It’s not often that being hated by Winston Churchill was a good thing, but it probably was for 1943’s The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp. The wartime leader refused to allow Laurence Olivier out of service to star in the film and along with the War Office was adamantly against the film, which they apparently worried would undermine the war effort. However it probably helped publicise the movie and went some way to making writer/directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s names.
Colonel Blimp was originally a 1930s comic strip that parodied the kind of jingoistic, pompous, old-school, army gent (which was one of the reasons Churchill and others were wary of the movie), although the film itself is a totally original tale not based directly on the comic. It follows Clive Candy, who we first meet as a stodgy old man in a Turkish bath, who’s horrified when uniformed men storm in to capture him, even though he’s adamant that “War begins at midnight!” [Read more…]