Directed by Lindsay Anderson and shot at his own school in Cheltenham, If.... is the story of rebellion against autocracy, but represents something far darker.
Malcolm MacDowell stars as Mick Travis, returning to his public boys' school for a new term. Terminally persecuted by the Whips, Travis and his non-conformist gang encounter all of the stereotypical traditions of boarding school life. Choosing to ask when we live, rather than fitting in to life thrust upon them, Travis and his friends embark on a series of misadventures that protract their experience of eroticism, authority and violence. The film sets out with scenes of eerie reverie and shocking brutality, such as genital inspections and confirmation classes. As the prison-like nature of school tries to take hold and beatings become routine, Travis's reactions become increasingly bold, eventually culminating in breathtaking scenes of tyranny and destruction.