All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
Considered by many to be the finest British film ever made, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is a stirring masterpiece like no other. Roger Livesey dynamically embodies outmoded English militarism as the indelible General Clive Candy, who barely survives four decades of tumultuous British history, 1902 to 1942, only to see the world change irrevocably before his eyes. Anton Walbrook and Deborah Kerr provide unforgettable support, he as a German enemy turned lifelong friend of Candy’s and she as young women of three consecutive generations—a socially committed governess, a sweet-souled war nurse, and a modern-thinking army driver—who inspire him. Colonel Blimp is both moving and slyly satirical, an incomparable film about war, love, aging, and obsolescence, shot in gorgeous Technicolor.
Film #10 of Project 40
”War starts at midnight!”
Few films can catch the spirit of time as good as this 1943 visually riveting and thematically intricate piece of cinema. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger portray the passing of time and the changes it brings to the moral values of society and individuals so finely and with such skill that the whole film looks like a reflection of life at its simplest form, with lost loves, regrets, friendships, adventures and misfortunes. The film looks back at Clive Candy’s life and shows his journey through time, how he has lived his life and most importantly how he has failed to catch up with the passing of time. The Life and Death…
Since I joined Letterboxd, I've only had reason to hit the 5 star button for a viewing of a film during my lifetime here on six occasions, and three of those were for films I'd seen before. Out of all them, I probably hit it for The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp twice as quick as for any of the rest of them. What a wonderful, wonderful film.
I did a little bit of reading up about it beforehand as I really did not know anything about it all and I have to say that I was a little bit daunted by it before I started. Not because of its…
My opportunities for watching films are often quite limited, and often coincide with looking after my daughter and I have hundreds of films here to watch. So I tend to go for fairly short films and fit a few into my film watching days. Which means films like this, which I was always sure I would love, tend to sit unwatched for years at a time.
Which is a shame, as the long run time that makes me opt to instead watch two shorter films is probably this films hidden weapon. You experience the passage of time with the central character and you adjust as he adjusts, you learn to accept failings and look past them, you feel a wide…
A film made right in the middle of the Second World War with a friendly, sympathetic German and the symbolic positioning of an out of touch Colonel representing the beginning of the end of an Empire. No wonder the forces that be were none too pleased with Powell and Pressburger.
On face value it may be easier to dismiss this ridiculous looking figure at the start, a blustering old man with his round cartoonish features, whose values seen out of touch. “War starts at midnight!” he bellows at the impetuous young sergeant. Then we are forced to take a step back, asked to see this man through the years, look beyond the crimson face, ridiculous moustache and stiff upper lip.…
Not yet the eye-piercing target of subsequent films, the Archers’ freshly-minted emblem is here the enchanted stamp on a vast, elaborate tapestry. Britannia during the Blitz is a rubicund, slumbering walrus (Roger Livesey), outraged by the new generation’s ungallant aggressiveness; his bushy mustache hides a scar, he was also a reckless blade once, four decades and three wars flash before his eyes. In the Edwardian Belle Époque the fussy old general is a Boer War officer, young and impudent enough to turn a diplomatic affair into an affront to the German Army. The symphonic first movement climaxes with the camera craning away from a duel just as swords are crossed, then finding the protagonist and his Prussian opponent (Anton Walbrook)…
Director: Michael Powell (and Emeric Pressburger) (First Film)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp may be the most British film I have seen and as a film about being British, is probably the best of its kind. A combative and often intensely funny duo; together, collectively known as The Archers - Powell and Pressburger (although it has often been said that Powell did most of the directing) create a seamless, timeless and quite frankly masterful film that is hearty and poignant but also incredibly funny and always entertaining.
The seamlessness comes from the structure of the film. We're introduced to our main character Major-General Clive Candy as an almost seemingly pathetic figure. An older gentleman who somewhat…
Also this poster clearly lies. There were *three* beautiful women involved in it, they were just all the same women, kind of.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp immediately establishes itself as one of my favorite films of all time. With its length poised to indicate excess, it proves quite rich in characters and intrigue while maintaining surprisingly trimmed pacing along with clean, quick, and concise dialogue that never fails to get to the point. And despite what you may presume, blimps were more relevant to the last episode of Pokémon I watched than they were to this 163 minute masterpiece.
Having already witnessed The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus sights were set high, and soundly exceeded. Characters dominate the film. Candy is enticing, with charm and perhaps idealistic views of wartime conduct. Bold however, in his youth, his actions prove…
" Now here is the lake and I've still haven't changed. "
Because I am a smart man I only checkep upon the meaning of who or what exactly Colonel Blimp is when the film was over. To be fair to myself, if you're generally unaware of the cartoon character of said Colonel you, or in this case I just figured Colonel Blimp would be the name of the central character. And so I waited for Roger Livesey's character of a different name to somehow adopt "Blimp" as a nickname. It was not to be. But Wiki is a friend, even after the film was over.
Not just in retrospect this was extraordinary. A sprawling epic of love, friendship, and war among a British and a German soldier over the course of…
"Clive, my English is...not very much. But my friendship for you...is very much."
Time for one of those films I really, really didn't want to watch and unsurprisingly, I found it extremely boring. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp was made in 1943 during the height of World War II and was very daring in it's time due to it's portrayal of a German (excellently played by Anton Walbrook) and came under a lot of criticism because of this. It chronicles the life of Clive Wynne-Candy (Roger Livesey), a Major General during the Boer War and both World Wars. The film is acted well but with a run time of over 2 and a half hours I didn't find it very gripping. There are good performances from Livesey, Walbrook and Deborah Kerr (in 3 roles) but I just found quite boring at times.
There is a ton to unpack about this film, and I hope to watch it multiple times to fully grasp the notion of Candy's relationship to Schuldorff, to the woman in his life, and to the notion of civility in war. That last point means this would make a perfect double feature with Grand Illusion. The fact that this was made in the middle of World War II and is so ambivalent about how to fight the war makes the film even more fascinating. Candy clearly thinks we can win the war "the right way", but he's clearly wrong. Pearl Harbor proved him wrong. But you sympathize with the man. He is a relic lost in the new world, yet he's so utterly charming. Ultimately this is the tragedy of the first half of the 20th century.
God made this.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…