Michael Powell

Michael Latham Powell (30 September 1905 – 19 February 1990) was a renowned English film director, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. They worked together under the name of "The Archers" and produced a series of classic British films, notably The Thief of Bagdad (1940), 49th Parallel (1941), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946, also called Stairway to Heaven), Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948). His controversial 1960 film Peeping Tom, however, was so vilified that his career was seriously damaged.

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A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Eric Portman  •  Sheila Sim  •  Dennis Price  •  John Sweet

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Eric Portman  •  Sheila Sim  •  Dennis Price  •  John Sweet

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

When a young airman miraculously survives bailing out of his aeroplane without a parachute, he falls in love with an American radio operator. But the officials in the other world realise their mistake, and dispatch an angel to collect him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  David Niven  •  Kim Hunter  •  Kathleen Byron  •  Richard Attenborough

When a young airman miraculously survives bailing out of his aeroplane without a parachute, he falls in love with an American radio operator. But the officials in the other world realise their mistake, and dispatch an angel to collect him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  David Niven  •  Kim Hunter  •  Kathleen Byron  •  Richard Attenborough

Age of Consent (1969)

An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an offshore island to try once more. On the island he re-discovers his muse in the form of a young girl.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  James Mason  •  Helen Mirren  •  Jack MacGowran  •  Neva Carr-Glynn

An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an offshore island to try once more. On the island he re-discovers his muse in the form of a young girl.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  James Mason  •  Helen Mirren  •  Jack MacGowran  •  Neva Carr-Glynn

An Airman's Letter to His Mother (1941)

A Royal Air Force (RAF) airman who dies during a mission has left a letter to be sent to his mother upon his death.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  John Gielgud

A Royal Air Force (RAF) airman who dies during a mission has left a letter to be sent to his mother upon his death.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  John Gielgud

Black Narcissus (1947)

IntenseRomanticCharmingEnjoyable

A group of Anglican nuns, led by Sister Clodagh, are sent to a mountain in the Himalayas. The climate in the region is hostile and the nuns are housed in an odd old palace. They work to establish a school and a hospital, but slowly their focus shifts. Sister Ruth ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Deborah Kerr  •  David Farrar  •  Flora Robson  •  Kathleen Byron

A group of Anglican nuns, led by Sister Clodagh, are sent to a mountain in the Himalayas. The climate in the region is hostile and the nuns are housed in an odd old palace. They work to establish a school and a hospital, but slowly their focus shifts. Sister Ruth ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Deborah Kerr  •  David Farrar  •  Flora Robson  •  Kathleen Byron

Contraband (1940)

When a neutral Danish merchant ship is forced to put into port after trying to evade British wartime contraband control, its captain becomes involved in a beautiful British Naval Intelligent agent's efforts to capture a group of German spies operating from a London ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Conrad Veidt  •  Valerie Hobson  •  Hay Petrie  •  Joss Ambler

When a neutral Danish merchant ship is forced to put into port after trying to evade British wartime contraband control, its captain becomes involved in a beautiful British Naval Intelligent agent's efforts to capture a group of German spies operating from a London ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Conrad Veidt  •  Valerie Hobson  •  Hay Petrie  •  Joss Ambler

49th Parallel (1941)

In the early days of World War II, a German U-boat is sunk in Canada's Hudson Bay. Hoping to evade capture, a small band of German soldiers led by commanding officer Lieutenant Hirth attempts to cross the border into the United States, which has not yet entered the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Laurence Olivier  •  Leslie Howard  •  Eric Portman  •  Raymond Lovell

In the early days of World War II, a German U-boat is sunk in Canada's Hudson Bay. Hoping to evade capture, a small band of German soldiers led by commanding officer Lieutenant Hirth attempts to cross the border into the United States, which has not yet entered the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Laurence Olivier  •  Leslie Howard  •  Eric Portman  •  Raymond Lovell

Gone to Earth (1950)

Jennifer Jones plays Hazel Woods, a beautiful young English Gypsey girl who loves animals and in particular her pet fox. She is hotly desired by Jack Reddin a fox hunting squire who vies for her affection and pursues her even after her marriage to the local pastor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  David Farrar  •  Cyril Cusack  •  Sybil Thorndike  •  Edward Chapman

Jennifer Jones plays Hazel Woods, a beautiful young English Gypsey girl who loves animals and in particular her pet fox. She is hotly desired by Jack Reddin a fox hunting squire who vies for her affection and pursues her even after her marriage to the local pastor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  David Farrar  •  Cyril Cusack  •  Sybil Thorndike  •  Edward Chapman

I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)

Plucky Englishwoman Joan Webster travels to the remote islands of the Scottish Hebrides in order to marry a wealthy industrialist. Trapped by inclement weather on the Isle of Mull and unable to continue to her destination, Joan finds herself charmed by the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Wendy Hiller  •  Roger Livesey  •  Pamela Brown  •  Finlay Currie

Plucky Englishwoman Joan Webster travels to the remote islands of the Scottish Hebrides in order to marry a wealthy industrialist. Trapped by inclement weather on the Isle of Mull and unable to continue to her destination, Joan finds herself charmed by the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Wendy Hiller  •  Roger Livesey  •  Pamela Brown  •  Finlay Currie

Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955)

In post-war Vienna, Rosalinda and her husband become embroiled in a series of complicated escapades that puts their marital bliss at risk.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Anthony Quayle  •  Adolf Wohlbrück  •  Dennis Price  •  Ludmilla Tchérina

In post-war Vienna, Rosalinda and her husband become embroiled in a series of complicated escapades that puts their marital bliss at risk.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Anthony Quayle  •  Adolf Wohlbrück  •  Dennis Price  •  Ludmilla Tchérina

One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942)

During the Allied Bombing offensive of World War II the public was often informed that "A raid took place last night over ..., One (or often more) of Our Aircraft Is Missing". Behind these sombre words hid tales of death, destruction and derring-do. This is the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Godfrey Tearle  •  Eric Portman  •  Hugh Williams  •  Bernard Miles

During the Allied Bombing offensive of World War II the public was often informed that "A raid took place last night over ..., One (or often more) of Our Aircraft Is Missing". Behind these sombre words hid tales of death, destruction and derring-do. This is the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Godfrey Tearle  •  Eric Portman  •  Hugh Williams  •  Bernard Miles

Peeping Tom (1960)

Loner Mark Lewis works at a film studio during the day and, at night, takes racy photographs of women. Also he's making a documentary on fear, which involves recording the reactions of victims as he murders them. He befriends Helen, the daughter of the family ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Karlheinz Böhm  •  Moira Shearer  •  Anna Massey  •  Maxine Audley

Loner Mark Lewis works at a film studio during the day and, at night, takes racy photographs of women. Also he's making a documentary on fear, which involves recording the reactions of victims as he murders them. He befriends Helen, the daughter of the family ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Karlheinz Böhm  •  Moira Shearer  •  Anna Massey  •  Maxine Audley

Red Ensign (1934)

David Barr is the manager and chief designer of a British shipyard in decline. The shipyard is in financial trouble but Barr has a design for a new ship that will save them all. Can he get the ship built in spite of the opposition from his own bankers as well as ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Leslie Banks  •  Carol Goodner  •  Frank Vosper  •  Alfred Drayton

David Barr is the manager and chief designer of a British shipyard in decline. The shipyard is in financial trouble but Barr has a design for a new ship that will save them all. Can he get the ship built in spite of the opposition from his own bankers as well as ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Leslie Banks  •  Carol Goodner  •  Frank Vosper  •  Alfred Drayton

The Battle of the River Plate (1956)

Action-packed

In the opening years of World War II the Royal Navy was fighting a desperate battle to keep the Atlantic convoy routes open and the British Isles supplied. Of great danger were the numerous surface/commerce raiders that had slipped out of German waters just before ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  John Gregson  •  Anthony Quayle  •  Peter Finch  •  Ian Hunter

In the opening years of World War II the Royal Navy was fighting a desperate battle to keep the Atlantic convoy routes open and the British Isles supplied. Of great danger were the numerous surface/commerce raiders that had slipped out of German waters just before ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  John Gregson  •  Anthony Quayle  •  Peter Finch  •  Ian Hunter

The Boy Who Turned Yellow (1972)

John and his class go on a school trip to the Tower of London. While he is there he loses his pet mouse and vows to return and find her later. Back in school, he is not very attentive and falls asleep during a lesson about electricity so his teacher sends him home. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Mark Dightam  •  Robert Eddison  •  Helen Weir  •  Brian Worth

John and his class go on a school trip to the Tower of London. While he is there he loses his pet mouse and vows to return and find her later. Back in school, he is not very attentive and falls asleep during a lesson about electricity so his teacher sends him home. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  Mark Dightam  •  Robert Eddison  •  Helen Weir  •  Brian Worth

The Edge of the World (1937)

A way of life is dying on a Shetland island fishing port, but some of the inhabitants resist evacuating to the mainland.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  John Laurie  •  Belle Chrystall  •  Eric Berry  •  Kitty Kirwan

A way of life is dying on a Shetland island fishing port, but some of the inhabitants resist evacuating to the mainland.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell
CAST:  John Laurie  •  Belle Chrystall  •  Eric Berry  •  Kitty Kirwan

The Elusive Pimpernel (1950)

A British aristocrat goes in disguise to France to rescue people from The Terror of the guillotine.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  David Niven  •  Margaret Leighton  •  Cyril Cusack  •  Jack Hawkins

A British aristocrat goes in disguise to France to rescue people from The Terror of the guillotine.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  David Niven  •  Margaret Leighton  •  Cyril Cusack  •  Jack Hawkins

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

General Candy, who's overseeing an English squad in 1943, is a veteran leader who doesn't have the respect of the men he's training and is considered out-of-touch with what's needed to win the war. But it wasn't always this way. Flashing back to his early career in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Roger Livesey  •  Deborah Kerr  •  Adolf Wohlbrück  •  Roland Culver

General Candy, who's overseeing an English squad in 1943, is a veteran leader who doesn't have the respect of the men he's training and is considered out-of-touch with what's needed to win the war. But it wasn't always this way. Flashing back to his early career in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Roger Livesey  •  Deborah Kerr  •  Adolf Wohlbrück  •  Roland Culver

The Lion Has Wings (1939)

This early, influential propaganda film blends documentary and studio footage to show the valiant efforts of the Royal Air Force to defend the British people against the Nazis.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Brian Desmond Hurst  •  Alexander Korda  •  Adrian Brunel
CAST:  Merle Oberon  •  Ralph Richardson  •  June Duprez  •  Flora Robson

This early, influential propaganda film blends documentary and studio footage to show the valiant efforts of the Royal Air Force to defend the British people against the Nazis.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Brian Desmond Hurst  •  Alexander Korda  •  Adrian Brunel
CAST:  Merle Oberon  •  Ralph Richardson  •  June Duprez  •  Flora Robson

The Red Shoes (1948)

In this classic drama, Vicky Page is an aspiring ballerina torn between her dedication to dance and her desire to love. While her imperious instructor, Boris Lermontov, urges to her to forget anything but ballet, Vicky begins to fall for the charming young composer ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Adolf Wohlbrück  •  Moira Shearer  •  Léonide Massine  •  Robert Helpmann

In this classic drama, Vicky Page is an aspiring ballerina torn between her dedication to dance and her desire to love. While her imperious instructor, Boris Lermontov, urges to her to forget anything but ballet, Vicky begins to fall for the charming young composer ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Powell  •  Emeric Pressburger
CAST:  Adolf Wohlbrück  •  Moira Shearer  •  Léonide Massine  •  Robert Helpmann
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