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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 8,224 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 83 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:
...
...
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
Ursula Jeans ...
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

Plot Keywords:

officer | military | german | boer | boer war | See more »

Taglines:

A Devil... In A Daring Adventure! 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

The filmmakers wanted Laurence Olivier to play Clive Candy, but he was prevented from being furloughed from the Navy by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who didn't want the film to be made. Churchill didn't want to bolster the production with an actor and star of Olivier's caliber, as he felt the movie was critical of a type of British patriot. Olivier was allowed to take a leave from the Navy to make a film about William Shakespeare's patriotic King Henry V in The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France (1944). Roger Livesey was cast instead. A generation later he played Olivier's father, Billy Rice, in The Entertainer (1960), though he was actually less than a year older than Olivier. See more »

Goofs

A camera shadow is visible on the Clive's back as he approaches Theo at the prisoner camp. 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

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

Soundtracks

Can Can
(Infernal Galop)
from Orpheus in the Underworld
Music by Jacques Offenbach
See more »

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User Reviews

Roger Livesey's greatest role
25 July 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'd forgotten what a good film this was until I watched it on DVD recently. 'The Archers' had such an impressive body of work even a gem can be temporarily out of mind - such was the case with Colonel Blimp while I was catching up with all their other work.

There seem to be three performances approaching greatness in this - first of course, that of Livesey as Clive Wynne-Candy throughout his long service as a soldier to old age and 'Blimpishness', a superb portrayal and very memorable; then Anton Walbrook - brilliant in all his scenes as the sympathetic German who finally becomes reconciled to 'his wife's country'; and finally, in three roles, Deborah Kerr, standing for Candy's ideal woman. There'd be one more film for the Archers before Kerr became established in Hollywood, and she is excellent in her trio of roles in this.

Special mention should go not only to P&P for their tremendous vision and energy, but also the great Jack Cardiff who put such wit and clarity in sequences such as the animal head shots. The film itself is one of Britain's best. I'm amazed to hear it was suppressed in its entirety for so many years, and glad it survived to become the masterpiece it surely is.


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