5 Great “Posh Boy” Films

As Lone Sherfig’s adaptation of Laura Wade’s popular West End play Posh arrives in UK cinemas, Top 10 Films and The Reel Deal film show check out five great “posh boy” movies…

This week sees the release of director Lone Sherfig’s adaptation of Laura Wade’s popular West End play Posh arrive in UK cinemas. The film, which has been renamed The Riot Club, offers a fictionalised look at Oxford University’s infamous Bullingdon Club, whose former members include much of the current Conservative cabinet. Therefore, given that it’s a week for “posh boys” we decided to check out five entertaining examples of elite schools in cinema…

5. The History Boys (Hytner, 2006)

history-boys_top10filmsWe begin with another adapted work from the stage as director Nicholas Hytner brings Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys to the big screen. This witty tale follows the exploits of the unruly but gifted students of Cutlers’ Grammar School in the South Yorkshire city of Sheffield. After their headmaster challenges them all to gain entry into England’s top universities in Oxford and Cambridge, it’s down to a group of committed teachers with very different teaching methods to inspire these young men to academic glory.

4. Class (Carlino, 1983)

class-andrew-mccarthy-rob-lowe-1980s-teen_top10filmsAt four, it’s a tale of sexual awakening at a Chicago prep school when Brat Pack favourite Andrew McCarthy, in an attempt to lose his cherry, ends up, unknowingly, jumping into the bed of his roommate’s mother. High school pranks are led by another 80s teen heartthrob Rob Lowe as the film mixes juvenile comedy with tender moments between a besotted young man and the beautiful older woman he’s infatuated with.

3. Dead Poet’s Society (Weir, 1989)

Robin-williams_dead-poet's-societyAt number three, we head to the conservative Welton Academy whose affluent students are inspired to make the most of their talents when eccentric teacher John Keating (played by Robin Williams) comes into their lives. Against the better wishes of his colleagues, Keating’s unorthodox methods ignite a passion for literature in his class, enabling them to express their own individuality and, as has become the film’s calling card: “Seize the Day!”

2. Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)

Rushmore, Wes Anderson, cult classic film,Our film at two sees us enter the prestigious Rushmore Academy through the wild and wacky mind of director Wes Anderson. He introduces us to Max Fischer, a precocious 15-year-old who only has eyes for extracurricular activities including falling in love with one of his teachers. This quirky coming-of-age story gets the best out of its stellar cast while giving us a uniquely offbeat look at the world of elite education.

1. If (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)

If_malcolm-mcdowell_top10filmsOur number one “posh boys” film is 1968’s “If”. Director Lindsay Anderson’s penchant for counter-culture is displayed in all its glory in this stark indictment of the public school system in 1960s Britain. Malcolm McDowell stars as both protagonist and antagonist in his revolt against the school’s degrading out-dated traditions in this often surreal satire of public school life.

Written by Daniel Stephens & Presented by Rebecca Perfect

You can see more from The Reel Deal on Top 10 Films or on YouTube.

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Mark Reply

    Glad If …. made it to number one; I first saw it at a drive-in while on holiday from an all boys private boarding school in 1979 and thought it summed up the situation perfectly.

    Good to see DP Society up there as well – it was the first Peter Weird movie that didn’t really niggle me too much.

    Possible additions ….

    Scent of a Woman
    The Devil’s Playground (although I’m not sure they were elite as much as hapless rural kids being trundled off to boarding school by their farmer parents …. kinda depressing film come to think of it)

  2. Avatar
    Andina Reply

    I never know the term ‘Posh boy’ before. I only have seen Dead Poets Society, but I’d like to see Rushmore and If because of this list!

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