All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
Clive Candy V.C. has fought in the Boer War and the first world war. He still believes he can win any fight with honour and maintaining "gentlemanly conduct". It takes an old German friend of his to point out how much the rules have been changed when fighting the Nazis. We follow this delightful gentleman through his life and the pursuit of his (various) ideals.
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…
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.…
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…
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)…
'Every time I revisit THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP, it seems to have become more resonant, more moving, more profound. You could say that it's the epic of an ordinary life. And what you retain from this epic is an overpowering sense of warmth and love and friendship, of shared humor and tenderness, and a lasting impression of the most eloquent sadness.’
- Martin Scorsese
I can't help but agree with Scorsese's quote up above (even after only one viewing), and I hope I continue to have that very same experience every time I sit down with it, which will be regularly. Sporting two exceptional lead performances, an epic scope with that famous Archers commitment to the vibrancy…
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Music by Allan Gray. 163 min. NR. Starring: Roger Livesey (Clive Candy), Anton Walbrook (Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff), Deborah Kerr (Edith Hunter/Barbara Wynne/Johnny Cannon), James McKechnie (Spud Wilson), Roland Culver (Colonel Betteridge), Frith Banbury (Baby-Face Fitzroy), Jane Millican (Nurse Erna), Ursula Jeans (Frau von Kalteneck), John Laurie (Murdoch), Muriel Aked (Aunt Margaret). Epic British answer to Citizen Kane tracks the life of a colorful and successful British soldier, Clive Candy, over a period of 40 years, observing events in three different wars in which he played a part: the Boer War in 1902, World War I in 1918 and the second World War in 1942. All the while, he finds comfort in his unlikely relationship…
This is my third film from Powell and Pressburger and the two are really resonating with me. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp in particular struck me as way ahead of it's time. The sublime colour cinematography and endless energy this thing is shot with makes it feel like a film made ten or even twenty years after it actually was. This is a very well-realized movie visually, but the substance is also quite bold and daring. Despite being made during World War II (and in England no less) the film openly questions the nature of warfare, particularly the waning notion of "gentleman warfare". It's also really bold that the film feature a sympathetic and layered German protagonist. However…
I watched this movie on a recommendation because it was his favorite movie but I didn't think this is anything special.
Eloquent, impassioned defense of a sensibility and a way of life that I ordinarily would find repulsive... but it's so persuasive that I was forced to suspend judgement and take it at face value. God, what a movie!
Other reviewers here have said everything that needs to be said about it, go read them. I'll just add that I can't think of another movie anywhere that gives such a detailed and sensitive look at the process of growing old. There are other ways to *be* old than the one shown here, and other ways to understand age issues, but the passage of time, and the ability of older people to observe the way society changes in the course of decades, have never been rendered so clearly.
Also Anton Walbrook.
Just the fact that I didn't hate this on sight is a testament to something or other. Nasty damn imperialist blowhard...
The Archers cover two characters over three historic wars through that unique, dreamily beautiful, Technicolor candy-shop lens of theirs. Deborah Kerr plays three completely different characters. What's not to love?! It comes across like a kind of Wizard of Oz for grownups.
Barely made it half an hour before turning it off. Outrageously boring.
Archers, what the fuck is this?
I bought a new TV!
I got a new blu ray player!
And I watched The LIfe and Death of Colonel Blimp.
First of all, this movie is just incredible to look at. The color scheme is complicated but visible, the attention to detail for the sets is just great and the lighting for all the big set pieces is fantastic.
This is a bonafide classic. A truly mesmerizing and unique performance from Roger Livesey. A trio of performances from Deborah Kerr. And every scene that Anton Wallbrook is in is a treat. The structure is just the right kind of complicated, the plot is free flowing while focused on the characters. And the concept of time is felt perfectly…
So charming. So English.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - 10/10
Is it a masterpiece that holds up to their most acclaimed work, "The Red Shoes"?
Well, Powell and Pressburger did it again, they created at least two masterpieces, and according to some, there's still two others (A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus).
I can say I liked this film perhaps even more than their "The Red Shoes" which should be acclaim enough. The same witty hilarious humor is as ever present here as it was there, and it gives us a sublime portrait of an aging man that is something of pure poetry and greatness.
It's a forlorn film on the changing means of war, in which…