6.9/10
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179 user 116 critic

The History Boys (2006)

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ON DISC
An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge.

Director:

Nicholas Hytner

Writers:

Alan Bennett (screenplay), Alan Bennett (play)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel Anderson ... Crowther
James Corden ... Timms
Stephen Campbell Moore ... Irwin
Richard Griffiths ... Hector
Frances de la Tour ... Mrs. Lintott
Andrew Knott ... Lockwood
Russell Tovey ... Rudge
Jamie Parker Jamie Parker ... Scripps
Dominic Cooper ... Dakin
Samuel Barnett ... Posner
Sacha Dhawan ... Akhtar
Clive Merrison ... The Headmaster
Penelope Wilton ... Mrs. Bibby
Adrian Scarborough ... Wilkes
Georgia Taylor ... Fiona
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Storyline

In 1980s Britain, a group of young men at Cutlers' Grammar School all have the brains, and the will to earn the chance of getting accepted in the finest universities in the nation, Oxford and Cambridge. Despite the fine teaching by excellent professionals like Mrs Lintott in history and the intellectually enthusiastic Hector in General Studies, the Headmaster is not satisfied. He signs on the young Irwin to polish the students' style to give them the best chance. In this mix of intellectualism and creative spirit that guides a rigorous preparation regime for that ultimate educational brass ring, the lives of the randy students and the ostensibly restrained faculty intertwine that would change their lives forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

History. It's just one bloody thing after another. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

History Boys See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£794,672 (United Kingdom), 15 October 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$100,803, 24 November 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,706,659, 25 February 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Griffiths won the 2006 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "The History Boys" as Hector and recreated his role in this production. See more »

Goofs

When Posner and Hector are discussing the poem "Drummer Hodge" by Thomas Hardy, Posner references Rupert Brooke's poem "The Soldier" by mentioning the line "There's some corner of a foreign field... in that dust a richer dust concealed." The line is actually "in that rich earth a richer dust concealed." See more »

Quotes

Dakin: Next week? Get this man - "You can suck me off next week"! I've heard of a busy schedule but this is ridiculous. God, we've got a long way to go. Do you ever take your glasses off?
Tom Irwin: Why?
Dakin: It's a start.
Tom Irwin: Not with me. Taking off my glasses is the last thing I do.
Dakin: Yeh? I'll look forward to it.
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Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the film, the title - "The History Boys" - is taken letter by letter from random parts of an essay on the dissolution of the monasteries, a common history topic, which the History Boys themselves write later on in the film. See more »

Connections

References The Mikado (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Wish Me Luck (As You Wave Me Goodbye)
Written by Harry Parr Davies & Phil Park
(c) Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by The History Boys
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User Reviews

 
intriguing, but heavy on the rhetoric
15 October 2006 | by exactlywhySee all my reviews

The History Boys is a charming film about modern education. Without committing itself to any particular judgment, it examines the conflict between antiquate, romantic, and specifically Classical methods of gaining and appreciating knowledge and the detached, mercenary deceit needed to sell a great mind in the modern world.

I imagine that most of the film's wit and insight owes itself to Alan Bennett's play, which I have not seen. However, it is the theatrical nature of this production that ultimately lets it down. Bennett's tendency towards improbably clever and succinct dialogue can perhaps be forgiven, but, when it includes direct and surreally retrospective commentary that might play smoothly on stage, the film suddenly seems annoyingly pretentious.

Nevertheless, The History Boys is an entertaining intellectual exercise. It might be slightly ill suited for cinema, but the film does allow the material to reach a much wider audience, and I, for one, was glad for the opportunity to see an on screen rendition of a popular play. I only wish that the audience had been granted the opportunity to do a little more of its own interpretation.


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