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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
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 Henry V (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 »
When Clive first visits his Aunt's house, and the camera pans to the wall, where the animal heads will appear. You can clearly see a lighter patch of wallpaper where one of the heads will later be superimposed. See more »
Once in a while, I see a film I wished I'd seen before. This movie is one of those. It was a complete and total surprise. I'd heard of it, but never anything definitive. It is simply one of the greatest films I ever saw. From the first shot to the closing credits, it was wonderfully acted, beautifully photographed, and superbly directed. Everything worked: the music was effective, the costumes and makeup were perfect.
Roger Livesay and Deborah Kerr, in particular, shone beautifully. There was a chemistry between them that was especially magical during the early years. Livesay aged well, not just in the way he looked, but in the way he acted. He gave the impression that as an actor, he understood that generals always fight the previous war, and his General Candy felt, by films end, exactly that sort of general.
I recommend this movie without qualification to anyone who appreciates the art of moviemaking, and the pleasures of watching.
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