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
This film is in the Official Top 250 Narrative Feature Films on Letterboxd. See more »
Clive Candy goes to confront Kaunitz in Berlin, which is in Prussia, but Kaunitz's Stammtisch are drinking from Hofbräuhaus krugs, noted by the 'HB' insignia. The Hofbräuhaus is in Munich, which is the capital of Bavaria, 360 miles away. See more »
You know that, after the war, we had very bad years in Germany. We got poorer and poorer. Every day retired officers or schoolteachers were caught shoplifting. Money lost its value, the price of everything rose except of human beings. We read in the newspapers that the after-war years were bad everywhere, that crime was increasing and that honest citizens were having a hard job to put the gangsters in jail. Well in Germany, the gangsters finally succeeded in putting the honest citizens in jail.
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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 »
This has to be my all time favourite movie. It is the story of Clive Candy (Roger Livesey), a British Army officer, from 1902 to 1942. It is told as a flashback in three sections - 1902, 1918 and 1942. Deborah Kerr plays three women in his life, Edith Hunter, who he falls in love with in 1902, Barbara Wynne, who he marries in 1918 and Angela/Johnny his driver in 1942. Anton Walbrook plays Theo who fights a duel with Candy in 1902 and then becomes friends with Candy and Edith and marries Edith. They meet briefly in 1918 when Theo is being sent back to Germany from a British POW camp. In 1942 they meet again although both Edith and Barbara have died by then. When Theo sees Johnny he realises why Clive chose her to be his driver. Other excellent perfomers include John Laurie as Candy's WWI driver and later his butler. Some of the lines must have meant a lot to Emerich Pressburger, particularly when Theo explains why he left Germany so late after the Nazis came to power and the bit when Theo says it must be hard losing your wife abroad and Candy replies "It wasn't abroad, it was Jamaica" which summed up the David Low cartoon character Col Blimp's attitude to the world and particularly the British Empire. The film is not a war story, though it features a soldier. It is not a sloppy romance, though it features a man looking for his ideal woman. It more than either or both put together. It is without doubt due to the consummate skills of Powell and Pressburger every bit as much as the excellent performances they coaxed out of the superb cast. Winston Churchill hated the film and tried to have it banned as it featured a sympathetic German character when Britain was at war with Germany. I am so glad he failed.
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