The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Romance, War


The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) Poster

From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.


8.1/10
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User Reviews


27 July 2001 | oiyou
10
| Wonderful film
This has to be my all time favourite movie. It is the story of Clive Candy (Roger Livesey), a British Army officer, from 1902 to 1942. It is told as a flashback in three sections - 1902, 1918 and 1942. Deborah Kerr plays three women in his life, Edith Hunter, who he falls in love with in 1902, Barbara Wynne, who he marries in 1918 and Angela/Johnny his driver in 1942. Anton Walbrook plays Theo who fights a duel with Candy in 1902 and then becomes friends with Candy and Edith and marries Edith. They meet briefly in 1918 when Theo is being sent back to Germany from a British POW camp. In 1942 they meet again although both Edith and Barbara have died by then. When Theo sees Johnny he realises why Clive chose her to be his driver. Other excellent perfomers include John Laurie as Candy's WWI driver and later his butler. Some of the lines must have meant a lot to Emerich Pressburger, particularly when Theo explains why he left Germany so late after the Nazis came to power and the bit when Theo says it must be hard losing your wife abroad and Candy replies "It wasn't abroad, it was Jamaica" which summed up the David Low cartoon character Col Blimp's attitude to the world and particularly the British Empire. The film is not a war story, though it features a soldier. It is not a sloppy romance, though it features a man looking for his ideal woman. It more than either or both put together. It is without doubt due to the consummate skills of Powell and Pressburger every bit as much as the excellent performances they coaxed out of the superb cast. Winston Churchill hated the film and tried to have it banned as it featured a sympathetic German character when Britain was at war with Germany. I am so glad he failed.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roger Livesey did not gain any weight for the Turkish bath scenes. His pot belly was actually a very convincing prosthesis designed by Stuart Freeborn.


Quotes

Colonel Betteridge: Well let me tell you one thing. Don't bother your head with things you don't understand and you won't go far wrong. Never go off at half cock. Keep cool, keep your mouth shut and avoid politicians like the plague. That's the way to get on in the ...


Goofs

When the two dogs are let into the London house, one of the dogs can be seen at the top of the stairs answering a call of nature.


Crazy Credits

Deborah Kerr's characters are listed separately, in order of appearance. So Deborah Kerr's name appears three times in the movie credits.


Alternate Versions

The original version (the one restored to Criterion Collection DVD and laserdisc) runs 163 minutes. When Winston Churchill expressed his vehement dislike for the film, the British distributor, Rank Films, cut it to 140 minutes. The film was chopped to pieces when it was imported to the United States in 1945, running around 120 minutes (in which the film's vital flashback structure is eliminated and the story is told from beginning to end). The film was further cut to 90 minutes and ran on public television often in the 1970's (in the Criterion commentary, Martin Scorsese comments that this is the version he saw late night when working on New York, New York (1977)). For years, it was thought that the only existing version was this 90-minute version. In 1983, with the cooperation of the Archers, the epic film was restored to the full 163-minute length, much to the delight of Emeric Pressburger (whose favorite film this was). The film was reconstructed to the original flashback structure and many scenes taking place during World War I were restored, including the much-discussed black soldier.


Soundtracks

I See You Everywhere
(uncredited)
Music by
Allan Gray
Lyrics by Desmond O'Connor

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Romance | War

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