If…. out on DVD this summer

I didn’t think it could ever happen, but it has, almost. One of the movies that influenced me tremendously is Lindsay Anderson’s If….. And it is coming out on DVD — on 11 June, according to Amazon (UK). The question is, do I dare watch it again, after it shook me to the core at the age of about 17? I shall probably succumb. Here is the Amazon synopsis:  "An alternately funny and bizarre drama set in a fictitious but authentic public school. The story moves from intimate scenes of life in a boy’s world, through fantasy and farce, to a violent climax as discontent turns into rebellion."

I wonder if there will ever be a DVD release of Charlie Bubbles, another of my long-lost favourites? Written by Shelagh Delaney, it was directed by and starred Albert Finney, with a cast including Billie Whitelaw, Colin Blakely and an extremely young Liza Minnelli. The plot summary on IMDB is very amusing, in total it is:  "A married writer has an affair with his secretary." Rather far from what the film is actually about.

4 thoughts on “If…. out on DVD this summer

  1. What I’d really like to see on DVD is Lindsay Anderson’s “O Lucky Man”, which came between “If” and “Britannia Hospital”. Weird and excellent, with the usual Anderson regulars like Malcolm McDowell and Arthur Lowe.
    “Charlie Bubbles” I’ve not seen for a long time. One of Finney’s best in my opinion, although I don’t think he ever turned to directing again?

  2. What Stephen said. “O Lucky Man” is an indispensable film.
    Interestingly, thanks to your note, I learned that there’s a Criterion edition of “if…” coming out in the States on June 9 that features:
    — Commentary by: film critic and historian David Robinson and actor Malcolm McDowell
    — New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek and assistant editor Ian Rakoff
    — Cast and Crew (2003), an episode from the Scottish TV series featuring interviews with McDowell, Ondricek, Rakoff, director’s assistant Stephen Frears, producer Michael Medwin, and screenwriter David Sherwin
    — New video interview with actor Graham Crowden
    — Thursday’s Children (1954), Academy Award–winning documentary about a school for deaf children, directed by Anderson and Guy Brenton and narrated by Richard Burton
    I’m not sure if you’ve got a no-region player, Maxine, but you may want to consider this option. It looks like they skimped out on the frills in the country that the movie was made in. Why they would do that is a mystery.

  3. I don’t know either, Ed, skimping on a UK DVD does not surprise me, though. Thanks for the tip as I sure have got a combined region 1 and 2 DVD player (Europe and US). Very useful for straight to US-DVD efforts like Keira Knightley as Robin Hood’s daughter in “Princess of Thieves” 😉
    I thought O Lucky Man and Britannia Hospital less successful than If…., but I would like to see them both again, Stephen. I have this hope (with no evidence) that the issue of If.. on DVD might be the start of something.
    Interesting that Ed’s credit list includes Michael Medwin, that was the name I was trying and failing to think of last night when writing this post. I am pretty sure it ws M Medwin who produced Charlie Bubbles and had a part in the movie — I think related to the Colin Blakely wrecking the restaurant scenes. MM was a smart client or contact, I believe. I think he may have ended up with the entire contents of the three dinner orders all over his suit or something like that?

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