boy's public school (the equivalent of a 'private' school in the US).

Terrific acting, and some unforgettable moments and visuals. But there are some pretentious moments as well, and the ending somehow isn't as powerful as it should be.

However, I've liked it more with each viewing, it's flaws bothering me less, it's strengths seeming more special. Perhaps not quite an all time great film, but a very good, and historically important and influential one. If you like the challenging, unorthodox, complex films that were a staple of the late 1960s and the 1970s then by all means you should see this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please release this on DVD for pity's sake Feb. 24 2006
Format:VHS Tape
Always voted as one of the most influential British Films etc. etc. and all the directors other efforts are available on DVD but not this one. Can't seem to get in touch with anyone at the studio. How can this not be available yet you can get Cannon Ball Run II in every DVD store in the world? Never mind. One day it will bubble to the surface. Maybe if Malcolm McDowall has a hit movie again or something. Until then I'll settle for my grainy old VHS. tssk :(
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars please bring it out on dvd
please bring out this film on dvd as i am a film studies student and one of my films i have to write about in my A level is this film.. Read more
Published on March 26 2006 by tilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful.
I had to wait quite some time before I could actually lay my hands on If.... But then the waiting proved to be fully justifiable. This was time well spent, without doubt. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by Haplo Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighting a Mass State in miniature
"Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding." --Proverbs IV:2
The opening quote from Lindsay Anderson's if... Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2002 by Daniel J. Hamlow
5.0 out of 5 stars Unconventional analysis, still a great film
One of the great movies from the 60's -- or any other decade. When originally viewed in that time of civil disobedience and resistance to "authority" it was riveting, provocative,... Read more
Published on May 30 2002 by Daniel Dropko
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 year search ends...
My review does not have any sophisticated analysis of content or technical merit, just my gut reaction to this great classic of the times I grew up in... Its a great film! Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2001 by D. Carlson
3.0 out of 5 stars "THE RULING CLASS CRASH!"
Still controversial? You bet! THAT'S what the late Lindsay Anderson's searing autopsy of the British Private School system is all about. Read more
Published on July 23 2001
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