Dirs: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Starring: Roger Livesey and Deborah Kerr
A soldier survives three wars and has affairs with three different women
This romantic wartime drama is renowned for its use of Technicolor cinematography but it was not without problems. When Winston Churchill expressed his vehement dislike for the film, the British distributor Rank Films cut it to 140 minutes. The film was then well and truly chopped to pieces when it was imported to the United States in 1945, running for around 120 minutes during which the film’s vital flashback structure is eliminated and the story is told from beginning to end, and makes little sense as a result. The film was released in the US firstly as The Adventures of Colonel Blimp, then later simply as Colonel Blimp. In 1983, the film was remastered and put back to its original 163 minute length. This reappearance curiously worked in its favour as it had been tempered by time and is now deemed a classic, much more appreciated now than it ever had been previously. In fact, it could be one of the finest British films ever made. Its title derives from the satirical Colonel Blimp comic strip by David Low but the story itself is original. So where do the railways fit in. Well, in order to depict a train journey there is one darkened shot of a passing GWR express at the 116 minute mark and that’s it.