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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  4 May 1945 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 9,419 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 91 critic

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

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Title: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James McKechnie ...
Neville Mapp ...
Stuffy Graves
Vincent Holman ...
Club Porter (1942)
...
David Hutcheson ...
Hoppy
Spencer Trevor ...
Period Blimp
Roland Culver ...
Colonel Betteridge
James Knight ...
Club Porter (1902)
...
Edith Hunter / Barbara Wynne / Johnny Cannon
Dennis Arundell ...
Café Orchestra Leader
David Ward ...
Kaunitz
Jan Van Loewen ...
Indignant Citizen
Valentine Dyall ...
von Schönborn
Carl Jaffe ...
von Reumann (as Carl Jaffé)
Albert Lieven ...
von Ritter
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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 Lusty Lifetime of Love and Adventure in Lavish Technicolor (US Lobby Card tag) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | 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

Although uncredited, a very young Patrick Macnee (who would famously go on to play John Steed in the 1960s TV series 'The Avengers')can be briefly seen near the beginning of the film as one of the British soldiers who abduct Clive Candy from the Turkish bath and bundle him into the back of the army truck whilst Candy protests that "The war games haven't started yet". Macnee's distinctive voice also says a couple of words in this scene which helps identify him. He would have been approximately 21 years old when this scene was filmed. See more »

Goofs

When in 1919 Candy receives the letter telling him that the whereabouts of prisoner-of-war Schuldorff there's a shot of the letter saying that camp is called 'Hardleigh'. However in voice-over Candy says 'Hardwick'. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Clive Candy: War starts at midnight!
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

Featured in A Profile of 'The Red Shoes' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Hebrides Overture ('Fingal's Cave')
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful film
27 July 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

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.


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