Then, I met...HER. THE woman, Watson, THE woman. Played so very skillfully by the awesome Deborah Kerr in my new ultimate film, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP, I have found a cinema woman, though imaginary, who embodies all that I've ever sought in a lady-type creature of the opposite sex. Now, although she has all the appropriate gentleman-approved dimensions and accoutrements in pleasant proportion, quite ship-shape and in Bristol fashion (Kerr was 21 when she transformed herself thus), it is the addition of the traditionally lady-preferred qualities that sends her into my internal stratosphere so dramatically and dreamily. The words from this beloved woman's mouth! So articulate, so intelligent! One could give credit to the writers of the script, the dynamic duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, but it really is the young Deborah Kerr who gives the erudition and staccato diction to these lines. Her delivery is so mature, so developed, and there's an honesty and command of situation here that few (if any) actresses can pull off...but perhaps my love has me biased? Possibly, but probably not.
Edith Hunter is what certain kinds of women like to call "strong". She's untra-confident, doesn't back down when faced with a conflict, she observes and reflects, and she has an understanding of life and her environment that is enviable. I appreciate all of these thing, and I also appreciate that she can be thus without also being overbearing, rude, pushy, and insulting, qualities which have become so common in female characters when they want to compete with men...dear Edith manifests all of the ideal qualities of strength and eschews all of the negatives. She's sharp, witty, dignified, in control of herself, and OH, SO LUVERLY. The fact that she's fluent in German (which, for perhaps the first time in human history, sounds incredibly sexy), is familiar with Burschenschaften culture (with the accompanying Mensur fencing tradition, an interest of mine), is involved in the issues of the poorly handled Boer war enough to write to our stalwart Lieutenant Clive Candy VC, really makes her the sort of lady for which a true gentleman ought to possess a great admiration!
When I get my time machine, with it's cinema-universe attachment, I'm going to go back into time and cross over into Colonel Blimp land; I swear that I'll go to Germany and meet with her, and quite possibly on bended knee. That damnably handsome Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff will simply have to bow to a superior affection!
[Added note: The other people in the film are GREAT too, and the non-Edith Hunter bits are nice as well, so if you're tempted to only watch her portion (like I do sometimes), you might like to watch the rest...at least once.]
For curiosity's sake, if nothing else. :)
I've even had my own Edith Hunter, which I bungled, much as Clive Candy did, and her intoxicating anima haunts me to this very moment, nearly fifteen years after the fact. I can only imagine how devastated I would be if I were Mr. Candy, dazedly watching as a woman as amazing as Edith Hunter drifted away right in front of my eyes, never to be seen again.
From Men in Black:
Jay: You know what they say. It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Kay: Try it.