if…. is a 1968 British drama film produced and directed by Lindsay Anderson satirising English public school life. Famous for its depiction of a savage insurrection at a fictitious boys’ boarding school, the X certificate film was made at the time of the May 1968 protests in France by a director strongly associated with the 1960s counterculture. The film stars Malcolm McDowell in his first screen role and his first appearance as Anderson’s “everyman” character Mick Travis. Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, David Wood, and Robert Swann also star. if…. won the Palme d’Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. In 2004, the magazine Total Film named it the sixteenth greatest British film of all time. McDowell’s performance in if…. caught the attention of Stanley Kubrick, who subsequently cast him in his 1971 film adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. Additionally, McDowell used his performance in if…. in his inspiration for the Clockwork Orange protagonist, Alexander DeLarge. Having been given the script by Kubrick, McDowell was unsure how he would play the part of Alex, and so he contacted Lindsay Anderson, asking for advice.

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