The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a 1943 title that showcases the evolution of conflict from the years immediately preceding the first World War out until the mid-point of World War II. General Clive Candy (Roger Livesey, The Stowaway and Finger of Guilt) is increasingly left behind in all aspects of society, whether it be warfare, love, or culture. The liberal usage of flashback scenes provides viewers with a greater sense of Candy’s backstory, allowing for greater immersion in the film. Usage of vibrant color (compounded with the usage of Technicolor) allows this film to achieve a bigger than life feel, while the 70 years that have passed since its release make the subject material foreign to viewers.The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp has been cleaned up significantly, with the print presented here representing the best in technology.
The audio commentary that is presented here showcases a meeting of the minds between Colonel Blimp’s director (Michael Powell) along with Martin Scorsese. The ability of the two to showcase the existing context of the film alongside the ramifications that it had for cinema that followed is particularly illuminating. Other featurettes include an essay written by Molly Haskell which explains how The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp fit in to simple era and genre releases, ultimately deciding that the title represents something substantially different from the rest of the fare from the era.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp can be purchased at any well-stocked video store; online retailers may be able to knock a few dollars off of the film’s MSRP. Visit the Criterion website for more information about the company and their slate of films for 2013 and beyond.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp DVD Review / 2013 Criterion / 163 Minutes / www.criterion.com
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp DVD Review