Archive of films Life and Death of Colonel Blimp / The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

United Kingdom
1943, 164 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2012

Inspired by a satiric comic strip, this renowned British film, which angered Prime Minister Winston Churchill, uses extensive flashbacks to present the army career and personal life of a genial soldier who elevated professional and personal honor and true friendship above all. The film’s digital version was premiered at this year’s Berlinale.


The age-old generational conflict between the obstinacy of youth, sorely lacking in tolerance, and the experience of old men is central to the second film shot by The Archers, Powell and Pressburger’s production company. As the basis for their own genial General Candy (Roger Livesey), the creative duo turned to left-leaning David Low’s comic strip creation Colonel Blimp, which the caricaturist used to savage the domestic policy and military establishment of the era. One of the most renowned British films of the 20th century, recently digitally restored, Colonel Blimp uses extensive flashbacks of the private life and four-decade military career of a soldier who elevated professional and personal honour and true friendship above all. And thanks to Candy’s gentlemanly manner of waging war, which seemed highly anachronistic in 1943, and to his unwavering lifelong friendship with a German officer (Anton Walbrook), "Blimp” and his conventions provoked Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s anger against the obstreperous filmmakers and even a boycott of the film.

About the director

Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Michael Powell (b. 1905, Bekesbourne, England-1990, Avening, England) left a secure job working in a bank in order to embark upon a career in film. He began as an assistant, cameraman and director of low-budget B movies. He teamed up with Emeric Pressburger (b. 1902, Miskolc, Hungary-1988, Saxstead, England), Hungarian journalist and screenwriter who, after the rise of Hitler, left Germany for France and then England, and in the years 1939-1957 the pair worked together as film directors, scriptwriters and producers. From a total of 19 films, KVIFF included the following works in its retrospective of both artists two years ago: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), "I Know Where I’m Going!” (1945), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948).


Park Circus Group
15 Woodside Crescent, G37UL, Glasgow
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 141 332 2175
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Out of the Past
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Screenplay: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Dir. of Photography: Georges Perinal
Music: Allan Gray
Editor: John Seabourne
Producer: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Production: The Archers
Cast: Roger Livesey, Anton Walbrook, Deborah Kerr, John Laurie
Contact: Park Circus Group

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