Michael Dempsey

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 133

If … is so full of patchy, obscure, muddled elements that we often cannot be sure if our view of the rebels matches Anderson's. The film reeks of material insufficiently absorbed and attitudes not fully formulated. Nevertheless, too much in the movie fails to jibe with the "revolution" that the twin media of reviews and publicity condition us to expect. The film questions and undermines the values and tactics of the rebels too thoroughly to function as a pamphlet, and this is fortunate. In the end, the interest complexity of If … attacks society all the more trenchantly for being so impervious to change that it forces many would-be reformers to become as evil as it is. (p. 20)

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Michael Dempsey, "'If …'," in Film Heritage (copyright 1969 by F. A. Macklin), Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall, 1969, pp. 13-20.

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