The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's much-lauded epic Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which satirizes British traditionalism, stirred up impassioned hostilities and indignations among the Brits when released in 1943. It so infuriated Winston Churchill, in fact, that he refused to allow its exportation to other countries, particularly the U.S. When Blimp finally did premiere in the States in 1945, it screened in a drastically cut version. The sweeping story covers several decades. It begins at the tail end of the Boer War, when handsome young British officer Clive Candy, recently back… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Maybe the most wonderfully British movie ever made."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"The movie looks past the fat, bald military man with the walrus moustache, and sees inside, to an idealist and a romantic. To know him is to love him."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Arguably the finest British film made during the second world war..."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Staggering and heartbreaking. Still."
‑ Wally Hammond, Little White Lies
"Few British films from this period seem to mythologize the pre-war period of Churchill's youth and early career quite as potently."
‑ Jaime N. Christley, Slant Magazine
"A 1943 Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger collaboration so unambiguously satirizing the military mind-set that Prime Minister Winston Churchill tried to have it banned."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"The rarest of cinematic treasures: a historical epic that is also intensely personal and emotionally earnest."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Blimp is a film that gives us musical mischief, marvellous moustaches, poignancy and peculiarity in droves."
‑ , The List
"A wonderful salute to British decency and a touching portrait of a friendship that bridges national boundaries."
‑ Alan Morrison, Empire Magazine
"It's a blatant bit of World War II propaganda and very talky, although with an undeniable spirit and some Lubitsch-like comic passages."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Its brilliance lies in its insistence that even dinosaurs deserve empathy and maybe even love."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"The greatest of all British films, the greatest film about Britishness"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"This glorious film is about the greatest mystery of all: how old people were once young, and how young people are in the process of becoming old."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Its status as a national treasure is assured, thanks to Roger Livesey's protean lead turn, Deborah Kerr's three incarnations of his ideal woman and the mastery of the medium that typified The Archers at their height."
‑ Neil Smith, Total Film
"It might be the best film to ever come out of England."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp on Rotten Tomatoes