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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance | War  -  4 May 1945 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 8,651 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 89 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 ...
Spud Wilson
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
Edit

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:

The Lusty Lifetime Of A Gentleman Who Was Sometimes Quite A Rogue! 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

Clive Candy goes to Germany to fight a duel over propaganda about the British treatment of people in South Africa in the Boer War. Many of the cited things he was dueling over were in fact true. "Concentration camp" was first used to describe British camps in South Africa in 1899-1902. See more »

Goofs

The notice Candy places in The Times about Murdoch's death states he died in a bombing raid in October, 1940. But when Candy is shown on the cover of Picture Post magazine sometime afterward, the magazine is dated September 21, 1940. See more »

Quotes

Clive Candy: I heard all that in the last war! They fought foul then - and who won it?
Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff: I don't think you won it. We lost it -but you lost something, too. You forgot to learn the moral. Because victory was yours, you failed to learn your lesson twenty years ago and now you have to pay the school fees again. Some of you will learn quicker than the others, some of you will never learn it - because you've been educated to be a gentleman and a sportsman, in peace and in war. But Clive!
[tenderly]
Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff: Dear old Clive -...
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 Mine Own Executioner (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Can Can
(Infernal Galop)
from Orpheus in the Underworld
Music by Jacques Offenbach
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.


35 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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