A bit of a marathon, a bit silly and a bit of a charmer, this is a curious film to champion among the classics, as many have.
From a technical standpoint, the film is superb. Marvelously adroit at creating time-spanning montages. Convincing makeup for its era. Thoughtful set design and scoping camera movements that made me wonder if Kubrick was a Blimp fan. It's an easy film to appreciate, which is important to remember throughout the three hours you spend with this periodically engaging story.
A genteel, good ole' boy stuffiness in the film's atmosphere must resonate with proud British nationalists. We follow General Clive Candy (Roger Livesey) through the heyday and waning embers of the British Empire, before World War II changed the imperial arrangement.
As Clink ages, the norms of military conduct change and he struggles to realize this due to a stubborn dignity inherent to his ascension.