Movie Review: The History Boys and Homosexuality

A couple of nights ago, I watched this play-become-movie, The History Boys. It is set in 1983 and the music in the movie is truly awesome to me… It was eminently watchable even though it deals with the topic of homosexuality in a school setting between teachers and students. It’s open about this course- not in a obtrusive way to change your feelings (if you have them) – but in an non-destructive, unbiased way.

These 8 “boys” though are really subordinated in my opinion, though the action is all about them (surrounding their pursuits to going to a top-tier university: Cambridge and Oxford.)
To me, the hero-villian (depending on your attitude about things) is Hector (Richard Griffiths). He is a 60-year old teacher with an amazing gift to make class fun for these gifted, unruly boys. A really good scene was done in entirely in French (no subs) where a boy is pretending to be French prostitute while her John drops his pants. At this point the Headmaster (Clive Merrison) comes in with the new teacher (Stephen Cambell Moore, “Irwin”) that will further these Boys understanding of History…from a entirely different perspective. Yet the cover up is made; of what they are doing, half dressed, to the dumbfoundment of the Headmaster.
Other cover ups are engaged in…like History itself.
The boys are exploring (and conquering) in their search for proper identities. Meanwhile, their three teachers of note (Hector, Irwin, Mrs. Lintott (Frances de la Tour)) are really where the intrigue lies. Hector is gay – and has abused the boys, through taking them on the cycle and gropping their genitals. However, the boys don’t get outraged, or sickened by Hector action’s, but the crossing guard that catches the act does. As a result, Hector is to be dismissed at the end of term according to the Headmaster, who takes sexual harassment as being no big deal. (His secretary Fiona gets plenty of attention…from the boys too.)
Richard Griffiths plays Hector’s part superbly. A scene later, after his dismissal is locked in, reflects the frail and weaken state of his being…It is the tops….
Enjoy the movie!
On a side note: A female blogger who will remain nameless, posted about a crush she had on a pole vaulter, but in the same vein said she is getting alot of unwanted attention. I thought it hypocritical that she would put this girl out as her object of affection and say that too…

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  • Monday Morning Power  On August 10, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you for the link. I have also added you to my blogroll.

  • Anonymous  On February 14, 2008 at 4:10 am

    Hmmm, but I don’t believe in bisexuality so I absolutely abhored Daken even though he was the prettiest, goodness, what is pretty?

  • Anonymous  On February 14, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Of course the play/movie is flawed and if one wanted to pursue the eccentricities of teaching and thus teachers, why wouldn’t you just watch The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I mean Mr. Bennett, pleeeeease (please) I liked it when I was eleven years old, but you outgrow it, one simply outgrows it! And that’s really the only thing to say on the subject other than I might as well take a course in statistics. Talk about numbers!

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