Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 143
If … is one of the most extraordinary studies of adolescence and education in the history of motion pictures…. This film is both a commentary upon and indirect indictment of the traditions of private education in England. The elements of satire and anarchy, of poetic fantasy and melodrama, are allegorically mingled into something rare and timeless. Each of the film's eight episodes is a challenging immersion into that mysterious world of youth-in-formation, a milieu that piques the curiosity of older generations beyond measure. If … opens the doors to this private domain, explaining or intimating at will, with seeming indiscretion, the limitless angers, passions, and flights of imagination that youth encompasses. (p. 48)
Albert Johnson, "Film Reviews: 'If …'," in Film Quarterly (copyright 1969 by The Regents of the University of California; reprinted by permission of the University of California Press), Vol. XXII, No. 4, Summer, 1969, pp. 48-52.