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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
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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