Felt generous, so gave it three stars. One of the three stars is for how brave and daring this movie was when first made (during WW II, London's Blitz) and how the two film-makers--one a German-born artiste--carried on in spite of (or maybe just to spite) the powers-that-were--Including Churchill himself. (Dreadfully critical of the uppah class and regimental righteousness, doncha know...)

Now, I really, really admire and respect Martin Scorsese. He's a big part of why we're all able to see this movie ("enjoy" is not a word that comes trippingly to my tongue) the way it was meant to be seen. He ponied up the money for its restoration and preservation, and used his considerable influence to enlist the aid of others to do so, too. Excellent! "Blimp" was a turning point in Marty's adolescent life, and influenced HIM later (and he shows us how, in a fascinating interview on Disc 2 of this Criterion release.) Fine and dandy.

However, I see this "revered" feature film through a different set of...experiences, I guess. Like, many movies that came much later. The ones that didn't rely on jack-hammering their points home in the most obvious ways. And didn't place actors (and camera) in fake, sound-stage indoor sets. Or--Scorsese makes a point of this!--avoids the big visual, dramatic scenes: a deadly duel, death of a spouse, combat on the Western Front. Those kinds of things. What's left, instead? Talk. Lots and lots of talk. Close-ups of the speaker, no edits, just blahblahblah. Hats off, though. The lead stars sure know how to deliver dialogue. Got lots of practice here!

Oh, this is blasphemy, I know. And this movie DOES weather the passage of time (and style) somewhat better than another Powell-Pressberger "masterpiece," The Black Narcissus. Saw that one twice. Quite liked it the first time (back in the 1960s, when I was an impressionable youth--somewhat like Marty Scorsese, I suppose.) Saw Narcissus again recently. Couldn't finish it. Finished this one, though. Barely.

An historical artifact. Yes. That's legitimate. Entertaining 21st century film fare? Not so much.

richmole's rating:
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