Yep, The Red Shoes was ultimately their biggest hit. It is sad that Rank and the Archers split over it, since it was Rank who had come to their rescue in 1942 (or was it 43?) when they were having trouble getting Colonel Blimp released.
Apparently, PM Winston Churchill was opposed to the Colonel Blimp film, and attempted to stop it from being seen by having it banned. Rank ordered production to continue, and he defied the ban by having it placed in all his Odeon theatres in Great Britain in defiance of the ban.
The new Criterion DVD of Blimp has a little documentary about the movie. Much of the info in the doc is covered in the onscreen commentary, but it is good to have it all in one 15-20 minute program. Churchill had worked hard to rid the British military of all vestiges of "Blimpism". The DVD includes many of the original Blimp newspaper cartoons, on which the film is slightly based. In the cartoons, Blimp is a know-it-all Victorian denizen of the Turkish baths, constantly mouthing idiotic commentaries on the military or British society. Had Churchill seen the film, he would've realized that Roger Livesy's Genral Wynn-Candy only superficially resembles his cartoon counterpart.
Also, some mention is made of the version that is 20 minutes shorter. Apparently, the flashback structure is abandoned. I'm curious if Christopher Banks or any one else who has seen the shortened version can verify that this is so. The film should begin with Gen Candy in the Turkish Bath, and when he falls into the pool, a flashback occurs and a much younger Candy emerges from the pool and the story is now 40 hears earlier.
Sometimes, a movie runnig time will be in error. I remember seeing the VHS of The Archers' Tales of Hoffman which listed the running time of the shortened version. I later saw the laserdisc restored version, and they were exactly the same running time.
BTW-the re-mastering of the new Blimp DVD is beautiful, along the lines of the recent re-release of Singin' in the Rain.
I also picked up The Red Shoes Criterion DVD, but as a Xmas present for my wife, so I cannot tell what goodies it contains until after Dec 25.