The History Boys

Watch The History Boys

"History. It's just one bloody thing after another."
  • R
  • 2006
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 6.8  (21,363)
  • 74

The History Boys is a 2006 British film directed by Nicholas Hytner, starring Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, and Clive Merrison. The movie is based on the stage play of the same name, written by Alan Bennett. The story is set in the 1980s, in a boys' school in Sheffield, England. The main focus of the movie is the English class taught by Hector, played by Richard Griffiths. Hector is an eccentric and enthusiastic teacher, who is passionate about literature and education. He teaches a group of eight boys, who are all aiming to get into prestigious universities. The movie follows the journey of these boys, as they navigate through their last year of school and prepare for their future.

One of the central themes of the movie is the clash between traditional education and modernization. The headmaster of the school, played by Clive Merrison, wants to raise the standards and academic achievements of the school. He brings in a young and ambitious teacher, Irwin, played by Stephen Campbell Moore, who has a different approach to education. Irwin focuses on techniques to impress the examiners in order to get higher grades, rather than Hector's approach of broadening the boys' minds by exposing them to different forms of literature.

The History Boys also explores complex relationships between teachers and students. Hector, who is known to be inappropriate with his physical touches of students, is a beloved teacher by his students as he exposes them to poetry and culture beyond what was being taught to them academically. On the other hand, Irwin takes a more adversarial approach with his students and teacher-student interactions, although effective for his method he does not seem to inspire the same love that Hector commands.

The movie delves into the sexuality of the boys as a means of discovering themselves and their personal identity. Some of the boys face issues related to their sexual orientations, and the movie explores these themes sensitively. The different ways that the boys explore their sexuality is used to underline how each personality is different and that however hard intellectual proficiencies are emphasized, romantic entanglements seem to be more important in the end.

Throughout the movie, the boys spend their time studying, arguing and reflecting on the texts that Hector and Irwin teach them. The movie does a fantastic job of exploring the impact of the educational structures and the power of great teaching for pupils. The movie highlights education as means to explore individuality and its role in shaping the world view of pupils.

The History Boys is a well directed and compelling movie that explores the complexities of these students' lives - their aspirations, their vulnerabilities, their relationships, and their future. Although it does not shy away from the darker sides of life, it finds a rich vein of humor and hope in the experiences of the characters. The movie is a coming-of-age story, that portrays the problems of the students as the setting shifts away from the morals of the post-war era. A movie that is beautifully shot and wonderfully acted, The History Boys is an ode to the power of education and the deep, complex human connections that it can forge.

Overall, The History Boys is a brilliantly crafted movie that explores themes such as individuality, education, ambition, and morality. Excellent performances by the cast, especially Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour, elevate the movie and create an amazing film experience. Strongly recommended for people who love well-made and thought-provoking movies.

The History Boys is a 2006 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 74.

The History Boys
Where to Watch The History Boys
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (21,363)
  • Metascore