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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  4 May 1945 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 8,586 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 88 critic

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Edith Hunter / Barbara Wynne / Johnny Cannon
Anton Walbrook ...
Roland Culver ...
Col. Betteridge
James McKechnie ...
Spud Wilson
Albert Lieven ...
von Ritter
Arthur Wontner ...
Embassy Counsellor
David Hutcheson ...
Hoppy
...
Frau von Kalteneck
...
Murdoch
Harry Welchman ...
Major Davies
Reginald Tate ...
van Zijl
A.E. Matthews ...
President of Tribunal
Carl Jaffe ...
von Reumann (as Carl Jaffé)
Valentine Dyall ...
von Schönborn
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Storyline

Portrays in warm-hearted detail the life and loves of one extraordinary man. We meet the imposingly rotund General Clive Wynne-Candy, a blustering old duffer who seems the epitome of stuffy, outmoded values. Traveling backwards 40 years we see a different man altogether: the young and dashing officer "Sugar" Candy. Through a series of relationships with three women and his lifelong friendship with a German officer, we see Candy's life unfold and come to understand how difficult it is for him to adapt his sense of military honor to modern notions of "total war." Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Rogue With A Roving Eye! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

4 May 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Colonel Blimp  »

Box Office

Budget:

£200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Microphonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end of the movie, Candy's assistant Murdoch, played by John Laurie, tells Candy that he has joined the Home Guard. 25 years later Laurie would go on to play Pte. Frazer in all 80 episodes of Dad's Army (1968), a British sitcom revolving around the misadventures of the members of a local group of Home Guard during World War II. See more »

Goofs

When Spud is tripped over, chairs are in different positions. See more »

Quotes

Clive Candy: I often thought, a fellow like me dies - special knowledge, all to waste. Well, am I dead? Does my knowledge count for nothing, eh? Experience? Skill? You tell me!
Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff: It is a different knowledge they need now, Clive. The enemy is different, so you have to be different, too.
Clive Candy: Are you mad? I know what war is!
Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff: I don't agree.
Clive Candy: You...!
Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff: I read your broadcast up to the point where you describe the collapse of France. You commented on Nazi methods--foul fighting, bombing refugees, machine-gunning hospitals,...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The lead actors' names are sewn onto a tapestry-like picture, written on scrolls. This opening credits "needlework tapestry" was completed by the Royal College of Needlework. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ripping Yarns: Whinfrey's Last Case (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

I See You Everywhere
Music by Allan Gray
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not what you expect.
9 December 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure what you expect; but I'm pretty sure it isn't this.

We open in the early days of World War II with some motorcyclists speeding through the English countryside to some jaunty music. (The score, by the way, is a fine one - by Allan Gray, a composer I don't think I've heard of in any other context.) Very little is explained about the motorcyclists' quest and we don't get the full significance of the opening events until the the film's conclusion, after we've gone back to the end of the Boer War and seen events narrated from there. There's no sudden revelation at the end: it just slowly dawns on us why the motorcycle chase was so very important. I found, also, that the title preyed on my mind through most of the film's running time. It's `The Life AND DEATH of Colonel Blimp'. Why `death'?

It's a lovely, sad story with a pronounced moral, even though it isn't at all clear, even on reflection, what the moral is. Does Clive Candy really become out of date and out of touch? If so, when? There doesn't seem to be any particular moment; or rather, there are many moments - he's a character who always gives the impression of having only just ossified.

There's a lot of humour beneath the sadness - I'm particularly fond of the Battle of the Orchestra, which takes place late last century, where Candy keeps bribing the musicians to play a piece by Johann Strauss, while a German officer, who loathes the piece, offers fresh bribes to get them to stop. The German officer is, of course, an omen. Strauss is much too merry for the Germany that's to come.


34 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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