History Boys

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Product Overview

A delightfully witty comedy about 8 boisterous-yet-talented schoolboys hoping to gain admittance to england's most prestigious universities.


Studio Foxvideo
SKU 204145782
UPC 024543425199
UPC 14 00024543425199
Format DVD
Release Date 6/16/2009
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note THE HISTORY BOYS, a clever look at a British school system's attempts to produce Oxford and Cambridge-worthy graduates, is based on the play of the same title by Alan Bennett. Bennett's play provides an interesting springboard for a film about youth, growing up, education, identity, and the complexities of the student-teacher relationship. Set in Sheffield, England, in the early 1980s, the story follows a class of college-bound high-school boys as they prepare for the rigorous entrance exams. Feeling the boys need grooming beyond what the absurd Mr. Hector (Richard Griffiths) and sarcastic Mrs. Lintott (Frances De La Tour) can offer, the headmaster (Clive Merrison) brings in Mr. Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore) to fill in the gaps. As a finishing school teacher of sorts, it becomes Irwin's job, through innovative history lessons and bold techniques, to turn children into men. But like his colleagues, Mr. Irwin is not without doubts and of his own, and his inevitable attraction to one of his students is something that he continually struggles with.^Not what you'd expect from a film about teenagers, the story veers away from traditional notions of youthful rebellion, instead focusing on more mature issues of sexual orientation, life philosophies, and mortality. The film's cast of truly talented actors is headed by Richard Griffiths, whose performance as the tragically flawed yet loveable Mr. Hector forms much of the story's heart. Each student is played to perfection by young actors who include Samuel Barnett, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, and Russell Tovey. Filled with intellectual horsing around, rampant homosexual tension, and particularly lenient faculty, this day school appears to have little in common with the typical American high school. THE HISTORY BOYS should be especially refreshing to American audiences used to seeing adolescence exploited as it so often is in today's gross-out comedies.
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "THE HISTORY BOYS is at its most moving in the quieter, more reflective moments..." 11/01/2006 p.46
Premiere 3 stars out of 5 -- "THE HISTORY BOYS is a pretty grand and juicy entertainment....There's no one today writing English dialogue as sharp as Bennett's..." 12/01/2006 p.43
Rolling Stone 3 stars out of 5 -- "Bennett's dialogue sparkles and skewers with killer wit. Dig in." 11/30/2006 p.124
Box Office "[G]iven flesh and substance by veteran dramatist Alan Bennett's witty and muscular way with dialogue." 12/01/2006 p.79
New York Times "[F]erociously engaging....The acting is wonderful. Mr. Moore's avid Irwin and Mr. Griffiths shambling Hector are matched by the extraordinary Frances de la Tour as Dorothy Lintott..." 11/21/2006 p.E7
Entertainment Weekly "The movie adaptation has been lifted from the theater with original cast and director Nicholas Hytner intact; the actors interact as cozily as chums on a playing field..." -- Grade: B 12/01/2006 p.64
Movieline's Hollywood Life "THE HISTORY BOYS preserves some of the best writing to grace the theater in many years....The movie is highly entertaining." 11/01/2006 p.103
Ultimate DVD 4 stars out of 5 -- "THE HISTORY BOYS is an exhilarating experience; one that delivers the vivid pyrotechnics of language, and challenges the intellect..." 03/01/2007 p.122
Nicholas Hytner
Stephen Campbell Moore
Frances De La Tour
Richard Griffiths
Cast & Crew
Alan Bennett - Writer
Andrew Dunn - Cinematographer
Damian Jones - Producer
David M. Thompson - Executive Producer
Frances de la Tour - Actor
George Fenton - Original Music By
John Beard - Production Designer
John Wilson - Editor
Nicholas Hytner - Director
Richard Griffiths - Actor
Samuel Barnett - Actor
Stephen Campbell Moore - Actor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2006
Catalog ID 2242519
UPC 00024543425199
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 112 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Nominee (2007) British Academy Awards, Richard Griffiths, Best Actor in a Leading Role,British Academy Awards, Frances de la Tour, Best Actress in a Supporting Role
ReviewSource FilmCritic.com
Review Plays do not always make the transition well from stage to screen - they can come off too talky or stagnant, mannerisms that work well on a far-off stage sometimes appearing stilted on a big screen...Fortunately, thanks to the rambunctiously energetic performances and Nicholas Hynter's equally jaunty direction, The History Boys looks right at home on screen; what poses a larger problem is whether it will translate as fluidly from Britain to America...The History Boys offers an ably immortalized version of a simple coming-of-age en masse drama that works nearly as well on screen as it would on stage. Whether the benevolent view of inappropriate teacher/student relationships, for instance, or the jokes made at the expense of the decidedly British social class system will fare as well in the U.S., remains to be seen.
Reviewer Anne Gilbert
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review There is a certain familiarity to The History Boys, Alan Bennett's critically lauded, prize-winning play that arrives on screen with its entire original cast and director, Nicholas Hytner, in tow. There is a tradition of inspirational teacher dramas, from Goodbye, Mr. Chips and The Corn is Green to Dead Poets Society and Stand and Deliver, that The History Boys fits comfortably into, but few of these dramas have been this smart, witty, or playful, and fewer still have brimmed with the sheer energy of a cast that knows this material so well that it is practically encoded into their DNA...Much of it is set in classrooms, so it is bound to remain somewhat stagebound. For all of that, it is still an excellent adaptation, Bennett's wit and the fine cast surviving and ultimately triumphing in the transition from the theater to the multiplex.
Reviewer Pam Grady
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Sensormatic
Product Attributes
Actor Griffiths,Richard
Label Fox Home Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer Vibrates with exuberance and erudition.
Nathan Rabin, The Onion A.V. Club ...a dazzling verbal cleverness--the gleeful rat-a-tat of snappy banter expertly executed...
New York Magazine Brilliant and infectious. Explosively alive!

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