The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) starring James McKechnie, Neville Mapp, Vincent Holman, Roger Livesey directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger Movie Review

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)   3/53/53/53/53/5

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Not Quite a Major Mishap

Having become a bombastic General in the home guard Clive Wynne-Candy (Roger Livesey) has seen plenty of action starting 40 years earlier in the Boer War. Over the years Candy experienced the love of three women as well as becoming a lifelong friend of German soldier Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff (Anton Walbrook) but struggled with the changing face of war and honour.

The year is 1943 and Winston Churchill is being awkward by preventing Laurence Olivier from appearing in Powell and Pressburger's "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp". I reckon there would have been many a director who would have just given up on trying to make the movie but not Powell and Pressburger who pressed ahead and despite various barriers produced what for many is their greatest movie. Unfortunately I disagree because whilst it is another visually beautiful movie and has its moments it is also a waffly movie and one which unless it hooks you immediately with a chaotic scene in the then present it is incredibly hard to get in to.

But as I said it does have its moments and every once in a while a scene comes together such as when Theo in his broken English is trying to explain to Clive he is in love with Edith. It is the way Clive responds, climbing up and over the bed which is in-between them which makes it an amusing scene as much as their responses to what is going on. The trouble is that despite there being plenty more scenes which come together there are many more which don't which makes it hard work.

What this all boils down to is that "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" just didn't do it for me like it has others and much of that is down to its waffly nature as high lighted by its 163 minute running time. But it does have scenes where it simply gets it right and when it does you just can't but helped be impressed.