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c*** The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
Picturegoer: July 24th 1943

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
G.F.D. Archers. British. "U" certificate.
Runs 163 minutes.
Written, produced and directed by
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
Cast in order of appearance:
Spud WilsonJames McKechnie
Stuffy GravesNeville Mapp
Club Porter (1942)Vincent Holman
Clive CandyRoger Livesey
HoppyDavid Hutcheson
Period BlimpSpencer Trevor
Colonel BetteridgeRoland Culver
Club Porter (1902)James Knight
Edith HunterDeborah Kerr
Café Orchestra LeaderDennis Arundell
KaunitzDavid Ward
Indignant CitizenJan van Loewen
von SchönbornValentine Dyall
von ReumannCarl Jaffé
von RitterAlbert Lieven
Colonel GoodheadEric Maturin
Baby-Face FitzroyFrith Banbury
Embassy SecretaryRobert Harris
Embassy CounsellorArthur Wontner
Colonel BergCount Zichy
Theo Kretschmar-SchuldorffAnton Walbrook
Nurse ErnaJane Millican
Frau von KalteneckUrsula Jeans
PebblePhyllis Morris
SibylDiana Marshall
Aunt MargaretMuriel Aked
MurdochJohn Laurie
Van ZijlReginald Tate
The TexanCaptain W. Barrett
[US Army]
The NunYvonne Andre
The MatronMarjorie Gresley
Barbara WynneDeborah Kerr
The BishopFelix Aylmer
Mrs WynneHelen Debroy
Mr. WynneNorman Pierce
Major DavisHarry Welchman
President of TribunalA. E. Matthews
Johnny CannonDeborah Kerr
BBC OfficialEdward Cooper
SecretaryJoan Swinstead
The SergeantCorporal Thomas Palmer
[US Army]

I can't enthuse about this picture which runs for over two hours and could well be shorteded but I must say that it has a great deal of merit in it and some very moving moments and from a production point of view is a credit to British studios.

The story concerns Candy, a young Boer War V.C., who goes to Berlin on his own initiative to try and counter anti-British propaganda.

He gets involved in a duel with a German officer. Both wounded they become friends.

The German marries a British governess, whom Candy only realises he has loved after he has lost her.

Comes the great war and Candy - now a colonel - gets through it, marries a girl who resembles his lost love and helps to get his German friend, now a prisoner-of-war, repatriated.

Candy after the war travels a lot, retires, comes back for World War 2 as a brigadier but is axed.

He meets his old German officer friend who has fled from Germany from the nazi regime and vouches for him.

But his humiliation comes when - having been made a general in the Home Guard - he is captured in the turkish baths in his club, before the zero hour in an exercise.

He threatens to break the officer concerned, but is calmed by his German friend and a driver in the ATS who resembles the girl he had lost at the beginning of the film.

The fallacy here is that in mock warfare some zero hour must be set because otherwise an exercise becomes null and void.

It is quite a different thing from jumping the gun in real warfare.

[Did this reviewer stay awake for the 163 minutes? They seem to have totally missed the point]

The Colonel Blimp of this picture has little or no relation to Low's caricature.

He seems a decent and quite sensible fellow and is interpreted remarkably well by Roger Livesey. The way he ages is a masterpiece both of make-up and acting.

Anton Walbrook is brilliant as the Uhlan officer who loathes the Nazi regime and urges ruthlessness in fighting Hitler.

Deborah Kerr plays the three roles of the governess, Blimp's wife and the ATS driver with distinction.

I found it interesting but a little tiring at times and not wholly credible.

[Interesting review, particularly the way he is so glib about a British officer having a German friend. Remember this was at the height of WW2 and the outcome, although looking optimistic, was far from certain]

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