Written by: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Directed by: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Starring: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook
My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!
The story of Major-General Clive Wynne-Candy as he rises up the ranks of the British military.
It's an amazing movie, indeed a classic. We start with a blustery old general and the movie shows us how he became as such through his military service, friendships, and loves. It's quite a transformation that brings the movie full circle. It's a sprawling and sentimental story featuring great acting and direction. This is how you tell a story.
The name is based on the popular (at the time) comic strip, though the movie is completely unrelated.
During a war game exercise, an upstart lieutenant starts before the designated time and marches into the bath house and apprehends Major General Wynne-Candy. Despite Wynne-Candy protesting that, "War starts at midnight!" The lieutenant dismisses Wynne-Candy as a blustery old man. We see him as the same, though Wynne-Candy chides the lieutenant, and us, that don't know how he got the big belly or why he wears a mustache. Forty years of military service a is a long time. They scuffle and fall into a pool, which triggers the flashback.
This is a sprawling tale of a soldier. It takes an old man that we would dismiss and gives him a backstory, transforming him into a hero. It explores to a degree what it's like to be old and how you get there.
It's a very English movie, as Wynne-Candy often refers to honor and fighting the right way. It's this honor that causes him to defy his superiors and enter a sword dual with a German officer. While they recuperate from their wounds, they become friends. Their friendship continues from the Boer War and through World War I and II despite their English and German backgrounds.
The movie traces Wynne-Candy's career and relationships, finally reaching the point at which the movie started. This is simply an incredible movie.
The British government disapproved of this film because a German soldier is portrayed as sympathetic. Winston Churchill was against this movie, possibly because he viewed it as a parody of himself.
While Wynne-Candy is a stout believer in honor, many of the things he dismisses as cruel and unfitting of England, these atrocities were committed in real life.