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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 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:
Anton Walbrook ... Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff
Deborah Kerr ... Edith Hunter / Barbara Wynne / Johnny Cannon
Roger Livesey ... Clive Candy
Roland Culver ... Colonel Betteridge
Harry Welchman Harry Welchman ... Major Davies
Arthur Wontner ... Embassy Counsellor
Albert Lieven ... von Ritter
John Laurie ... Murdoch
Ursula Jeans ... Frau von Kalteneck
James McKechnie James McKechnie ... Spud Wilson
Reginald Tate Reginald Tate ... van Zijl
David Hutcheson David Hutcheson ... Hoppy
A.E. Matthews A.E. Matthews ... President of Tribunal
Neville Mapp Neville Mapp ... Stuffy Graves
Vincent Holman Vincent Holman ... Club Porter (1942)
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An unforgettable story of forty gallant years. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

4 May 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Microphonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Fry named this as his favourite film, noting that the movie is about what being English means. See more »

Goofs

When in 1919 Candy receives the letter telling him that the whereabouts of prisoner-of-war Schuldorff there's a shot of the letter saying that camp is called 'Hardleigh'. However in voice-over Candy says 'Hardwick'. See more »

Quotes

Clive Candy: Until now, Germany has used her arms with honor.
[pause, smiles]
Clive Candy: I admit he said nothing about her legs.
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 »

Alternate Versions

The original version (the one restored to Criterion Collection DVD and laserdisc) runs 163 minutes. When Winston Churchill expressed his vehement dislike for the film, the British distributor, Rank Films, cut it to 140 minutes. The film was chopped to pieces when it was imported to the United States in 1945, running around 120 minutes (in which the film's vital flashback structure is eliminated and the story is told from beginning to end). The film was further cut to 90 minutes and ran on public television often in the 1970's (in the Criterion commentary, Martin Scorsese comments that this is the version he saw late night when working on New York, New York (1977)). For years, it was thought that the only existing version was this 90-minute version. In 1983, with the cooperation of the Archers, the epic film was restored to the full 163-minute length, much to the delight of Emeric Pressburger (whose favorite film this was). The film was reconstructed to the original flashback structure and many scenes taking place during World War I were restored, including the much-discussed black soldier. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Zampa
(uncredited)
Music by Ferdinand Hérold
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Powell/Pressburger delight.
3 July 2003 | by wisewebwomanSee all my reviews

I recently acquired the DVD of the full version of this movie, beautifully restored with a commentary both by Powell himself before he died and Martin Scorcese.

It is rich on many levels not least of which it is the evaluation of a man's military career in an era of three wars.

Roger Livesey does not disappoint in this role and makes Colonel Candy a not too likable character but a totally understandable one. He comes from the school of fair play that allows him to believe in his friendship with a German officer. The world of nazi-ism is a riddle to him, he brings his old rules to this new war and soon finds himself deranked to running the home guard.

Throughout the span of the 40 years that are covered, Livesey suffers the losses of loves and homes, the only constant being his friendship with Theo, his German counterpart.

This movie might get the viewer reflecting on a life lived, the price of war, and interestingly enough it was made not knowing the outcome of WW2 which makes it all the more profound.

Banned in England and cut to shreds at one point for American viewing, this DVD is a welcome addition to my collection.

8 out of 10.


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