The History Boys
Lovers are fools, but Nature makes them so.Elbert Hubbard
- Directed by Nicholas Hytner, who directed the original production at the Royal National Theatre in London. Adapted by Alan Bennett from his play of the same name, which won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best New Play and the 2006 Tony Award for Best Play.
- The best moments in reading are when you come across something — a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things — that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.
- Pass the parcel. That's sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it and pass it on. Not for me, not for you, but for someone, somewhere, one day. Pass it on, boys. That's the game I want you to learn. Pass it on.
- Somebody hit that boy!
- But this is History. Distance yourselves. Our perspective on the past alters. Looking back, immediately in front of us is dead ground. We don't see it, and because we don't see it this means that there is no period so remote as the recent past. And one of the historian's jobs is to anticipate what our perspective of that period will be... even on the Holocaust.
- We still don’t like to admit that the war was even partly our fault because so many of our people died. A photograph on every mantelpiece. And all this mourning has veiled the truth. it’s not so much lest we forget, as lest we remember... there’s no better way of forgetting something than by commemorating it.
- I'm a Jew... I'm small... I'm homosexual... and I live in Sheffield. [pause] I'm fucked.
- I'm not happy, but I'm not unhappy about it.
- [on the Holocaust] But to put something in context is a step towards saying it can be understood and that it can be explained. And if it can be explained then it can be explained away.
- Durham was very good for history. It's where I had my first pizza. Other things too, of course, but it's the pizza that stands out.
- One of the hardest things for boys to learn is that a teacher is human. One of the hardest things for a teacher to learn is not to try and tell them.
- Can you, for a moment, imagine how depressing it is to teach five centuries of masculine ineptitude?
- History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind... with a bucket.
- And what if a customer had come in just as Hector had got to the lights and she’d been looking the other way? Or the lights had been green?... I could spend a lesson dissecting what the Headmaster insists on calling ‘this unfortunate incident’ and it would teach the boys more about history and the utter randomness of things than... well, than I’ve ever managed to do so far.
- Dakin: The more you read, though, the more you'll see that literature is actually about losers... It's consolation. All literature is consolation.
- Lockwood: With us, enjoyment don't come into it. We haven't got time to read the books, we haven't got time to look at the pictures. What we really need is lessons in acting, because that's what this whole scholarship thing is, an acting job.
- Rudge: I did all the other stuff, like Stalin was a sweetie and Wilfred Owen was a wuss.
- Mrs. Lintott: I'd say he [Dakin] was cuntstruck.
- Hector: Dorothy!
- Mrs. Lintott: I thought you'd like that; it's a compound adjective. You like compound adjectives.
- Posner: But he [Dakin] doesn't understand, Irwin does like him. He seldom looks at anyone else.
- Scripps: How do you know?
- Posner: Because nor do I! Our eyes meet looking at Dakin.
- Scripps: (referring to Posner being homosexual and Posner's crush on Dakin) Cheer up. At least he [Dakin] speaks to you. Most guys wouldn't even speak to you. (pause) Love can be very irritating.
- Posner: How do you know?
- Scripps: That's what I always think about God. Must get so pissed off, everybody adoring him all the time.
- Posner: Yes, only you don't catch God poncing about in his underpants.
- Mrs. Lintott: Now. How do you define history, Mr. Rudge?
- Rudge: Can I speak freely, miss? Without being hit?
- Mrs. Lintott: I will protect you.
- Rudge: How do I define history? It's just one fucking thing after another.
- Scripps: Oh, Pos, with your spaniel heart. It will pass.
- Posner: Yes, it's a phase. Who says I want it to pass? But the pain, the pain.
- Scripps: Hector would say it's the only education worth having.
- Posner: Yes. I just wish there were marks for it!
- Dakin: Are we scarred for life, do you think?
- Scripps: We must hope so.
- Scripps: You complacent fuck.
- Dakin: Does the Archbishop of Canterbury know you talk like this?
- Dakin: I'm just kicking the tyres on this one but, further to the drink, what I was really wondering was whether there were any circumstances in which there was any chance of your sucking me off.
- Dakin: Or something similar.
- Dakin: Actually, that would please Hector.
- Irwin: What?
- Dakin: "Your sucking me off". It's a gerund. He likes gerunds. And "your being scared shitless," that's another gerund.
- Dakin: How do you think history happens?
- Irwin: What?
- Dakin: How does stuff happen, do you think? People decide to do stuff. Make moves. Alter things.
- Irwin: I'm not sure what you're talking about.
- Dakin: No? Think about it.
- Meet The Boys Who Are Making History!
- History. It's just one bloody thing after another.
- Samuel Anderson - Crowther
- James Corden - Timms
- Stephen Campbell Moore - Irwin
- Richard Griffiths - Hector
- Frances de la Tour - Mrs. Lintott
- Andrew Knott - Lockwood
- Russell Tovey - Rudge
- Jamie Parker - Scripps
- Dominic Cooper - Dakin
- Samuel Barnett - Posner
- Sacha Dhawan - Akhtar
- Clive Merrison - The Headmaster