mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

December 16, 2020

Episode 498: Mick Travis Trilogy (1969-1982)

Special Guest: David Wood
Guest Co-Hosts: Jonathan Owen, Samm Deighan

We're looking at three films by Lindsay Anderson that all star Malcolm McDowell as Michael “Mick” Travis; The Mick Travis Trilogy. In If.... (1968), Mick is the leader of a student revolution. In O Lucky Man (1973), he’s a coffee salesman. And, in Britannia Hospital (1982), he’s an investigative reporter. We’ll be talking about how Mick changes through the three films along with their possible connections and contradictions.

Samm Deighan and Jonathan Owen join Mike to discuss this unusual "trilogy". Mike also speaks to David Wood about his book Filming If.....

Listen/Download Now:

Buy If.... on DVD
Buy O Lucky Man on DVD
Buy Britannia Hospital on Blu-Ray
Buy Going Mad in Hollywood: And Life with Lindsay Anderson by David Sherwin
Buy Never Apologize by Malcolm McDowell on DVD
Buy Filming If.... by David Wood (or get it cheaper via David himself

"O Lucky Man" - Alan Price



  1. About BLOODY time! I suggested these movies many years ago in the early days of The Projection Booth, when you put out a request for ideas, but it never occurred to me that Mr. White had not viewed them. That is the thing that's very hard to believe!

    I first saw If.... as a schoolboy in the 70's at, believe it or not, an all boys private school in Central Ohio. Film had a profound effect and within a few weeks of seeing it there was a late night showing, after ABC's In Concert or maybe NBC's Midnight Special, of the promo for O Lucky Man that is now a supplement on many dvd versions, that totally blew my mind.

    I came at both If.... and OLM as a fan of A Clockwork Orange, having not seen the film due to my age, but having almost memorized the small trade paperback that was issued when ACO came out that went through the film almost frame by frame with all the dialog. (Sort of blew my mind when I finally saw it that it was in color.....but I digress).

    Those Anderson films are my all time favorites and I think it's too bad that all the participants in your podcast, aside from D. Wood, sort of came at the film so far after they came out. As a teenager seeing those films close to the time of their release, one might have a different point of view as a contemporary, than the people seeing them as 'classics' (which of course they are....)!

    I must admit that as a kid watching If.... I sort of saw it as a satire of a classic prison film....but I was also in a similar situation to the Crusaders....or in reality, the Scum!

    Anyways...thanks for finally getting around to the Mick Travis Cycle, and if you really want to see a Lindsay Anderson film that works in a more conventional sort of way, seek out In Celebration...sort of a work for hire production. There's your Kitchen Sink film in his output....

    Keep up the fine work!

    1. Thanks! Let it be known that I still have all those suggestions and am slowly making my way through them!

    2. For some reason I forgot to mention 'In Celebration' - thanks for bringing that one up! As you say it's classic kitchen sink territory, and doesn't really try to hide that it's a filmed play, but it's beautifully acted by an amazing cast and is a great document of Anderson's theatre work (ultimately of course the much more prolific side of his career). It also highlights what great actors James Bolam and Bill Owen were.

    3. There's actually one more, albeit obscure, component to the Lindsay/Malcolm/Kitchen Sink connection and that's the Anderson directed, McDowell starring production of Look Back In Anger. Took me years to track down a copy, as it was only released on VHS (after being shown on television, I guess). Pretty straight forward adaptation, but still a missing link, mostly, in the complete picture! Well worth finding, if you haven't seen it!