Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

"English director Michael Powell and his Hungarian partner, Emeric Pressburger, formed one of the most remarkable partnerships in cinema. Under the collaborative pseudonym ‘‘The Archers,’’ the two created a series of highly visual and imaginative treatments of romantic and supernatural themes that have defied easy categorization by film historians." - Stephen L. Hanson (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

Director / Screenwriter / Producer
See also Michael Powell
POWELL (1905-1990) Born September 30, Bekesbourne, Kent, England; PRESSBURGER (1902-1988) Born December 5, Miskolc, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: UK
Key Genres: Drama, War Drama, War, Romantic Drama, Period Film, Musical, Fantasy
Key Collaborators: Reginald Mills (Editor), Brian Easdale (Composer), Alfred Junge (Production Designer), Christopher Challis (Cinematographer), Esmond Knight (Leading Character Actor), Allan Gray (Composer), Hein Heckroth (Production Designer), Roger Livesey (Leading Actor), David Farrar (Leading Actor), Jack Cardiff (Cinematographer), John Seabourne (Editor), Robert Helpmann (Leading Character Actor)

"As Britain’s most famous producing-directing team, Powell and Pressburger divided critical opinion between those who demanded social realism within cinema and those who supported an auteurist vision. With the rise of auteur theory in journals such as the UK-based Movie, the work of Powell and Pressburger received a more positive critical reevaluation. At the box office, the duo’s fantastical, mystical tales enjoyed great success… In 1943 they established their own production company called the Archers, for which they made a succession of popular and significant films." - Scott Henderson (Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, 2007)
"During the 1940s, Hungarian-born Pressburger and his partner Michael Powell - known as 'The Archers' - made a series of classic British films: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I'm Going! and Stairway to Heaven (both 1946), Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948). These films create a world of magic, humour, tenderness, passion and miraculous beauty." - The Movie Book, 1999
"They struggle with great, clashing virtues - with marvelous visual imagination (Powell) and uneasy, intellectual substance (Pressburger)... The great Powell and Pressburger films do not go stale; they never relinquish their wicked fun or that jaunty air of being poised on the brink." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"The films that carry the unusual credit of "Produced, Written and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger" are eccentric, extravagant, witty fantasies. They contrast sharply with the realistic approach typical of British cinema of their period." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)
"Powell and Pressburger have been most remarkable for their ability to break away from the usual, rather pedestrian mould of British cinema, and if their films are on occasion over-extravagant and even self-indulgent, they represent both colour and imagination in a field where both are only too often absent." - Roger Manvell (The International Encyclopedia of Film, 1972)
"One of the most imaginative writer/directors in the British cinema. Powell lensed comedy (Colonel Blimp, 45), fantasy (Stairway to Heaven, 46), homespun drama (I Know Where I'm Going, 47), psychological studies (The Small Back Room, 49), war stories (One of Our Aircraft is Missing, 42), and even films of ballet and opera (Tales of Hoffmann, 51). Powell had an energetic camera style and a sense of color few of his contemporaries shared." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"Art is merciless observation, sympathy, imagination, and a sense of detachment that is almost cruelty." - Michael Powell
"I think that a film should have a good story, a clear story, and it should have, if possible, something which is probably the most difficult thing - it should have a little bit of magic." - Emeric Pressburger
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Black Narcissus (1946) , A Matter of Life and Death (1946) , The Red Shoes (1948)
Recommended
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) , A Canterbury Tale (1944) , I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) , The Small Back Room (1949), Gone to Earth (1950)
Worth a Look
One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942), The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)
Approach with Caution
The Battle of the River Plate (1956)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmographies: Michael Powell / Emeric Pressburger
1,000 Greatest Films
Michael Powell / Favourite Films
The Birth of a Nation (1915) D.W. Griffith, The Blue Angel (1930) Josef von Sternberg, Broken Blossoms (1919) D.W. Griffith, Un Carnet de Bal (1937) Julien Duvivier, The Gold Rush (1925) Charles Chaplin, Greed (1924) Erich von Stroheim, M (1931) Fritz Lang, Ninotchka (1939) Ernst Lubitsch, Turksib (1929) Victor A. Turin, The Wizard of Oz (1939) Victor Fleming.
Source: Cinematheque Belgique (1952)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Red Shoes
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