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UK: BFI (Collections)
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, David Wood, Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, Rupert Webster, Robert Swann, Hugh Thomas, Michael Cadman, Peter Sproule, Peter Sproule, Peter Jeffrey, Anthony Nicholls, Arthur Lowe, Mona Washbourne, Mary Macleod, Geoffrey Chater, Ben Aris, Graham Crowden, Charles Lloyd Pack, Guy Ross, Robin Askwith, Richard Everett, Philip Bagenal, Nicholas Page, Robert Yetzes, David Griffin, Graham Sharman, Richard Tombleson, Richard Davis, Brian Pettifer, Michael Newport, Charles Sturridge, Sean Bury, Martin Beaumont, John Garrie, Tommy Godfrey, Ellis Dale
Director: Lindsay Anderson
UK: 111 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong violence
UK Release Date: 1 March 2002 (Limited Re- release - London)
IF is a classic anti-establishment film imbued with the revolutionary spirit of 1968 but within the acutely British context of a an oppressive public school. The film tells the story of three seniors who refuse to conform to the outdated rules and regulations of the college that governs their lives, and fight back against their repressive right-wing teachers at the public school.
A new term begins at a public school somewhere in the heart of England (actually filmed at Anderson's alma mater Cheltenham College). The boys of College House settle into their dormitories and school routine. One of the senior boys, Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) puts up magazine photographs on the walls of his study and drinks Vodka with his friends Johnny (David Wood) and Wallace (Richard Warwick).
One afternoon, while the rest of the school is watching a college rugby match, Mick and Johnny escape into town, steal a motor-bike from a showroom, and ride off to a roadside cafe, where Mick chats up the girl behind the counter (Christine Noonan).
The repercussions of this jaunt result in Mick and his friends having corporal punishment metered out to them by the Head of House, Rowntree (Robert Swann) - not for a specific breach of regulations, but for their general attitude. But Mick who gets the most punishment has reached breaking point and he and his friends unite in a solemn oath to band against authority.
They continue to spar with their masters and the headmaster though annoyed with them sets them a community -style task to redeem themselves by clearing junk beneath the floor of the college hall. There they uncover a forgotten stack of arms and ammunition.
Speech Day arrives, and as the guest of honour, General Denson (Anthony Nicholls) is addressing the boys and their parents, smoke begins to seep through the floor of the hall. As boys, parents, masters, and guests evacuate the building they are confronted by a hail of fire from Mick and his allies, who now include the girl from the cafe. The headmaster is shot down and General Denson takes up the counter attack.