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  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Essential Art House)
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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Essential Art House)


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Frequently Bought Together

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Essential Art House) + The Films of Michael Powell: A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven) / Age of Consent + I Know Where I'm Going! (The Criterion Collection) (1945)
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Editorial Reviews

Famous British cartoon character Colonel Blimp was made flesh and blood in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's complex, humane portrait of a well-mannered soldier, whom the film follows through the first half of the twentieth century. Made during wartime, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp ignited controversy: Winston Churchill himself denounced its sympathetic view of a German soldier. Today it is considered one of the filmmakers' greatest achievements.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Kerr, Roger Livesley
  • Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LMU1BE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,492 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

"The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" is a film that signifies loss, regret but also realization.
Dennis A. Amith
The film's author, Emeric Pressburger, has toned down the less likeable characteristics of Blimp to help sustain audience interest.
Douglas M
I came out considering it among The Archers best works. which in my book, means one of the finest films ever.
Kockenlocker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Kockenlocker on October 28, 2002
Format: DVD
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.
Read more ›
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By ian french on July 31, 2002
Format: DVD
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.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Niall Sullivan on October 27, 2002
Format: DVD
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.Read more ›
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Myke Predko on March 12, 2003
Format: DVD
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
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