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If.... [1968] - 10.98

The Palme D'Or-winning British classic, If...'s long wait for a DVD release is finally over, and the end result does it proud. Boasting commentaries, interviews and a quality documentary too, it's a true collectors' piece for fans of the film.

And make no mistake about it, it's the superb movie that's the star here. If... is, for those new to it, set in a British public school, and from this setting it has plenty then to say on authority and society. Directed by the late, great Lindsay Anderson, the film centres on Mick Travis, magnetically portrayed by Malcolm McDowell.

Superbly marrying fantasy and more realistic elements, If... is packed with iconic, and often quite surreal moments, leading right up the to the famed and indelible ending that sticks long in your mind once the credits have rolled.

A strong, powerful influence for many who followed it, If... is powered by Malcolm McDowell's astounding performance (which would earn him the part in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange). It's arguable that he's never been better than he is here, and he's in good company, thanks to a top-quality supporting cast too.

Perhaps the greatest complement to If... though is that, decades after is initial release, it's not only recognised as one of the finest British films ever made, but it's regarded in many quarters as a classic of cinema full stop. And if you've not yet had the pleasure, this DVD release finally, belatedly, can open the film up to a whole new audience. Let's hope it does. --Jon Foster

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 1:
No screenplay! : I pre-ordered If.... and expected to get the screenplay but the parcel never turned up and when Amazon sent a second one it had no screenplay and I was told that it had been a mistake in advertising the product! Disappointing!!

Rating: 3:
screenplay ?? : The film is truly one of the greatest - no question about it; but where is the screenplay it was advertised with ? Funnily enough, now Amazon has removed the mention of a special edition with screenplay. Film - brilliant, service - horrible.

Rating: 5:
Era defining : The film defines the era of late 1960s rebellion. It is brilliantly evocative of the passing of the post-war attitudes of unquestioning obedience to authority regardless of whether the people in authority are: weak (Housemaster); understanding (Headmaster); or autocratic and brutal (Prefects). The violence and surrealism of the film also reflect their time.

It was funny watching this with the kids (13 and 15 years old). They thought it was all bizarre - hated the balck and white scenes - and would not accept that public schools could ever have been that barbaric.

They also complained about some of the poor acting of the younger boys and the "love interest" - somehow I can forgive all these minor complaints because the film, as a whole, defines the time in which it was created - indeed, weren't all child actors rubbish then?

Rating: 5:
Customer Service. : The DVD is great, to be honest I didn't know if the film was here in its complete form or not, but it's wonderful nonetheless.
What I would like to comment on is the appalling customer service that I have received from Amazon regarding the lack of screenplay with my order. It was by no means made clear that the screenplay was offered only for pre ordering, if indeed this is the case, as it still hasn't been confirmed by amazon even though I have wasted time and effort e-mailing and calling them to attempt to find out the whereabouts of the screenplay. If this is the case then I would appreciate an explanation as to why, after the DVD was released, my receipts still listed that it was bought WITH A SCREENPLAY. I don't want a refund for the DVD, it's great, I just can't believe that no-one has been able to give me a straight answer or answer any of my questions. As foolish as I feel writing this, it's infuriating.

Rating: 5:
Fabolous : Pre-ordered and got my copy with screenplay, even posted photos of it. Now amazon removed screnplay from title, so i guess it's already OOP. Such thing are always for pre-orders.

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