16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Colonel's secret receipe!, 19 April 2003
'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp' is an excellent movie despite the now rather cheesy patriotic propaganda that was a necessary ingredient at the time for even independent filmmakers like Powell and Pressburger. Ostensibly it seems to encourage Britain to take a more up to date attitude to warfare, to revise its outmoded belief in 'fair play'. But the movie is about so much more than this. Clive Candy may be a vehicle through which to represent the naive values of the Victorian era, but he functions at a deeper level as a man who has to learn to live with the fact that he is wrong; to come to terms with his own obselescence as all his beliefs crumble around him. This pathos extends beyond warfare into his personal relationships as he realises too late that he has lost the woman he loves, and spends the rest of his life obsessing over an ideal that does not exist.
'Colonel Blimp' is worth checking out because it develops from an emotionally detached movie at the start into a deeply moving study on obsession and the lengths to which people go to make sense of their lives. The freedom given to Powell and Pressberger under the Rank organisation meant that they had unparalelled creative freedom. Whilst this can sometimes lead to self-indulgence, here the movie is spot on in riding the line between invention and intelligibility. On DVD the picture quality is outstanding, and the colours are beautifully rendered. I recommend this movie to fans of war films, to fans of Powell and Pressberger, and to anyone who wants to see sophisticated yet highly entertaining and heartfelt cinema.