Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - Criterion Collection|
Actors: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook, Roland Culver, James McKechnie
Directors: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
The film follows the exploits of exemplary british soldier clive candy as he battles to maintain his honor & proud gentlemanly conduct through romance three wars & a changing world. Studio: Image Entertainment Release Da... more »
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A Masterpiece Restored
Kockenlocker | Portland, Oregon United States | 10/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How wonderful it is to have this unique movie beautifully restored to its original length and scene order by the British Film Institute.Until about ten years ago, I had never seen this film. I had never rented the cut, reconfigured tape, because I didn't think I'd like the film (in any form). But the L.A. County Museum of Art had an Archers' retrospective several years ago that included the BFI restoration print. Despite many of there pictures being among my favorites, I still thought I was in for a hoary WW II propaganda film. I could walk if I didn't like it.Was I ever wrong. I came out considering it among The Archers best works. which in my book, means one of the finest films ever."The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp," in the original version, is a brilliant mix of WW II propaganda, an often whimisical loving satire of the system. It is ultimately one of the most winning anti-war films ever. In a different way, as good as "Grand Illusion."This low-key epic begins with the Boer War, when Blimp is a young (too) gung-ho officer to the time the film was made--mid-war 1943. The cast is superb. Roger Livesey gives one of the best performances imaginable. Deborah Kerr (18) at the time, gives a tour-de-force performance as the three different women Blimp falls for in the 40-year span of the film. Anton Walbrook Is so brilliant in this film. This man I am now convinced was one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century. His controversial character is a German officer Blimp befriends in the Boer War and they become life-time friends, with Blimp vouching for him being permitted to stay in England during WW II. Walbrook's scene explaining why he has left Germany is as great, if not greater than his curtain speech in "Red Shoes." Most other actors would have turned this into maudlin sentimentality. Walbrook instead gave me a giant lump in my throat. I don't lump easily.If you've never seen the complete, uncut and untampered with film and are Archers devotee, this is the version for you.The extras are uniformly fine. The commentary track with Martin Scorsesse and director Michael Powell, from a recording he made on first viewing the restored film, is sharp and perceptive. He sounds very old and can be hard to understand because of it, but it is worth the extra effort to hear him comment on one of his personal favorites.
There is also an excellent half-hour or so documentary, that includes Emeric Pressburger's grandson, that helps explain why and how the film was tampered with and almost never seen as a result of Prime Minister Winston Churchill trying to ban it. No luck in England. J. Arthur Rank released it in his English theatres and advertised "See The Banned Film." And it was a huge hit. The "banned" got the initial audiences in, word-of-mouth made it the movie too see. Winnie also failed in his attempts to stop exportation to other countries.One of the most intelligent, witty,serious, breathtakingingly beautiful Technicolor films ever released.Get this Criterion treasure now. It also includes several Colonel Blimp "original" editorial cartoons, by Blimp creator David Low. Some are timely today and could run with the names changed to suit today's political and military madness. The editorial cartoons were a revelation to me.Archer Fans, order now and have a really complete collection of these unique gems.The chap from England, below, is absolutey, right."
The REAL Triumph of the Will
Mr. Niall Sullivan | Chester, England, Disunited Kingdom | 10/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This and "A Matter of Life and Death" are Powell & Presberger's masterpieces, before they descended into the schmalz of "The Red Shoes". The tale of the essentially decent British and German gentlemen, played by Roger Livesey and Anton Walbrook respectively, rapidly becoming dinosaurs in the changing Europe between the Boer War and the Blitz, yet clinging to their values despite being kicked in the face by the brutalisation of Germany and by the consequent brutalisation of a Britain attempting to survive against barbarism. Their friendship begins from the mutual respect engendered by a duel fought reluctantly for the honour of their respective traditions at the time of the Boer War. During convalescence they vie for the hand of Deborah Kerr, turning up in the first of 3 roles. Livesey's shyness leaves Walbrook holding the field. Nearly 20 years pass until they meet again, at a POW camp in Britain. Livesey's essential naivete rides roughshod over the wartime enmity, but Walbrook's response is ambivalent, and the reunion is short-lived and bittersweet. Livesey marries Deborah Kerr's reincarnation as a nurse, because of a resemlance to his first love. A further 20 years pass. Livesey, widowed, is asked to act as sponsor for Walbrook, now exiled from Germany, also widowed and estranged from his Nazi children. Together they come to terms with their sidelining in a world of younger men with few of the old values. Deborah Kerr turns up for the third time as Livesey's driver as he moves from army officer to Home Guard organiser,refusing to be pushed out of the fight. In appearance Livesey's character assumes the appearaqnce of David Low's cartoon Colonel Blimp, but underneath he is more rounded; decent,generous to and loyal to friends, slow to denegrate his foes and totally patriotic, but finally nobody's fool. John Laurie appears in a delicious cameo as Livesey's batman/manservant, crusty but loyal. His boss may occasionally infuriate and perlex, but Laurie recognises the basic decency, as, finally, all do who come into contact with him. It may be propaganda, but it is still magnificent."
What Criterion is all about
Myke Predko | 03/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" to be a haunting story, rich in story and superbly acted. I found the film to be a very private experience - one that you will be thinking about for a long time. I really can't add anything to the comments made before other than to say that this is the type of film that makes Criterion a special mark. I would question many of their choices, films are available in other formats and of questionable importance (e.g. "Armageddon", "The Royal Tennanbaums" and "The Rock"). "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" probably would have been lost forever (or show up as a $...DVD on a "Bargains" rack) without the work put in by Criterion and the "legitimacy" conferred on it by being recognized by the brand. myke"
Propaganda that still works, a view from england
ian french | Bristol, England | 07/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best film by the best chroniclers of english life. I put this review on the American site because I feel the need to evangelise! Emeric Pressburger was an Hungarian refugee, and put much of his experience into the mouth of Theo, the sympathetic German character (in 1943! No wonder Churchill wanted it banned without seeing it). The film has three sections, set in 1902, 1918 and ww2. It shows the friendship between the title character, Clive Wynne Candy, and Theo Kretchsmar-Shuldorf. It's also a love story, with Deborah Kerr as three identical looking women. Most of all it's a requiem for a lost golden age, and a call to arms to defeat Nazism. The best set pieces are given to Theo (Anton Walbrook) a German refugee actor, emphasising that this is not a conflict between two equal and honourable countries, but between good and between evil, and this time, if good loses, there is no return match.This propaganda is 60 years old, but every time I watch it by the end I'm ready to sign up."