The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp Review

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We travel through Major General Wynn-Candy's life and watch it unfold through his relationships with three different women. We see too, how his soldierly honour adapts as his personal relationship with the nature of war changes...


This is cinematic storytelling on the broadest canvas. With customary P&P intelligence and bravado, Blimp details the life of Clive Candy (Livesey) from his days a a dashing officer in the Boer War through World War 1, to his final days in the London Blitz recounting his youth.

Despite its military backdrop, Powell presents a multifaceted study not only of a man, but also the decaying values of 40s Blighty where notions of honour, chivalry and fair play are rendered redundant in the face of the war.

Yet, however pointed the satire becomes, Powell also finds time to skewer the tale with romance – Kerr superbly etches romances in three different eras in Candy’s life – hinting at the subterranean passions behind the nation’s stiff upper lips. Bravely, for a movie made during wartime, Powell and Pressburger added a likeable German character in Anton Walbrook’s The Kretschmar-Schuldorf, a beguiling Prussian Officer whom Candy fights n a duel and ends up befriending, ending in a 40-year friendship.

Indeed, perhaps it is here that Blimp scores so strongly – in its portrayal of the unflagging warmth, wisdom and generosity of the human spirit.

A wonderful salute to British decency and a touching portrait of a friendship that bridges national boundaries.