All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
General Clive Candy lives through four decades of war and peace - from the Boer War to World War II - trying to stay true to his belief that "right will always defeat might" and trying to stay relevant while the world changes irrevocably around him.
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…
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.…
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…
Anton Walbrook's monologue steals the show, yet again.
"I don't think you won it. We lost it -but you lost something, too. You forgot to learn the moral. Because victory was yours, you failed to learn your lesson twenty years ago and now you have to pay the school fees again."
While there was much about Colonel Blimp that I appreciated, I was maybe too daunted by the running time, and the film never fully engaged me.
I did like the editing of the taxidermied animals and the parallels the film drew.
Part of the +1 for Cute Puppers Collection
"She's going to tell the wizard. Fetch me my tin hat"
One of the most annoying things about historical movies is when a character goes "A famous historical person? I've never heard of them". It's the most patronising way a film can wink at the audience. It happens twice in Colonel Blimp. And it's really really really annoying.
I do love a good bit of patriotism, but the problem is that I feel like most things done here are just done better in Bridge on the River Kwai a decade and a half later. The whole production feels annoyingly flat when compared to a Lean feature, and the end result comes…
An expansive yet intimate anti-war epic, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is brimming with beautiful character moments, stunning cinematography and outstanding performances. The Archers had immense nerve to produce this film in the midst of a World War (resulting in it being cut for release), and yet it's as much a rich and wonderfully romantic drama as it is a condemnation of conflict. The sprawling narrative is wound tight around a few sympathetic main characters, which keeps the story in focus and the themes of love, age and humanity impactful. Before I knew it, the two and a half hour runtime had elapsed, leaving me smiling at how much of a joy to watch this film was.
beautiful & brilliant / running out of superlatives for Powell and Pressburger / Roger Livesly was on another level
Powell & Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp begins as a defence of colonialism. Concentration camps were after all a British innovation in the Boer war; with this historical perspective Lieutenant Candy's (Roger Livsey) outrage at the (German-originated) suggestion that British forces were responsible for the deaths of women and children comes across as disingenuous and more than a little like propaganda.
However, it soon becomes apparent that this film is actually far more complex than that. It's a deeply humanistic tragedy: a story of a lifetime spent agonising over a lost love (Deborah Kerr, in three different incarnations) and the words left unsaid; two friends who find themselves supposed enemies, first in a duel and then across two…
Some might call 'Colonel Blimp' one of the greatest British movies ever made. I'd say we should go one further and call it one of the greatest movies ever made - anywhere. Elegant direction and sumptuous technicolour cinematography combine with organically intricate storytelling to paint the portrait of one man's life, and in that life a true metaphor for the virtues and obsolescence of "Britishness" in wartime.
I still can't decide whether to treat "The life and death of Colonel Blimp" as an anti-war epic, an anti-nazi propaganda piece, a love story, or a bromance...
I think it is safe to say that it's a sum of all those, beautifully told, earnest, gripping and thought-provoking. And quite funny at the same time.
Inspiring in how fresh faced the film is after all this time, that breathtaking restoration certainly having something to do with it. Almost Capra-esque in how effectively it double edges and showcases its political ideas, supposing 2 sides from one idea. Doesn't feel it's runtime at all. Has complicated characters and complicated plot items without simplifying them down into oblivion. Even its title, while catchy, seems to have little to do with its' plotting, yet accurately describes the ideas behind it. Optimistically self critical.
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.