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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Special Restoration Edition) [DVD] 
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From the celebrated team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger comes this artistic masterpiece. Roger Livesey brilliantly portrays a British officer, Clive Candy, through the trials and tribulations of three wars, three loves and a lifelong friendship across enemy lines.
During the Boer War, Candy is sent to Berlin to trap a German spy. There he befriends Theo, a German Officer, who marries the girl Candy is in love with. During the First World War, Candy marries a girl who resembles his lost love and helps Theo--now a POW--to get repatriated.
Candy comes back in the Second World War as a Brigadier General and once again encounters Theo. On joining a Home Guard exercise, Candy is captured and the two are forced to either aid or betray each other.
Starring Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook.
• A Profile of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp--This exclusive 25-minute documentary includes interviews with cinematographer Jack Cardiff, Powell and Pressburger biographer Ian Christie and fan of the film Stephen Fry.
• Martin Scorsese Restoration Piece
• Stills Gallery
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1943 film The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp was intended to bolster the propaganda effort. Colonel Blimp was a cartoon character conceived to parody the hidebound, elder military types whose attitudes towards war were irrelevant when it came to fighting the Nazis, a point made in the first few minutes of the movie when a platoon of young troops cheekily capture walrus-faced General Candy (Roger Livesey) during a training exercise, oblivious to his splutterings that "war starts at midnight!" Thereafter, Powell and Pressburger forge a more complex portrayal of Candy, following his career over 40 years, from the Boer War through World War I. There are strong, touching reminders of Goodbye, Mr Chips in his relationship with a German officer, played by Anton Walbrook, (a reflection, perhaps of Powell's own alliance with the German Pressburger), while Deborah Kerr recurs in three different roles, reminding Candy of the lifelong love he has missed out on. By the end, Candy's inability to recognise that the Nazis are not playing by his own, proper military rules is reaffirmed but more sympathetically. No one could mistake Powell and Pressburger's patriotic intentions here yet Winston Churchill was sufficiently disconcerted by the film to try to have it banned. It wasn't--and it proved a huge, deserved success. --David Stubbs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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A Matter of Life and Death is magical, whimsical and another of these Pressberger oddities that should not be missed. It puts Love above all else, in a phantasy in which Niven survives a shot-up bomber by mistake (a fog means that the French Angel sent to collect him fails to find him). By the time the Frenchman has found him, Niven has fallen in love with a young WAAF and she with him, providing his defence in a heavenly court. Charming, at times gripping. I love this film too.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
'A Matter of Life and Death' pits the dashing David Niven against death: he falls to earth in his warplane during WW2, his plane wrecked beyond repair, and the girl on the radio tells him not to worry...he falls in love only to find he's dead. Someone up in heaven has made an error, and only with the help of an angel (reminiscent of 'It's Wonderful Life') can he sort out whether or not love will prevail...it's called 'Stairway to Heaven' in the USA, which gives you a clue as to one of the more mmeorable sequences, accompanied by suitably unnerving music...
'Blimp' is an absolute masterpiece, with Roger livesey's best performance against the dazzling Deborah Kerr, both of them pulled through forty years of Empire and the realisation that the war against Hitler is life or death - it could almost have been given the same title as the Niven film.
A DVD in which both films display why Michael Powell and emeric Pressburger are two of the most enduring British film-makers of all time.
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(1943, UK, 157 min, colour, English subtitles, Aspect ratio: 4:3, Audio: Mono)
EXTRA: Documentary incl.Read more
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