Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Movie Review

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Rent The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp on Amazon Video
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.
Watch it.

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.

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