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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:

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

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, A Matter of Life and Death (1946). See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow on Clive's shoulder when he meets Theo at the Alien's Hearing. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Wynne: I was thinking - how odd they are, queer. For years and years they're writing and dreaming beautiful music and beautiful poetry. All of a sudden they start a war, sink undefended ships, shoot innocent hostages, and bomb and destroy whole streets in London, killing little children. And then they sit down in the same butcher's uniform, and listen to Mendelssohn and Schubert. Something horrid about that...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Deborah Kerr's characters are listed separately, in order of appearance. So Deborah Kerr's name appears three times in the movie credits. 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

Referenced in Mine Own Executioner (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

I See You Everywhere
(uncredited)
Music by Allan Gray
Lyrics by Desmond O'Connor
See more »

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User Reviews

Roger Livesey's greatest role
25 July 2003 | by didi-5See 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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