This is a breeding ground, as so very many British films have made clear, of homosexual behavior that—given the British laws of the day—one will later have to deny. One need only go back to E. M. Forster’s Maurice or Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited to perceive how prevalent this was. Lock up hundreds of testosterone-heavy boys together, along with a violent prison-like existence, what else might you expect?
Bobby Phillips, himself, is utterly enchanted by the spectacularly-gifted gymnast Wallace so much so that he quite literally falls into a kind of heat, forcing him to remove his sweater. Yet surely, he will later be punished by the same society for his youthful love, demanding that he find a woman to replace those pangs of young homosexuality, just as Maurice was abandoned by his Clive Durham and Charles Ryder is later ignored by his lover Sebastian. Director Lindsay Anderson seems to suggest this kind of society needs to die.