The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Reviews

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½ September 27, 2012
It's extremely British and clearly made during WW2. But with that said, the expected anti-German propaganda is really subdued and often Powell and Pressburger aim to humanize the "enemies". A lot of these narrative choices and also a lot of the stylistic choices seem 20 years ahead of their time.
August 9, 2010
Amazing this was released during wartime! It's long and sometimes slow, but won me over by the end. Roger Livesey's performance is remarkable.
March 19, 2014
Powell and Pressburger's remarkably modern war epic is a peculiarly acted comedy of manners and satire of British traditionalism which delicately reveals the horrible truth of modern warfare with grace and humor. It amounts to one of the greatest achievements not only in the director and screenwriter duo's careers, but in British cinema.
½ January 1, 2014
Another great film from Pressburger and Powell. The performance is fantastic and the heart-breaking story of Clive Candy is so well handled and played. A great satire.
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2011
Often considered one of the greatest British films of all time, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp tells the story of Clive Candy over the course of four decades. The film captures numerous British sensibilities and traditions as well as a look into the country's past and it's citizens during wartime. The film is a deep and complex character study and one that while slowly paced tells a nuanced and moving story.
December 5, 2013
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
November 14, 2013
Beautifully shot, colorful saga of a military figure losing a touch he might never have had.
October 20, 2013
If anybody I know from Facebook ever listens to a single thing I say via Rotten Tomatoes, let it be the following;
WATCH THIS MOVIE. Yeah, it's from the 40s, but even the anti-B&W crowd can't complain here; they whipped out the Technicolor. Gorgeous. Righteous.
½ September 27, 2013
I liked it, but I think it's about half an hour too long. It could have been tightened here and there. The story is the best thing here, the direction is really nothing too amazing considering it's P&P, but it's a good enough ride and Livesy is relentlessly charming, as ever. The Kerr idea is pretty cleverly executed because it could have been really clumsy, but thankfully she was a talent enough not to put in the same performance three times in different outfits! Anton Walbrook is probably the most compelling of the bunch, though. There's just something about his performance that captivates. The message provides an interesting take on Anglo-German relations and makes the film an interesting historical document as well.
October 1, 2011
Beautifully shot -- the sets are amazing. I miss those old Hollywood sound stage sets!
August 13, 2013
The British cousin of Grand Illusion, and maybe not *as* 'best-film-ever' in status, but it has an epic quality and a sheerly entertaining aim: make this man who is cordial, intelligent and from a certain place and time appealing to as many people as possible, and try some cinematic tricks in the process (the duel scene, which had me at first disappointed we didn't see it but then oh so glad it wasn't there, that this chance was taken to show the build-up and go for the unconventional route of the character of the duel's protocols as opposed to the action itself, same thing with the animal heads on the walls practically SHOTGUNNED onto the walls but without the hunting - in other words, it's Tarantino's upper-crust London grandfathers showing what a jolly good show can be done with wonderous tricks).

But at the same time, like Renoir, they are critical in just the mannerisms and what goes on in those little moments of those in military. Full review to come, but suffice it to say this s a VERY British film, and damn proud of it good sir, may we have some tea?
August 7, 2013
This is my first Powell & Pressburger film that I watched. On top of that, I watched the Criterion edition of the film which had interview with Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker who go on to explain several unique features of the film. As well as the influence that the film had on Raging Bull, including the acting of Robert deNiro. I thought the film was interesting but dragged on a bit too long. But I highly recumbent the Criterion edition if for no other reason then for the interviews.
½ July 1, 2013
4.5: I can't believe it's taken me this long to see it. It did not disappoint although I may actually like The Red Shoes more. I feel like this is one of those films that will grow on me over time though. It is truly epic in every sense of the word. I have the sense that it has and will help define what it meant to be in the British military from the turn of the century up until WWII. The performances, cast, sets, locations, plot, etc are incredible as is the Technicolor of course. In that sense I'm glad I waited to see it for the first time on Blu-Ray. Too bad I didn't have this along with me in Djibouti when Col Dennis asked me for film recommendations to show to the American Colonels on movie night. This should be essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of the British military.
May 27, 2013
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is one of the best of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's incredible batch of films together. It manages to be touching, funny, moving and sad all at the same time.

The three central performances, by Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook, are remarkable and the Technicolor cinematography is beautiful. An absolute joy.
May 15, 2013
Perhaps the most controversial film by renowned filmmaking duo Powell and Pressburger, who in 1943 made and released a film satirising British traditionalism, military doctrine and the general idea of masculinity. While the result still seems daring to this day, it's easy to see the softer and sweeter side. While narratively it is not their most refined film, mostly due to the abrupt time skips, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is exciting, kind hearted and fun with some very impressive camera work.
½ May 9, 2013
Like a message in a bottle found on the beach from a lost civilization.
May 1, 2013
It sounds like a film that'd never be 'out-of-stock' - a 2h 43min ,1943 British film. It sounds boring. But curiosity stirs when you read that Winston Churchill and the Ministry of Information tried to ban it. And it only takes few minutes to relax and start thinking this may not be so bad after all.
Powell and Pressburger were one of the greatest creative teams cinema ever had. The script is wonderful, with spiky, cynic dialogue, beautiful camera work by the great George Perinal (Black Narcissus) and top performances by Anton Walbrook and Deborah Kerr (I didn't much like lead actor Roger Livesey, except in the third part).
So it shows its age, but only just. This is grand filmaking that can rival Hollywood's biggest studios and it is impeccably written.
½ March 24, 2013
Well made but an exhaustive two hours and 43 minutes of dialogue ridden film.
February 28, 2013
An epic satire of war, nationalism, tradition, and Britain itself, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is also a touching tale of love and friendship. Loosely inspired by the British political cartoon character (mostly in name only), Powell and Pressburger's masterpiece sweeps across multiple decades and three different wars. Focusing upon the ongoing tensions between Germany and Britain, Colonel Blimp starts with The Boer Wars progresses through World War I and ends during World War II. Along the way, Clive Candy (his name is not actually Colonel Blimp) fights a duel, falls in love multiple times, makes a lifelong friend, and suffers loss. Churchill tried to have the film banned for its satirization of British nationalism and militarism and its positive depiction of a German officer, and ti was released internationally in a severely cut version. But the Archers' uncut film remains a masterwork that deftly blends humor, drama , and politics together with the deft writing and direction of Powell and Pressburger to create a truly unique film that transcends genre.
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