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Michael Powell (director)

Michael Powell (director)

Overview
Michael Latham Powell was a renowned English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

. They worked together under the name of "The Archers
Powell and Pressburger
The British film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, also known as The Archers, made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1981 they were recognized for their contributions to British cinema with the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the most prestigious...

" and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel
49th Parallel (film)
49th Parallel is the third film made by the British writer-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was released in the United States as The Invaders. Despite the title, no scene in the movie is set at the 49th parallel, which forms much of the U.S.-Canadian border...

(1941), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a 1943 film by the British film making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger under the production banner of The Archers. It stars Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook. The title derives from the satirical Colonel Blimp comic strip by David...

(1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946, also called Stairway to Heaven), Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus is a 1947 film by the British director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden...

(1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann
The Tales of Hoffmann (film)
The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann, written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger working under the umbrella of their production company, The Archers...

(1951). His controversial 1960 film Peeping Tom
Peeping Tom (film)
Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller directed by Michael Powell and written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression 'peeping Tom' describing a voyeur...

, however, was so vilified that his career was seriously damaged.

Powell was the second son and youngest child of Thomas William Powell, a hop farmer
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

, and Mabel, daughter of Frederick Corbett, of Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.
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Quotations

[of his wife Frankie] "In fact, if only I had been the perfect husband, she would have been the perfect wife."

Million Dollar Movie

"I live cinema. I chose the cinema when I was very young, sixteen years old, and from then on my memories virtually coincide with the history of the cinema ... I'm not a director with a personal style, I am simply cinema. I have grown up with and through cinema; everything that I've had in the way of education has been through the cinema; insofar as I'm interested in images, in books, in music, it's all due to the cinema."

Midi-Minuit Fantastique, Oct. 1968

"I got my first assignment as a director in 1927. I was slim, arrogant, intelligent, foolish, shy, cocksure, dreamy and irritating. Today, I'm no longer slim."

Michael Powell, 1987
Encyclopedia
Michael Latham Powell was a renowned English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

. They worked together under the name of "The Archers
Powell and Pressburger
The British film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, also known as The Archers, made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1981 they were recognized for their contributions to British cinema with the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the most prestigious...

" and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel
49th Parallel (film)
49th Parallel is the third film made by the British writer-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was released in the United States as The Invaders. Despite the title, no scene in the movie is set at the 49th parallel, which forms much of the U.S.-Canadian border...

(1941), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a 1943 film by the British film making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger under the production banner of The Archers. It stars Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook. The title derives from the satirical Colonel Blimp comic strip by David...

(1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946, also called Stairway to Heaven), Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus is a 1947 film by the British director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden...

(1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann
The Tales of Hoffmann (film)
The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann, written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger working under the umbrella of their production company, The Archers...

(1951). His controversial 1960 film Peeping Tom
Peeping Tom (film)
Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller directed by Michael Powell and written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression 'peeping Tom' describing a voyeur...

, however, was so vilified that his career was seriously damaged.

Early life


Powell was the second son and youngest child of Thomas William Powell, a hop farmer
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

, and Mabel, daughter of Frederick Corbett, of Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Powell was born in Bekesbourne
Bekesbourne
Bekesbourne is a village, within the civil parish of Bekesbourne-with-Patrixbourne, near Canterbury in Kent, South East England.Situated approximately three miles south-east of the city boundary, the village has a church, St Peter's Parish Church which has a Norman doorway, a 13th century chancel...

, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, and educated at The King's School, Canterbury
The King's School, Canterbury
The King's School is a British co-educational independent school for both day and boarding pupils in the historic English cathedral city of Canterbury in Kent. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Eton Group....

 and then at Dulwich College
Dulwich College
Dulwich College is an independent school for boys in Dulwich, southeast London, England. The college was founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn, a successful Elizabethan actor, with the original purpose of educating 12 poor scholars as the foundation of "God's Gift". It currently has about 1,600 boys,...

. He started work at the National Provincial Bank
National Provincial Bank
National Provincial Bank was a British retail bank which operated in England and Wales from 1833 until its merger into the National Westminster Bank in 1970; it remains a registered company but is dormant...

 in 1922 but quickly realised he was not cut out to be a banker.

Film career


Powell entered the film industry in 1925 through working with director Rex Ingram
Rex Ingram (director)
Rex Ingram was an Irish film director, producer, writer and actor. Legendary director Erich von Stroheim once called him "the world's greatest director."-Early life:...

 working at the Victorine Studios in Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

, France (the contact with Ingram was made through Powell's father, who owned a hotel in Nice). He first started out as a general studio hand, the proverbial "gofer
Gofer
A gofer or go-fer is an employee who is often sent on errands. "Gofer" reflects the likelihood of instructions to go for coffee, dry cleaning, or stamps, or to make other straightforward or familiar procurements. The term gofer originated in North America...

": sweeping the floor, making coffee, fetching and carrying. Soon he progressed to other work such as stills photography, writing titles (for the silent films) and many other jobs including a few acting roles, usually as comic characters. Powell made his film debut as a "comic English tourist" in Mare Nostrum (1926).

Returning to England in 1928, Powell worked at a diverse series of jobs for various filmmakers including as a stills photographer on Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

's silent film Champagne
Champagne (film)
Champagne is a silent comedy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on an original story by English writer and critic Walter C. Mycroft...

(1928). He also signed on in a similar role on Hitchcock's first "talkie", Blackmail
Blackmail (1929 film)
Blackmail is a 1929 British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Cyril Ritchard, and featuring Donald Calthrop, Sara Allgood and Charles Paton. The film is based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett, as adapted by Hitchcock, with dialogue by...

(1929). In his autobiography, Powell claims he suggested the ending in the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 which was the first of Hitchcock's "monumental" climaxes to his films. Powell and Hitchcock remained friends for the remainder of Hitchcock's life.

After scriptwriting on two productions, Powell entered into a partnership with American producer Jerry Jackson in 1931 to make "quota quickies
Cinematograph Films Act 1927
The Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 was an act of the United Kingdom Parliament designed to stimulate the declining British film industry.-Description:...

", Powell began to direct hour-long films needed to satisfy a legal requirement that British cinemas screen a certain quota of British films. During this period, he developed his directing skills, sometimes making up to seven films a year.

Although he had taken on some directing responsibilities in other films, Powell had his first screen credit as a director on Two Crowded Hours
Two Crowded Hours
Two Crowded Hours is a 1931 British comedy drama film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie and is the first film where Powell is credited as the director.-Plot:...

(1931). This thriller was considered a modest success at the box office despite its limited budget. From 1931 to 1936, Powell was the director of 23 films, including the critically received Red Ensign
Red Ensign (film)
Red Ensign is an early work by noted British film-maker Michael Powell.-Story:David Barr is the manager and chief designer of a British shipyard who comes up with a radical new design for ships, at a time when the industry as a whole is in recession...

(1934) and The Phantom Light (1935).

By 1939, Powell had been hired as a contract director by Alexander Korda
Alexander Korda
Sir Alexander Korda was a Hungarian-born British producer and film director. He was a leading figure in the British film industry, the founder of London Films and the owner of British Lion Films, a film distributing company.-Life and career:The elder brother of filmmakers Zoltán Korda and Vincent...

 on the strength of The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World was the first major project by British filmmaker Michael Powell.-Plot:The film is the story of the de-population of one of the isolated, outer islands of Scotland as, one by one, the younger generation leaves for the greater opportunities offered by the mainland, making it...

. Korda set him to work on some projects such as Burmese Silver that were subsequently cancelled. Nonetheless, Powell was brought in to save a film that was being made as a vehicle for two of Korda's star players, Conrad Veidt
Conrad Veidt
Conrad Veidt was a German actor best remembered for his roles in films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari , The Man Who Laughs , The Thief of Bagdad and Casablanca...

 and Valerie Hobson
Valerie Hobson
Valerie Hobson was a British actress who appeared in a number of British films during the 1940s and 1950s...

. The film was The Spy in Black
The Spy in Black
The Spy in Black is a 1939 British film, and the first collaboration between the British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They were brought together by Alexander Korda to make the World War I spy thriller by Joseph Storer Clouston into a film...

, where Powell first met Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

.

Meeting Emeric Pressburger


The original script of The Spy in Black followed the book quite closely, but was too verbose and did not have a good role for either Veidt or Hobson. Korda called a meeting where he introduced a diminutive man, saying, "Well now, I have asked Emeric to read the script, and he has things to say to us."

Powell then went on to record (in A Life in Movies) how:
"Emeric produced a very small piece of rolled-up paper, and addressed the meeting. I listened spellbound. Since talkies took over the movies, I had worked with some good writers, but I had never met anything like this. In the silent days, the top [American] screenwriters were technicians rather than dramatists[, but]... the European cinema remained highly literate and each country, conscious of its separate culture and literature, strove to outdo the other[s]. All this was changed by the talkies. America, with its enormous wealth and enthusiasm and it technical resources, waved the big stick. ... The European film no longer existed[,]... [except for]...the great German film business ... and Dr. Goebbels soon put a stop to that in 1933. But the day that Emeric walked out of his flat, leaving the key in the door to save the stormtroopers the trouble of breaking it down, was the worst day's work that the clever doctor ever did for his country's reputation, as he was soon to find out.

As I said, I listened spellbound to this small Hungarian wizard, as Emeric unfolded his notes, until they were at least six inches long. He had stood Storer Clouston's plot on its head and completely restructured the film."


They both soon recognised that although they were total opposites in background and personality, they had a common attitude to film-making and that they could work very well together. After making two more films together (Contraband (1940) and 49th Parallel
49th Parallel (film)
49th Parallel is the third film made by the British writer-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was released in the United States as The Invaders. Despite the title, no scene in the movie is set at the 49th parallel, which forms much of the U.S.-Canadian border...

) with separate credits, the pair decided to form a partnership and to sign their films jointly as "Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger."

The Archers


Working together as co-producers, writers and directors in a partnership they dubbed "The Archers
Powell and Pressburger
The British film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, also known as The Archers, made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1981 they were recognized for their contributions to British cinema with the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the most prestigious...

", they made 19 feature films, many of which received critical and commercial success. Their best films are still regarded as classics of 20th century British cinema. The BFI 100
BFI Top 100 British films
In 1999 the British Film Institute surveyed 1000 people from the world of British film and television to produce the BFI 100 list of the greatest British films of the 20th century. Voters were asked to choose up to 100 films that were 'culturally British'...

 list of "the favourite British films of the 20th century" contains five of Powell's films, four with Pressburger.

Although admirers would argue that Powell ought to rank alongside fellow British directors Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

 and David Lean
David Lean
Sir David Lean CBE was an English film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor best remembered for big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai , Lawrence of Arabia ,...

, his career suffered a severe reversal after the release of the controversial psychological thriller film Peeping Tom
Peeping Tom (film)
Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller directed by Michael Powell and written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression 'peeping Tom' describing a voyeur...

, made in 1960 as a solo effort. The film was excoriated by British critics, who were offended by its sexual and violent images; Powell was ostracized by the film industry and found it almost impossible to work thereafter. However, his reputation was restored over the years, and by the time of his death, he and Pressburger were recognised as one of the foremost film partnerships of all time - and cited as a key influence by many noted filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

 and Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

.

Personal life


In 1927 Powell married Gloria Mary Rouger, an American dancer; they were married in France and stayed together for only three weeks. During the 1940s, Powell had love affairs with actresses Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr, CBE was a Scottish film and television actress from Glasgow. She won the Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago performance as Laura Reynolds in Tea and Sympathy, a role which she originated on Broadway, a Golden Globe Award for the motion picture The King and I, and was a three-time...

 and Kathleen Byron
Kathleen Byron
Kathleen Byron was a British actress of stage, screen and television.-Early life:Byron was born Kathleen Elizabeth Fell in West Ham – now in the London Borough of Newham...

. From 1 July 1943 until her death on 5 July 1983, Powell was married to Frances "Frankie" May Reidy, the daughter of medical practitioner Jerome Reidy; they had two sons: Kevin Michael Powell (b. 1945) and Columba Jerome Reidy Powell (b. 1951). He also lived with actress Pamela Brown for many years until her death from cancer in 1975.

Subsequently, Powell was married to editor Thelma Schoonmaker
Thelma Schoonmaker
Thelma Schoonmaker is an American film editor who has worked with director Martin Scorsese for over forty years. She has edited all of Scorsese's films since Raging Bull...

 from 19 May 1984 until his own death from cancer at his home in Avening
Avening
Avening is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England, about three miles north of Tetbury. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 1,094. The village has two pubs. Nearby is Gatcombe Park, the home of the Princess Royal.-History:During the Second...

, Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

.

Filmography

For his films with Emeric Pressburger, see Powell and Pressburger
Powell and Pressburger
The British film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, also known as The Archers, made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1981 they were recognized for their contributions to British cinema with the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the most prestigious...

 and Powell and Pressburger films

Early films


Many of his early films are disparagingly referred to as "quota quickies
Cinematograph Films Act 1927
The Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 was an act of the United Kingdom Parliament designed to stimulate the declining British film industry.-Description:...

". Not all of them were really quota films, and the ones that were are often of a much higher standard than most other quota films. Some of his early films are now missing and are believed lost. But those that have survived often show some very sophisticated techniques and early versions of ideas that were reused, done better, in his later films.
Those marked with a * are "Missing, believed lost".
Year Title Production Company Other notes
1928 Riviera Revels G. Ventimigla and Marcel Lucien A series of comedy shorts. Powell co-directed with Harry Lachman
1930 Caste * Harry Rowson (Ideal) Uncredited as director, main director was Campbell Gullan
1931 Two Crowded Hours
Two Crowded Hours
Two Crowded Hours is a 1931 British comedy drama film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie and is the first film where Powell is credited as the director.-Plot:...

*
Film Engineering
1932 My Friend the King
My Friend the King
My Friend the King is a 1932 British comedy film, directed by Michael Powell and starring Jerry Verno. The film was a follow-up to Two Crowded Hours, Powell's unexpectedly popular directiorial debut of the previous year, with comedian Verno reprising his role as a chirpy Cockney taxi driver who...

*
Film Engineering
Rynox
Rynox
Rynox is a 1932 British crime film, directed by Michael Powell and starring Stewart Rome and John Longden. Rynox was adapted from a novel by popular thriller writer of the day Philip MacDonald....

Film Engineering
The Rasp
The Rasp
The Rasp is a whodunit mystery novel by Philip MacDonald. It was published in 1924 and introduces his series character, detective Colonel Anthony Gethryn...

*
Film Engineering
The Star Reporter
The Star Reporter
The Star Reporter is a 1932 British crime drama, directed by Michael Powell and starring Harold French and Garry Marsh. The screenplay was adapted from a story by popular thriller writer Philip MacDonald....

*
Film Engineering
Hotel Splendide
Hotel Splendide (1932 film)
Hotel Splendide is a 1932 British comedy drama film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie.-Plot:Jerry Mason inherits the Hotel Splendide at Speymouth but is disappointed when he sees it is a quiet place with a few permanent residents...

Film Engineering.
A Gaumont-British Picture Corporation Ltd
C.O.D.
C.O.D. (film)
C.O.D. is a 1932 British crime film directed by Michael Powell and starring Garry Marsh, Arthur Stratton and Sybil Grove. A man assists a woman to dispose of the body of her stepfather....

*
Westminster Films
His Lordship
His Lordship
His Lordship is a 1932 British musical comedy drama film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie.-Plot:Cheerful Cockney Bert Gibbs inherits a title from his father and becomes Lord Thornton Heath. But then he meets up with movie star Ilya Myona and when his mother asks about her,...

Westminster Films
1933 Born Lucky
Born Lucky (film)
Born Lucky is a 1933 British rags to riches musical-comedy drama, directed by Michael Powell and starring René Ray and John Longden. The screenplay was adapted from the 1928 novel Mops by Marguerite Florence Barclay....

*
Westminster Films
1934 The Fire Raisers
The Fire Raisers (film)
The Fire Raisers is a 1934 British drama film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie.-Plot:Jim Bronson is an insurance investigator, but he's unhappy with his work and gets involved with a gang of arsonists...

Gaumont-British
Red Ensign
Red Ensign (film)
Red Ensign is an early work by noted British film-maker Michael Powell.-Story:David Barr is the manager and chief designer of a British shipyard who comes up with a radical new design for ships, at a time when the industry as a whole is in recession...

Gaumont-British US title: Strike!
Something Always Happens
Something Always Happens
Something Always Happens is a 1934 British film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie.- Plot :Peter Middleton is an unemployed car salesman. He maintains his optimism and refuses the charity offered by his friends, saying that having no money would force him to go to work. He...

Warner Brothers.
First National Productions Ltd
1935 The Girl in the Crowd
The Girl in the Crowd
The Girl in the Crowd is a 1935 British comedy film directed by Michael Powell starring Barry Clifton, Patricia Hilliard and Googie Withers.The film has been declared "Missing, Believed Lost" by the British Film Institute.-Plot:...

*
First National
Lazybones
Lazybones (film)
Lazybones is a 1935 British film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie.-Plot:Sir Reginald Ford , known as "Lazybones", is an idle baronet. He hasn't a care in the world, although he doesn't have any money either...

A Real Art Production
The Love Test
The Love Test
The Love Test is a 1935 British romantic comedy film directed by Michael Powell and starring Judy Gunn, Louis Hayward, David Hutcheson, Googie Withers and Thorley Walters...

Fox British
The Night of the Party
The Night of the Party
The Night of the Party is a British mystery thriller film directed by Michael Powell and starring Leslie Banks, Ian Hunter, Jane Baxter, Ernest Thesiger and Malcolm Keen. In the United States it was released as The Murder Party.-Synopsis:...

Gaumont-British Picture Corporation US title: The Murder Party
The Phantom Light
The Phantom Light
The Phantom Light is a 1935 British Thriller film directed by Michael Powell and starring Binnie Hale, Gordon Harker, Milton Rosmer and Herbert Lomas. Criminals pose as ghosts to scare a lighthouse keeper on the Welsh coast, in attempt to distract him....

A Gainsborough Picture
The Price of a Song
The Price of a Song
The Price of a Song is a British crime film, directed by Michael Powell. The Price of a Song was one of 23 quota quickies directed by Powell between 1931 and 1936 and features a largely forgotten cast – only Felix Aylmer, here in a minor role, would go on to a significant film...

*
Fox British
Someday
Someday (film)
Someday is a 1935 British romance film, directed by Michael Powell and starring Esmond Knight and Margaret Lockwood. The screenplay was adapted from a novel by I. A. R. Wylie....

*
Warner British aka Young Nowheres
1936 Her Last Affaire
Her Last Affaire
Her Last Affaire is a 1936 British drama film directed by Michael Powell and starring Hugh Williams, Viola Keats, Cecil Parker and Googie Withers. The wife of a politician is found dead at a country inn. It was based on the play S.O.S. by Walter Ellis....

New Ideal Productions Ltd
The Brown Wallet
The Brown Wallet
The Brown Wallet is a 1936 British crime film, directed by Michael Powell and starring Patric Knowles. The Brown Wallet, adapted from a short story by Stacy Aumonier, was one of over 20 quota quickies directed by Powell between 1931 and 1936...

*
Warner Brothers.
First National
Crown v. Stevens Warner Brothers. First National Productions Ltd aka Third Time Unlucky
The Man Behind the Mask
The Man Behind the Mask
The Man Behind the Mask is a 1936 British mystery film directed by Michael Powell and starring Hugh Williams, Jane Baxter, Ronald Ward, Maurice Schwartz, George Merritt, Henry Oscar and Peter Gawthorne...

Joe Rock Studios reissued as Behind the Mask

Major films


Aside from some short films, Powell wrote, produced and directed all of his films from 1942 to 1957 with Emeric Pressburger
Year Title Production Company Other notes
1937 The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World was the first major project by British filmmaker Michael Powell.-Plot:The film is the story of the de-population of one of the isolated, outer islands of Scotland as, one by one, the younger generation leaves for the greater opportunities offered by the mainland, making it...

Joe Rock Production
1939 The Spy in Black
The Spy in Black
The Spy in Black is a 1939 British film, and the first collaboration between the British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They were brought together by Alexander Korda to make the World War I spy thriller by Joseph Storer Clouston into a film...

Harefield US title: U Boat 29
Smith
Smith (film)
Smith is a short film directed by Michael Powell to promote a charity that helped ex-servicemen who had fallen on hard times, starring Ralph Richardson and Flora Robson.-Production background:...

D&P Productions.
Embankment Fellowship Co.
10 minute short-film
The Lion Has Wings
The Lion Has Wings
The Lion Has Wings is a 1939 British, black-and-white, documentary-style, propaganda, war film. The film was directed by Adrian Brunel, Brian Desmond Hurst, Alexander Korda and Michael Powell...

London Film Productions RAF documentary footage with some fictional intercuts
1940 Contraband British National US title: Blackout
The Thief of Bagdad
The Thief of Bagdad (1940 film)
The Thief of Bagdad is a 1940 British fantasy film produced by Alexander Korda, and directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan, with contributions by Korda's brothers Vincent and Zoltán, and William Cameron Menzies...

Alexander Korda Films Inc. co-director
1941 An Airman's Letter to His Mother
An Airman's Letter to His Mother
An Airman's Letter to His Mother is a documentary-style British propaganda short based on an actual letter from a British bomber pilot to his mother published in The Times in June 1940, which subsequently was published as a pamphlet and received wide distribution in the U.K.-Plot:A Royal Air Force...

a 5-minute short
49th Parallel
49th Parallel (film)
49th Parallel is the third film made by the British writer-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was released in the United States as The Invaders. Despite the title, no scene in the movie is set at the 49th parallel, which forms much of the U.S.-Canadian border...

Ortus Films
(and Ministry of Information (United Kingdom))
US title: The Invaders
1942 One of Our Aircraft Is Missing
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
One of Our Aircraft is Missing is a 1942 British war film, the fourth collaboration between the British writer-director-producer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the first film they made under the banner of The Archers...

The Archers.
British National
1943 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a 1943 film by the British film making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger under the production banner of The Archers. It stars Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook. The title derives from the satirical Colonel Blimp comic strip by David...

The Archers/
Independent Producers
The Volunteer
The Volunteer
The Volunteer is a short black-and-white British film by the filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger for the U.K. Ministry of Information. Made during World War II as recruitment propaganda for the Fleet Air Arm, volunteer numbers rose after its release.The films features actor Ralph...

The Archers.
Ministry of Information (United Kingdom)
a short propaganda film
1944 A Canterbury Tale
A Canterbury Tale
A Canterbury Tale is a 1944 British film by the film-making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stars Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price and Sgt. John Sweet; Esmond Knight provided narration and played several small roles. For the postwar American release, Raymond Massey narrated...

The Archers
1945 I Know Where I'm Going!
I Know Where I'm Going!
I Know Where I'm Going! is a 1945 romance film by the British-based film-makers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stars Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey, and features Pamela Brown, Finlay Currie and Petula Clark in her fourth film appearance....

The Archers
1946 A Matter of Life and Death The Archers US title: Stairway To Heaven
1947 Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus is a 1947 film by the British director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden...

The Archers
for Independent Producers Ltd.
1948 The Red Shoes The Archers
1949 The Small Back Room
The Small Back Room
The Small Back Room is a film by the British producer-writer-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger starring David Farrar and Kathleen Byron and featuring Jack Hawkins and Cyril Cusack. It was based on the novel of the same name by Nigel Balchin...

The Archers.
London Films
1950 Gone to Earth
Gone to Earth (film)
Gone to Earth is a film by the British-based director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stars Jennifer Jones, David Farrar and Cyril Cusack and features Esmond Knight. The film was significantly changed for the American market by David O...

The Archers.
London Films
US title: The Wild Heart (1952) - substantially re-edited version additional scenes directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Rouben Mamoulian
Rouben Mamoulian was an Armenian-American film and theatre director.-Biography:Born in Tbilisi, Georgia to an Armenian family, Rouben relocated to England and started directing plays in London in 1922...

The Elusive Pimpernel
The Elusive Pimpernel
The Elusive Pimpernel is a 1950 British period adventure film by the British-based director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, based on the novel The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. Despite having been shot in color, it was released in the United States in black and...

London Film Productions
(and The Archers)
US title: The Fighting Pimpernel
1951 The Tales of Hoffmann
The Tales of Hoffmann (film)
The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann, written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger working under the umbrella of their production company, The Archers...

British Lion Film Corporation
(with Vega Productions and The Archers)
1955 Oh... Rosalinda!!
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Oh... Rosalinda!! is a film by the British director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The film stars Michael Redgrave, Mel Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, dancer Ludmilla Tchérina and Anton Walbrook and features Dennis Price....

Associated British Picture Corporation.
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
1956 The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1955 film)
The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a short film made by Michael Powell for Norddeutscher Rundfunk West German television.It is the Goethe story made famous by Walt Disney's animated film Fantasia where Mickey Mouse runs amok as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. But here it is presented as a ballet performed...

20th Century-Fox Film Corporation/
Norddeutscher Rundfunk
a short ballet
The Battle of the River Plate
The Battle of the River Plate (film)
The Battle of the River Plate is a 1956 British war film by director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring John Gregson, Anthony Quayle and Peter Finch...

Arcturus Productions.
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
US title: The Pursuit of the Graf Spee
1957 Ill Met by Moonlight Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
for Rank Organisation Film Productions (and Vega Productions)
US title: Night Ambush
1959 Luna de Miel MIchael Powell Production
for Suevia Films-Cesario Gonsalez (Spain)/Everdene (GB)
aka Honeymoon
1960 Peeping Tom
Peeping Tom (film)
Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller directed by Michael Powell and written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression 'peeping Tom' describing a voyeur...

Michael Powell Production
1961 The Queen's Guards
The Queen's Guards
The Queen's Guards is a 1961 military drama film directed by Michael Powell from a script by Simon Harcourt-Smith and Roger Milner. It stars Daniel Massey, Raymond Massey, Robert Stephens, and Ursula Jeans.-Plot:...

Imperial.
Michael Powell Production
1963 Herzog Blaubarts Burg
Herzog Blaubarts Burg
Herzog Blaubarts Burg is a film of the opera Bluebeard's Castle by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, written in 1911 to a symbolist libretto by the poet and later film theorist Béla Balázs. The film was made for West German television, Süddeutscher Rundfunk, and was produced by Norman Foster,...

Süddeutscher Rundfunk. Norman Foster Produktion aka Bluebeard's Castle
1966 They're a Weird Mob Williamson (Australia)/
Michael Powell Production
Pressburger wrote the script as Richard Imrie
1969 Age of Consent Nautilus Productions
1972 The Boy Who Turned Yellow
The Boy Who Turned Yellow
The Boy Who Turned Yellow is the last film collaboration by the British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and the last film directed by Michael Powell. The film was made for the Children's Film Foundation.-Plot:...

Roger Cherrill Ltd
for the Children's Film Foundation
Script by Pressburger
1978 Return to the Edge of the World Poseidon Films/
BBC Television
For British TV, framing of the original 1937 film
The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World was the first major project by British filmmaker Michael Powell.-Plot:The film is the story of the de-population of one of the isolated, outer islands of Scotland as, one by one, the younger generation leaves for the greater opportunities offered by the mainland, making it...


Television work


Powell also directed episodes of the TV series The Defenders, Espionage
Espionage (TV series)
Espionage is a 1963 Associated TeleVision series, distributed outside the UK by ITC Entertainment and networked in the United States by NBC.-Synopsis:...

and The Nurses
The Nurses (Primetime CBS drama)
The Nurses is a serialized primetime medical drama which aired on CBS from September 27, 1962 to May 11, 1965. It was originally called The Nurses when it premiered in 1962; for the second season, the title was expanded to The Doctors and the Nurses and it ran until 1965, when it was transformed...

.
Year Title Production Company Other notes
1963 Never Turn Your Back on a Friend Herbert Brodkin Ltd. Episode for the Espionage
Espionage (TV series)
Espionage is a 1963 Associated TeleVision series, distributed outside the UK by ITC Entertainment and networked in the United States by NBC.-Synopsis:...

series
1964 The Frantick Rebel Herbert Brodkin Ltd. Episode for the Espionage
Espionage (TV series)
Espionage is a 1963 Associated TeleVision series, distributed outside the UK by ITC Entertainment and networked in the United States by NBC.-Synopsis:...

series
1964 A Free Agent Herbert Brodkin Ltd. Episode for the Espionage
Espionage (TV series)
Espionage is a 1963 Associated TeleVision series, distributed outside the UK by ITC Entertainment and networked in the United States by NBC.-Synopsis:...

series
1965 The Sworn Twelve Episode for the The Defenders series
1965 A 39846 Episode for the The Nurses
The Nurses (Primetime CBS drama)
The Nurses is a serialized primetime medical drama which aired on CBS from September 27, 1962 to May 11, 1965. It was originally called The Nurses when it premiered in 1962; for the second season, the title was expanded to The Doctors and the Nurses and it ran until 1965, when it was transformed...

series

Non-directorial work


Powell was also involved in the following films in a non-directorial role:
  • The Silver Fleet
    The Silver Fleet
    The Silver Fleet was written and directed by British filmmakers Vernon Sewell and Gordon Wellesley and produced by Powell & Pressburger under the banner of The Archers.-Plot:...

    (1943) - Producer
  • The End of the River
    The End of the River
    The End of the River is a British film made in Brazil about a South American Indian boy who leaves the jungle to the city, where he is accused of murder. It was directed by Derek Twist and written by Wolfgang Wilhelm, based on a novel by Desmond Holdridge...

    (1947) - Producer
  • Aila, pohjolan tytär (aka Arctic Fury) (1951) - Producer
  • Sebastian
    Sebastian (1968 film)
    Sebastian is a 1968 British film directed by David Greene, produced by Michael Powell, Herbert Brodkin and Gerry Fisher, and distributed by Paramount Pictures...

    (1968) - Producer
  • Pavlova - A Woman for All Time (1983) - Associate Producer

Books by Michael Powell

  • 1938: 200,000 Feet on Foula
    Foula
    Foula in the Shetland Islands of Scotland is one of Great Britain’s most remote permanently inhabited islands. Owned since the turn of the 20th century by the Holbourn family, the island was the location for the film The Edge of the World...

    . London: Faber & Faber. (The story of the making of The Edge of the World
    The Edge of the World
    The Edge of the World was the first major project by British filmmaker Michael Powell.-Plot:The film is the story of the de-population of one of the isolated, outer islands of Scotland as, one by one, the younger generation leaves for the greater opportunities offered by the mainland, making it...

    was also reprinted as 200,000 Feet - The Edge of the World in the United States.)
  • 1956: Graf Spee. London: Hodder & Stoughton. (This book contains much information that Powell and Pressburger could not include in their film The Battle of the River Plate
    The Battle of the River Plate (film)
    The Battle of the River Plate is a 1956 British war film by director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring John Gregson, Anthony Quayle and Peter Finch...

    .)
  • 1957: Death in the South Atlantic: The Last Voyage of the Graf Spee. New York: Rinehart. (American edition of Graf Spee)
  • 1975: A Waiting Game. London: Joseph. ISBN 0-7181-1368-3.
  • 1976: The Last Voyage of the Graf Spee. London: White Lion Publishers. ISBN 0-7274-0256-0. (Second British edition of Graf Spee)
  • 1978: (with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

    ) The Red Shoes. London: Avon Books. ISBN 0-8044-2687-2.
  • 1986: A Life In Movies: An Autobiography. London: Heinemann. ISBN 0-434-59945-X.
  • 1990: Edge of the World. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0-571-15306-2. (This book is a paperback edition of 200,000 feet on Foula.)
  • 1992: Million Dollar Movie London: Heinemann. ISBN 0-434-59947-6. (This is the second part of Powell's autobiography.)
  • 1994: (with Emeric Pressburger and Ian Christie
    Ian Christie (film scholar)
    Ian Christie is a British film scholar. He has written several books including studies of the works of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Martin Scorsese and the development of cinema. He is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound magazine and a frequent broadcaster...

    ) The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0-571-14355-5. (This book includes memos from Churchill and notes showing how the script developed.)


Many of these titles were also published in other countries or republished. The list above deals with initial publications except where the name was changed in a subsequent edition or printing.

Theatre

  • 1944: Directed Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

    's The Fifth Column at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow
    Theatre Royal, Glasgow
    The Theatre Royal is the oldest theatre in Glasgow, located at 282 Hope Street in Cowcaddens. The theatre originally opened in 1867, changing its name to the Theatre Royal in 1869, and is the longest running theatre in Scotland...

  • 1944: Directed Jan de Hartog
    Jan de Hartog
    Jan de Hartog was a Dutch playwright, novelist and occasional social critic who moved to the United States in the early 1960s and became a Quaker.- Early years :...

    's Skipper Next To God at the Theatre Royal, Windsor
    Theatre Royal, Windsor
    The Theatre Royal, Windsor is located in the town of Windsor, Berkshire, England, directly across the road from Windsor Castle.The present building was opened on 17 December 1910 after the previous theatre had burned down on 18 February 1908, under the ownership of Sir William Shipley.With the...

  • 1951: Directed James Forsyth
    James Forsyth
    James Forsyth was an attorney, businessman, and the seventh president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was born on September 8, 1817 in Peru, New York. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1839 and was admitted to the bar in 1842...

    's Heloise at the Golders Green Hippodrome
    Golders Green Hippodrome
    Golders Green Hippodrome was built in 1913 by Bertie Crewe as a 3000-seat Music Hall, to serve North London and the new tube rail expansion into Golders Green....

    , London

Awards, nominations and honours

  • 1943: Oscar nominated for 49th Parallel
    49th Parallel (film)
    49th Parallel is the third film made by the British writer-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was released in the United States as The Invaders. Despite the title, no scene in the movie is set at the 49th parallel, which forms much of the U.S.-Canadian border...

    as Best Picture
  • 1943: Oscar nominated for One of Our Aircraft Is Missing
    One of Our Aircraft is Missing
    One of Our Aircraft is Missing is a 1942 British war film, the fourth collaboration between the British writer-director-producer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the first film they made under the banner of The Archers...

    for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. Shared with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

  • 1948: Won Danish Bodil Award for A Matter of Life and Death as Best European Film. Shared with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

  • 1948 Nominated for The Red Shoes for Venice Film Festival
    Venice Film Festival
    The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

     Golden Lion. Shared with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

  • 1949: Oscar nominated for The Red Shoes as Best Picture. Shared with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

  • 1951: Cannes Film Festival
    1951 Cannes Film Festival
    The 4th Cannes Film Festival was held on 3-20 April 1951. The festival was not held in 1950.-Jury:*André Maurois *Georges Bidault *Louis Chauvet *A...

     nominated for The Tales of Hoffmann
    The Tales of Hoffmann (film)
    The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann, written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger working under the umbrella of their production company, The Archers...

    for Grand Prize of the Festival. Shared with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

  • 1951: Won Silver Bear from 1st Berlin International Film Festival
    1st Berlin International Film Festival
    The 1st annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from June 6 to June 17, 1951. The opening film was Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca.At this very first Berlin Festival, the Golden Bear award was introduced, and it was awarded to the best film in each of five categories: drama, comedy, crime or...

     for The Tales of Hoffmann
    The Tales of Hoffmann (film)
    The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera Les contes d'Hoffmann, written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger working under the umbrella of their production company, The Archers...

    as Best Musical. Shared with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

  • 1957: BAFTA Award nominated for The Battle of the River Plate
    The Battle of the River Plate (film)
    The Battle of the River Plate is a 1956 British war film by director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring John Gregson, Anthony Quayle and Peter Finch...

    as Best British Screenplay. Shared with Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger
    Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a multiple-award-winning partnership known as The Archers and produced a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel , The...

    .
  • 1959: Cannes Film Festival
    1959 Cannes Film Festival
    -Jury:*Marcel Achard *Antoni Bohdziewicz *Michael Cacoyannis *Carlos Cuenca *Pierre Daninos *Julien Duvivier *Max Favalelli *Gene Kelly *Carlo Ponti *Micheline Presle...

     nominated for Luna de Miel for Golden Palm.
  • 1978: Awarded Hon DLitt
    Doctor of Letters
    Doctor of Letters is a university academic degree, often a higher doctorate which is frequently awarded as an honorary degree in recognition of outstanding scholarship or other merits.-Commonwealth:...

    , University of East Anglia
    University of East Anglia
    The University of East Anglia is a public research university based in Norwich, United Kingdom. It was established in 1963, and is a founder-member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.-History:...

  • 1978: Awarded Hon DLitt
    Doctor of Letters
    Doctor of Letters is a university academic degree, often a higher doctorate which is frequently awarded as an honorary degree in recognition of outstanding scholarship or other merits.-Commonwealth:...

    , University of Kent
    University of Kent
    The University of Kent, previously the University of Kent at Canterbury, is a public research university based in Kent, United Kingdom...

  • 1981: Made fellow of BAFTA
    British Academy of Film and Television Arts
    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is a charity in the United Kingdom that hosts annual awards shows for excellence in film, television, television craft, video games and forms of animation.-Introduction:...

  • 1982: Awarded Career Gold Lion from the Venice Film Festival
    Venice Film Festival
    The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

  • 1983: Made fellow of the British Film Institute
    British Film Institute
    The British Film Institute is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to:-Cinemas:The BFI runs the BFI Southbank and IMAX theatre, both located on the south bank of the River Thames in London...

     (BFI)
  • 1987: Awarded Hon Doctorate, Royal College of Art
    Royal College of Art
    The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

  • 1987: Awarded Akira Kurosawa Award from San Francisco International Film Festival
    San Francisco International Film Festival
    San Francisco International Film Festival is the oldest continuously running film festival in the Americas. Organized by the San Francisco Film Society, the International is held each spring for two weeks, presenting an average of 150 films from over 50 countries...


Legacy

  • Cited as a major influence on many film-makers such as Martin Scorsese
    Martin Scorsese
    Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

    , Francis Ford Coppola
    Francis Ford Coppola
    Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

    , George A. Romero
    George A. Romero
    George Andrew Romero is a Canadian-American film director, screenwriter and editor, best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. He is nicknamed "Godfather of all Zombies." -Life and career:...

     and Bertrand Tavernier
    Bertrand Tavernier
    Bertrand Tavernier is a French director, screenwriter, actor, and producer.-Life and career:Tavernier was born in Lyon, the son of Geneviève and René Tavernier, a publicist and writer, several years president of the French PEN club. Tavernier wanted to become a filmmaker since the age of thirteen...

    . Said Thelma Schoonmaker
    Thelma Schoonmaker
    Thelma Schoonmaker is an American film editor who has worked with director Martin Scorsese for over forty years. She has edited all of Scorsese's films since Raging Bull...

     (Scorsese's long-time film editor and Powell's third wife) of Scorsese, "Anyone he meets, or the actors he works with, he immediately starts bombarding with Powell and Pressburger movies."
  • The Michael Powell Award for the Best New British Feature was instigated in 1993 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival
    Edinburgh International Film Festival
    The Edinburgh International Film Festival is an annual fortnight of cinema screenings and related events taking place each June. Established in 1947, it is the world's oldest continually running film festival...

     and is sponsored by the UK Film Council
    UK Film Council
    The UK Film Council was set up in 2000 by the Labour Government as a non-departmental public body to develop and promote the film industry in the UK. It was constituted as a private company limited by guarantee governed by a board of 15 directors and was funded through sources including the...

     and is "named in homage to one of Britain's most original filmmakers".
  • Pinewood Studios
    Pinewood Studios
    Pinewood Studios is a major British film studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, approximately west of central London. The studios have played host to many productions over the years from huge blockbuster films to television shows to commercials to pop promos.The purchase of Shepperton...

    , where Powell made many of his most notable films, has named a mixing theatre in the post-production
    Post-production
    Post-production is part of filmmaking and the video production process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art...

     department after him: The Powell Theatre. A giant picture of the director covers the door to the theatre, where many well-known films are mixed.
  • The Film, Radio and Television Department of Canterbury Christ Church University
    Canterbury Christ Church University
    Canterbury Christ Church University is a university in Canterbury, Kent, England. Founded as a Church of England college for teaching training it has grown to full university status and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012. The focus of its work is in the education of people going into...

     has its main building named after him: The Powell Building.

External links