The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Deborah Kerr and Roger Livesy star in this wondrous British Technicolor classic – one of cinema’s greatest studies of ‘Englishness’.

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Alternative titles

  • Colonel Blimp Alternative


General Clive Wynne-Candy is first found relaxing in faintly complacent and dufferish old age in London during the Second World War, before we flash back to his days as a dashing young officer in 1890s Vienna.

What follows is a wondrously rich, witty, sympathetic yet surprisingly critical portrait of a man and the subtle changes in his personality and values that occur with the passing of time; crucially, his fateful encounters with Edith Hunter and Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff teach him that little is fair in love and war.

Though Winston Churchill was famously tempted to suppress the film, it’s now acknowledged as a humanist testament and one of the finest British movies ever made, as deep, dark, delicately nuanced and quietly devastating as an Elgar symphony. And the performances of the three leads are arguably their best; Eric Livesey, especially, is magnificent.

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