Now a major motion picture from Fox Searchlight Pictures, The History Boys: The Film contains Alan Bennett's diary of the filming, the shooting script, and an introduction by director Nicholas Hytner, as well as an extensive plate section that includes a look behind the scenes and stills from the film. An unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form (or senior) boys in a British boys' school are, as such boys will be, in pursuit of sex, sport, and a place at a good university, generally in that order. In all their efforts, they are helped and hindered, enlightened and bemused, by a maverick English teacher who seeks to broaden their horizons in sometimes undefined ways, and a young history teacher who questions the methods, as well as the aim, of their schooling. In The History Boys, Alan Bennett evokes the special period and place that the sixth form represents in an English boy's life. In doing so, he raises not only universal questions about the nature of history and how it is taught but also questions about the purpose of education today.
Praise for Alan Bennett's play, The History Boys: "Madly enjoyable . . . Mr. Bennett's dialogue [is] as shimmering and warming as a fine Cognac . . . [One is] always aware of the complex emotional currents of doubt, perplexity and eroticism that throbs among practically everyone onstage."—Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"A play of depth as well as dazzle, intensely moving as well as thought-provoking and funny."—The Daily Telegraph
"Nothing could diminish the incendiary achievement of this subtle, deep-wrought and immensely funny play about the value and meaning of education . . . In short, a superb, life-enhancing play."—The Guardian
"Brilliantly funny . . . The History Boys is moving, disquieting: one follows it with a heart brimful . . . His finest work in decades."—Financial Times