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The History Boys on DVD


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#1 Marius

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 07:50 PM

Just finished watching my new dvd of The History Boys movie (i did see it at the cinema) and I just think its such a great representation of the show, and it captures that rare moment when an entire cast just create magic and gell SO well.

The ending is done so well, and I still find it very moving. Yes it may be a bit of an idealistic view of the 80s and feel a little old fashioned but in my view its doesnt matter. Its todays equivilent of Dead Poets Society

Oh there is also a 10 off History Boys in west end offer with the DVD.

#2 Polly1

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:33 PM

But the ending of the film was very subtly, but noticeably, altered from the play. In the film (from what I remember, I haven't watched the DVD) Posner says that he becomes a teacher, passing on Hector's wisdom, and sounds as though he has a happy and fulfilling life, but in the play, he ends up as a sad, vindictive loner. Perhaps the powers-that-be on the film weren't happy with a homosexual character being portrayed as ending up this way, but whatever the reason, it completely altered the tone. In fact, the very false 'upbeat' ending (with Irwin escaping unscathed from the accident as well) was the major disappointment of the film for me.

#3 Amo

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:28 PM

QUOTE(Polly1 @ Mar 4 2007, 01:33 PM) View Post
Posner says that he becomes a teacher, passing on Hector's wisdom, and sounds as though he has a happy and fulfilling life

Seeing as there's already spoilers in this thread: in the film Posner ends up "not happy, but ... not unhappy about it", and struggling on-and-off with crushes on his pupils.

#4 hollygolightly

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 07:15 PM

The only negative thing I can say about this DVD is that there aren't enough special features, would have been good to have seen some of the deleted scenes, longer versions of the documentaries (could watch those boys larking about all day and not get bored!) and also the clips from the official website.

#5 Biddy

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:50 PM

Having seen the original London cast at the National, then the recent Touring cast, then (not long after) the film,
I actually preferred those changes made for the film -
I even admit recommending hard-up newcomers to see the film rather than forking out lots more for the play.

I'm looking forward to seeing the extras on the DVD.
(Bit too soon for me to actually watch the film again yet, I think.)

#6 richard

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:59 PM

rolleyes.gif
I agree about the film of the History Boys.  I actually preferred it to the play which was ill disciplined and self-indulgent.  The shorter time span available in the cinema led to some much needed focus.

Watch the film on the the DVD to the extras 'commentary' by Hytner and Bennett - absolutely fascinating all the way through.

When people say The History Boys is the peak of Bennett's career they obviously didn't see Forty Years On (1968), which is in a different league.

#7 canmark

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 03:41 PM

The DVD of The History Boys went on sale in the UK the day I was leaving the country. I saw it at the airport but thought I would buy it when I got home to Canada. But now I see on HMV/Amazon.ca that it's not available until April 17th (with a different cover showing the Union Jack in the background), so I guess I'll have to wait.  angry.gif  (I did pick up the movie soundtrack CD while in London.)

I saw The History Boys at least 6 times in the cinema--love, love, love it. Read the film script. Read the play script. And finally got to see it on stage last Friday.

I feel that the film version is better, perhaps owing to Bennett/Hytner adapting from what worked on the stage, and the sharper cuts ending some of the scenes on a joke. Having worked together on stage the actors really looked liked they bonded in the film, and by using camera angles, close ups, music, etc. I think they were able to heighten some of the emotion and some of the sexual tension. Some of the stuff that was cut out, such as Irwin's future career as a 'TV historian' and spin doctor, really, we don't need to see that. Also, by not seeing the wheelchair-bound Irwin, we are initially wondering who dies in the motorbike crash--the first time I saw the film I was shocked at the crash and thinking Hector, Irwin, please don't die! And Posner's sad end--it seems not only unfair, but not terribly realistic. I mean, for a gay teen in the 1980's who was that well-adjusted, bright and comfortable being gay and having a crush on Dakin... that he would have such a sad turn in life (while all the others seemed to prosper), just doesn't work with me.

Such a great film. I wish it had received more recognition over here. The three pivotal scenes (Hector-Posner "Drummer Hodge"; Hector-Irwin "Don't touch him!"; and Irwin-Dakin "... a drink") are just such amazing examples of duologues. I could watch those scenes over and over. And subtext! Is there a film with more or better subtext?

#8 AntonyHope

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:59 AM

QUOTE(canmark @ Mar 7 2007, 03:41 PM) View Post
The DVD of The History Boys went on sale in the UK the day I was leaving the country. I saw it at the airport but thought I would buy it when I got home to Canada. But now I see on HMV/Amazon.ca that it's not available until April 17th (with a different cover showing the Union Jack in the background), so I guess I'll have to wait.  angry.gif  (I did pick up the movie soundtrack CD while in London.)

I saw The History Boys at least 6 times in the cinema--love, love, love it. Read the film script. Read the play script. And finally got to see it on stage last Friday.

I feel that the film version is better, perhaps owing to Bennett/Hytner adapting from what worked on the stage, and the sharper cuts ending some of the scenes on a joke. Having worked together on stage the actors really looked liked they bonded in the film, and by using camera angles, close ups, music, etc. I think they were able to heighten some of the emotion and some of the sexual tension. Some of the stuff that was cut out, such as Irwin's future career as a 'TV historian' and spin doctor, really, we don't need to see that. Also, by not seeing the wheelchair-bound Irwin, we are initially wondering who dies in the motorbike crash--the first time I saw the film I was shocked at the crash and thinking Hector, Irwin, please don't die! And Posner's sad end--it seems not only unfair, but not terribly realistic. I mean, for a gay teen in the 1980's who was that well-adjusted, bright and comfortable being gay and having a crush on Dakin... that he would have such a sad turn in life (while all the others seemed to prosper), just doesn't work with me.

Such a great film. I wish it had received more recognition over here. The three pivotal scenes (Hector-Posner "Drummer Hodge"; Hector-Irwin "Don't touch him!"; and Irwin-Dakin "... a drink") are just such amazing examples of duologues. I could watch those scenes over and over. And subtext! Is there a film with more or better subtext?


And of course the scene at the castle ruins.  So beautifully written and perfomed.  I'm astonished that this film didn't receive wider recognition at the awards this season - especially the baftas.


#9 canmark

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE(AntonyHope @ Mar 7 2007, 07:59 PM) View Post
And of course the scene at the castle ruins.  So beautifully written and perfomed.  I'm astonished that this film didn't receive wider recognition at the awards this season - especially the baftas.


Agreed. I like the part where Dakin is questioning Irwin about his vast knowledge of the Abbey/monastery and Irwin replies "It interests me." Dakin then pats him on the back ("as if he's the Master and Irwin is the pupil," says Bennetts notes) and this is observed by Scripps and Posner (who are walking behind). They exchange glances. To me, that glance sums up what the audience is thinking: something is going on here between Dakin and Irwin. Dakin is "making moves."

And later when Dakin and Irwin are smoking outside the school and Dakin pushes Irwin into a darkened room because the Headmaster is approaching. You can hear the audience in the cinema gasp/laugh because we suspect that something naughty is going to happen behind closed doors. And then, of course, we have the "making moves" conversation.

The film is so good at communicating through subext and action. You know exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling, but without exposition, without overt declarations. So subtle, yet so clear.

#10 Piglet

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 03:59 AM

Clever and witty!




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