The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a 1943 romantic drama war film written, produced and directed by the British film making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger under the production banner of The Archers. It stars Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook. The title derives from the satirical Colonel Blimp comic strip by David Low but the story itself is original. The film is renowned for its Technicolor cinematography.

Since the highly successful re-release of the film in the 1980s, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp has been re-evaluated. The film is praised for its dazzling Technicolor cinematography (which, with later films such as The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus, would become The Archers' greatest legacy), the performances by the lead actors as well as for transforming, in Roger Ebert's words; "a blustering, pigheaded caricature into one of the most loved of all movie characters". David Mamet has written: "My idea of perfection is Roger Livesey (my favorite actor) in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (my favorite film) about to fight Anton Walbrook (my other favorite actor)." Stephen Fry saw the film as addressing "what it means to be English", and praised it for the bravery of taking a "longer view of history" in 1943. Anthony Lane of the New Yorker said in 1995 that the film "may be the greatest English film ever made, not least because it looks so closely at the incurable condition of being English".