<em>The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp</em>. 1943. USA. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Pictured: Roger Livesey. Image courtesy of Academy Film Archive, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, and the BFI
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    1943. Great Britain. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. 163 min.

Introduced by Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoomaker

Monday, November 7, 2011, 7:00 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    1943. Great Britain. Written and directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. With Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook. MoMA presents the world premiere of the ravishingly restored full-length version of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, introduced by Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, who served as supervising consultants. In anticipation of the two-week theatrical run that opens at Film Forum on November 18, American audiences can at long last experience “very possibly the finest film ever made in Britain” (Dave Kehr) as it was meant to be seen. Colonel Blimp’s full 163 minutes, butchered on its initial U.S. release, captures the epic sweep of Britain from the Blitz to the Boer War, as Powell and Pressburger’s intricate flashback structure looks back wistfully upon the nation’s fading glory and its seemingly old-fashioned virtues of honor, chivalry, and romantic idealism. The film’s exquisitely subtle Technicolor palette by Georges Périnal, aided by Jack Cardiff and Geoffrey Unsworth, has been rendered with the same delicate care as the celebrated 2009 restoration of The Red Shoes. This newly restored full-length version also deepens Roger Livesey’s career-defining portrayal of World War II Home Front Commander Clive Wynne-Candy, an incorrigibly likable, poignant, yet ultimately ambivalent homage to cartoonist David Low’s beloved caricature of reactionary bluster. It amplifies Candy’s rivalry-turned-lifelong friendship with a Prussian lieutenant of the old guard (played by a gallant Anton Walbrook)—for which an outraged Winston Churchill tried to have the film banned—and the elusive loves of his life (all played with radiant intelligence by a young Deborah Kerr). Be the first to see the premiere, and then tell all your friends about the Film Forum run! Restored by the Academy Film Archive in association with the BFI, ITV Studios Global Entertainment Ltd., and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by The Material World Charitable Foundation, the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, Cinema per Roma Foundation, and The Film Foundation. 163 min.