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Ed Bertram

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

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Ranked #5 on the Growing Older list, it's about time Col. Blimp gets its own thread. As he promoted the film's inclusion on our list, Brian D. brought up two quotes that get to the heart of the movie and its power. I think they're a great way to start this thread, so I'll add them here.

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, The Guardian

 

Made in 1942 at the height of the Nazi threat to Great Britain, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's work is an uncommonly civilized film about war and soldiers--and rarer still, a film that defends the old against the young. – Roger Ebert

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Just curious, Ed: What version/format of this film did you watch? The Criterion 4K restoration is lovely, but so was my earlier laserdisc. The movie's good enough that the format probably doesn't hurt, as long as it's not an old washed-out TV print (perish the thought).

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Unfortunately I've only seen the TV print. But the film is so great that it's easy for me to overlook the limitations of the format.

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Ed, when you say "TV print" did you also mean the short version shown on TV for a long time?

There's an interesting introduction to the film on the Criterion Blu-ray by Scorsese, where he discusses the history of the film's presentation over the years. (He also talks about it's influence on his own films, particularly Raging Bull) He says that the version that was shown on TV for years was a 90 minute (with commercials) version. If that's all you've seen, then seek out the full version asap!

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No, TCM has been showing the full-length version for several years. So, it's the full movie, but from the version I've seen, it's easy to see where restoration was still necessary. 

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