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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 4 May 1945 (USA)
From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James McKechnie James McKechnie ... Spud Wilson
Neville Mapp Neville Mapp ... Stuffy Graves
Vincent Holman Vincent Holman ... Club Porter (1942)
Roger Livesey ... Clive Candy
David Hutcheson David Hutcheson ... Hoppy
Spencer Trevor Spencer Trevor ... Period Blimp
Roland Culver ... Colonel Betteridge
James Knight James Knight ... Club Porter (1902)
Deborah Kerr ... Edith Hunter / Barbara Wynne / Angela 'Johnny' Cannon
Dennis Arundell ... Café Orchestra Leader
David Ward David Ward ... Kaunitz
Jan Van Loewen Jan Van Loewen ... Indignant Citizen
Valentine Dyall ... von Schönborn
Carl Jaffe Carl Jaffe ... von Reumann (as Carl Jaffé)
Albert Lieven ... von Ritter
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Lusty Lifetime Of A Gentleman Who Was Sometimes Quite A Rogue! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

4 May 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP188,812 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,129
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the film, Clive Candy tells Col. Betteridge that he has been speaking with Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Betteridge, an avid fan, turns and quotes to his subordinate, Major Plumley: "Lovely evening, my dear Watson..." Plumley is played by Ian Fleming, who earlier portrayed Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931), Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Rembrandt (1932), The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935), and Murder at the Baskervilles (1937). His Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Wontner, also appears in a small role later in the film. See more »

Goofs

Several times Candy says that during the Boer War he had had to hide out in a house in South Africa for seven months, but at the restaurant in Berlin he tells Edith he had hidden for seven weeks. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Wynne: I was thinking - how odd they are, queer. For years and years they're writing and dreaming beautiful music and beautiful poetry. All of a sudden they start a war, sink undefended ships, shoot innocent hostages, and bomb and destroy whole streets in London, killing little children. And then they sit down in the same butcher's uniform, and listen to Mendelssohn and Schubert. Something horrid about that...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The lead actors' names are sewn onto a tapestry-like picture, written on scrolls. This opening credits "needlework tapestry" was completed by the Royal College of Needlework. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in A Profile of 'The Red Shoes' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Can Can
(Infernal Galop) (uncredited)
from "Orpheus in the Underworld"
Music by Jacques Offenbach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This was a propaganda effort. I think Churchill was wrong.
25 September 2005 | by nigel-lillywhiteSee all my reviews

I watched this film again yesterday, accompanied by my Hungarian born wife. We are both 76. We both lived through the war on opposite sides. Remember that in 1942, when making it started, Britain was still in the beginning stages of achieving the upper hand in the war. Propaganda was still a necessary weapon. Hence the speeches delivered by Anton Walbrook. Yes, there was a point made about old-fashioned attitudes which did exist. Those who criticise the film as being boring, out of date, etc are possibly overwhelmed by more modern techniques of script writing, special effects, CGI, large forces of extras and the like. These were simply not available in war torn Britain. Even the possibility to use Technicolor was quite extraordinary to cinema goers of that time. Look carefully at the backdrops - many exteriors seen through windows are painted. This was a minor masterpiece made under difficult circumstances. My wife, seeing it for the first time, found it excellent.


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