Print both and challenge the audience to pick sides.

Famed British New Wave director Lindsay Anderson’s breakout film, If…. (1969) examines British society in the 1960’s through the lens of a stuffy boarding school. Starring Malcolm McDowell as a rebel schoolboy, it was hugely divisive among the film critics of the day. In the bonus features on the Criterion disc for the film, Anderson’s producer Michael Medwin describes Anderson’s brilliant strategy for putting both the critical cheers and jeers for If…. to good use:

It got mixed– It got some rave reviews, and some ghastly reviews– needless to say, from the establishment. And Lindsay produced a most wonderful poster, which was cut down the middle. –BBC’s Cast and Crew, hosted by Kirsty Wark

The poster he came up with became a touchstone in movie marketing:

If... Which Side Will You Be On?

Which side will you be on?

One sided... oh dear... very close to the borders of Fascism.
BBC CRITICS

Elephantine...nightmarish and humourless...the most hating film I know of...
THE LISTENER

Anderson is still lashing out at Nanny ...
THE SPECTATOR

My feelings are mixed... why can't Mr. Anderson leave well alone ?
NEW STATESMAN

With the lowest tastes of box-office appeal in mind...artful denigation [sic] of the ancient faith...
JEWISH CHRONICLE

Quotations from Vigo...nearer to Godard...Jennings Grierson, Wright...Why can't we read the writing on the wall ?
SIGHT & SOUND

Why...?
THE QUEEN

Magnificent...a tremendous artistic success...
THE OBSERVER

...immense affection...wildly funny...power and emotional truth...
DAILY SKETCH

The film is bound to make a deep impression on many pupils...
TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT

...a film about freedom...to make you rock with laughter...
DAILY MAIL

...an extraordinary film...a rich, complex metaphor of the way we live now...
THE TIMES

...the first English poetic feature film...Lindsay Anderson stands alone as an artist...
FINANCIAL TIMES

... ferociously clear...
SUNDAY TIMES

Lindsay Anderson’s
if….
Look out ! if…. is coming!
A MEMORIAL ENTERPRISES FILM

The film had an amazing run at the box office. Again, producer Michael Medwin:

The reception was terrific. I just remember driving to lower Regent Street, wasn’t it? … And I remember I thought, ‘I’ll pop up,’ and to my great joy there were lines. I nearly shed a tear because it meant we were off to the races.

Incidentally, I also learned from the bonus features that If…. was one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films. He saw it five times in the theater, and it lead to him casting Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange.