Watch If....

"Which side would you be on?"
  • R
  • 1968
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 8.0  (193,195)
  • 79

There seem to be some inaccuracies in your request as there is no film by the name of If.... from 1968 starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter. However, the movie If.... is a 1968 film, but the cast and details you have are incorrect. If.... is a British drama film starring Malcolm McDowell and directed by Lindsay Anderson, not featuring the actors you've noted.

For an accurate description of the correct film:

If.... is a seminal British drama film directed by Lindsay Anderson and released in 1968. The film stars Malcolm McDowell in his first major film role, portraying the character of Mick Travis, an anarchic, rebellious student at an old, established British boarding school. The film, with its striking narrative, satirizes the outdated rituals and authoritarianism inherent in British public school life, painting a compelling portrait of the social and political turbulence of the late 1960s.

The film operates in a world at the cusp of change, capturing the generational tensions and the spirit of counter-culture that were rampant during the time. The story is told through a mix of realism and fantasy sequences, leading to a stylized, occasionally surreal narrative that dives deep into the psyche and frustrations of its young protagonists.

The film follows Travis and his close friends, Wallace and Johnny, as they navigate the rigid hierarchy and oppressive rules enforced by the school's officials and senior students referred to as "Whips." If.... examines themes of rebellion, individualism, and revolution, mirroring the larger social upheavals of the era. The boys are subjected to various indignities and punishments, which only serve to strengthen their disdain for the school's establishment and what it represents.

The school itself is a microcosm of the establishment, an institution steeped in traditional values and resistant to change. Some of the faculty members, like the headmaster and the chaplain, are portrayed as out-of-touch and caricatural, often adding a sense of absurdity to their authoritarian nature. The institution's insistence on strict discipline, adherence to tradition, and a rigid class structure are all put under scrutiny through the events that unfold.

As the narrative progresses, the tension between the freedom-seeking students and the repressive school regime escalates. Travis becomes the de facto leader of the resistance movement within the school, embodying the youthful rebellion of the time. The viewer is led through a series of confrontational and subversive actions by Travis and his gang, which escalate in their audacity and impact.

One of the notable aspects of the film is its stylistic approach. The director, Lindsay Anderson, employs a mixture of black-and-white and color film to distinguish between the layers of his narrative, creating a rich tapestry that blends the mundane with the symbolic. The themes of insurrection and conflict are explored not just through the actions of the characters but through these daring cinematic techniques as well.

While Malcolm McDowell's portrayal of Mick Travis is central to the story, the film also introduces an array of characters that represent different facets of the school environment, from the cruel and sadistic senior students to the more benign and compassionate, yet equally impotent, members of the faculty. Each character adds depth and complexity to the film's rich narrative.

If.... was a critical success upon its release, lauded for its bold and unapologetic indictment of the British establishment and its questioning of societal norms. It became a symbol of the culture of rebellion, striking a chord with a generation grappling with authority and eager for change. The film's ending, notorious for its powerful and controversial imagery, leaves a lasting impression and has been widely discussed and interpreted by audiences and critics alike.

The film went on to win the Palme d'Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival, further cementing its place in cinema history. It also initiated what would become known as Lindsay Anderson's "Mick Travis trilogy," with McDowell reprising his role in two subsequent films: O Lucky Man! (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982).

If.... remains an important work of British cinema, not only for its innovative storytelling and powerful performances but also for its enduring relevance as a commentary on the universal themes of youthful rebellion and the fight against oppressive systems. It is a film that continues to resonate with viewers for its audacious spirit and its capacity to inspire reflection on the individual's place within society.

If.... is a 1968 science fiction movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0 and a MetaScore of 79.

Where to Watch If....
If.... is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent If.... for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (193,195)
  • Metascore