Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's first Technicolor masterpiece, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), transcends its narrow wartime propaganda to portray in warm-hearted detail the life and loves of one extraordinary man. The film's clever narrative structure first presents us with the imposingly rotund General Clive Wynne-Candy (Roger Livesey in his greatest screen performance), a blustering old duffer who seems the epitome of stuffy, outmoded values. But traveling backwards 40 years we see a different man altogether: the young and dashing officer "Sugar" Candy. Through a series of affecting relationships with three women (all played to perfection by Deborah Kerr) and his touching lifelong friendship with a German officer (Anton Wallbrook), we see Candy's life unfold and come to understand how difficult it is for him to adapt his sense of military honor to modern notions of "total war." Notoriously, this is the film that Winston Churchill tried to have banned, and indeed its sympathetic portrayal of a German officer was contentious in 1943, though one suspects that Churchill's own blimpishness was a factor too. --Mark Walker
You know that, after the war, we had very bad years in germany. We got poorer and poorer. Every day retired officers or schoolteachers were caught shoplifting. Money lost its value, the price of everything rose except of human beings. We read in the newspapers that the after-war years were bad everywhere, that crime was increasing and that honest citizens were having a hard job to put the gangsters in jail. Well in Germany, the gangsters finally succeeded in putting the honest citizens in jail.
Are you mad? I know what war is!
I don't agree. I read your broadcast up to the point where you describe the collapse of France. You commented on Nazi methods, foul fighting, bombing refugees, machine-gunning hospitals, lifeboats, lightships, bailed-out pilots, by saying that you despised them, that you would be ashamed to fight on their side and that you would sooner accept defeat than victory if it could only be won by those methods.
So I would.
Clive! If you let yourself be defeated by them, just because you are too fair to hit back the same way they hit at you, there won't be any methods BUT Nazi methods! If you preach the Rules of the Game while they use every foul and filthy trick against you, they will laugh at you! They think you're weak, decadent! And if you lose there won't be a return match next year, perhaps not even for a hundred years!
You mustn't mind me, an old alien, saying all this. But who can describe hydrophobia better than one who has been bitten - and is now immune.
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