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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 4 May 1945 (USA)
From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.
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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
...
von Schönborn
Carl Jaffe ...
von Reumann (as Carl Jaffé)
...
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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Michael Powell was intrigued by how second-unit cameraman Jack Cardiff was filming the animal heads and gave Cardiff his first big break as the cinematographer on his next film, Stairway to Heaven (1946). See more »

Goofs

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

Spoofed in The Jungle Book (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Zampa
(uncredited)
Music by Ferdinand Hérold
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.


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