Martin Scorsese thinks 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp' transcends generations.

The 'Hugo' filmmaker wanted to restore Michael Powell's classic 1943 film because even if the story - about the friendship between uptight British soldier Clive Candy and his German counterpart Theodore Kretschmar-Schuldorff - is outdated, the human emotions at the heart of the film still ring true today.

Martin said: ''My reaction to the film was totally outside the context in which it was made ... The story transcends the culture which produced it. It is very elegantly made. It would be great if audiences could experience the film the way it was made, the way it was supposed to be seen.

''But for me the most important thing is the humanity of the film, the relationship between the characters. The whole story has an eloquent sadness to it.''

The director has a penchant for restoring old films and says he finds the process ''rewarding'' because he knows he will touch a wide group of people via the medium of film.

He added to the Guardian newspaper: ''Cinema has meant so much to so many people who did not have a culturally fulfilling childhood, so restoring a film like that is rewarding work.

''A story like 'Colonel Blimp' could not work as a book or a play; it can only work as a film. Cinema began as a sideshow attraction and developed into a reputable art form. I hate to see films fade away.''