Clive Candy, a young British officer and hero of the Boer War finds himself involved in events that oblige him to duel with a German officer named Theo. The two combatants nonetheless become friends. During the First World War Theo is sent to England as a prisoner of war; as a result, the friendship between the two men deepens. During the Nazi regime Theo finally emigrates to Britain where the paths of the two men cross for a third time. Filmed in Technicolor, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP is widely regarded by film historians to be the ‘English answer to CITIZEN KANE’. Loosely based on the familiar British cartoon figure, Colonel Blimp, this complex film spanning four decades tells the story of a military man trying to practice his profession in a fair and gentlemanly, sportsmanlike manner who finds himself inevitably faced with the demands of modern warfare. Winston Churchill, the then prime minister, deemed the film to be ‘damaging for troops’ morale’ and refused to support it. More than a third of the work was cut and for many years a mutilated version of the film was all that could be seen in cinemas. This Berlinale screening will present the extensively restored original version.
by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
with Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook, Roland Culver
United Kingdom 1943