The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

A lot of the documents have been sent to me or have come from other web sites. The name of the web site is given where known. If I have unintentionally included an image or document that is copyrighted or that I shouldn't have done then please email me and I'll remove it.

I make no money from this site, it's purely for the love of the films.

[Any comments are by me (Steve Crook) and other members of the email list]

  Steve's Logo

Submitted by Mark Fuller

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

By "A.D."
London, Wednesday

From: Manchster Guardian
Undated (1943)

To the Odeon on Friday comes a big new all-British film nearly three hours long, "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp". This is a consistently entertaining film, nowhere boring and yet hardly anywhere satisfactory as a piece of narrative or a piece of fiction. It jumps about between to-day and 1902, cavorts similarly through space, contradicts itself, mixes its motives, and never seems quite to settle down in mood between a satire on the effete military fogy of David Low's famous cartoon figure in the Turkish bath and a paean in praise of a grand old English gentleman who ,when all is said and done, has more than a dash of both Sir Roger de Coverley and Colonel Newcome in his composition.

     He is, any how, shown to have been a remarkably efficient soldier in his own times, even though he makes something of a mess of the Home Guard in our own. In Berlin forty years ago he fights a duel with a German officer (Anton Walbrook) who becomes his best and lifelong friend and, fortunately for the tale, turns anti-Nazi around 1933. And he is a little old-fashioned but still no fool as a soldier throughout the last war. It is only in our own period that this Blimp realises his notions of meeting foul means with fair to be quite hopeless. He takes his dismissal with great dignity, and with the active sympathy of his batman (Mr. John Laurie) and his chauffeuse (Miss Deborah Kerr).

     Miss Kerr is seen throughout the film as various young women, all of them remarkably alike and remarkably pretty and articulate. Mr. Walbrook has more than one occasion for long speeches and delivers them with gentle pathos and charm, and Mr. Roger Livesey's bluff, likeable Blimp is a jolly tour de force of character acting. The film's Technicolor, for which the French expert M. Georges Perinal is responsible, is the suavest and least aggressive we have ever seen.

Back to index