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Overview for Michael Powell
Michael Powell

Michael Powell


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The Magician ... The heart blood of a virgin. That's what deranged medical student Oliver Haddo... more info $15.95was $17.99 Buy Now

Contraband ... Set in England during the early days of WW II, Contraband stars Conrad Veidt... more info $21.95was $29.95 Buy Now

The Life and... Considered by many to be the finest British film ever made, THE LIFE AND DEATH... more info $25.97was $39.95 Buy Now

Black... This explosive work about the conflict between the spirit and the flesh is the... more info $23.35was $29.95 Buy Now

I Know Where... In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's stunningly photographed comedy,... more info $29.95was $39.95 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died: February 19, 1990
Born: September 30, 1905 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Kent, England, GB Profession: Director ...


Raised in Canterbury, England and the South of France
Worked as a bank clerk
Became an assistant to director and producer Rex Ingram
Was the stills photographer on Alfred Hitchcock's "Champagne"
Worked as a film cutter on "A Knight in London"
Debut as scenarist, the "quota quickie" feature "Caste"
Feature directorial debut, "Two Crowded Hours"
Helmed "The Edge of the World", about residents of one of the remote islands in the North Sea; caught attention of Alexander Korda; also appeared in opening scenes as a British tourist alongside wife Frances 'Frankie' Reidy
Alexander Korda offered contract to direct "The Spy in Black"; initial teaming with frequent collaborator Emeric Pressburger
Was one of the many directors on "The Thief of Bagdad"
First co-directing credit with Pressburger, "Contraband"
With Pressburger, established the production company The Archers
Shared Oscar nomination with Emeric Pressburger for the screenplay of "... One of Our Aircraft Is Missing"
First Archers production in color, "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"; engendered controversy for its use of color during wartime rationing; also elicited the scorn of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who didn't like its critique of British stuffiness while the country was in the midst of WWII
With Pressburger, co-directed, co-wrote and co-produced the unconventional "A Matter of Life and Death/Stairway to Heaven", which mixed fantasy elements with a dramatic story of a pilot who survives a crash through the mistake of an angel and then must plead his case to a heavenly tribunal
Co-produced (through The Archers), co-wrote and co-directed "Black Narcissus"; film won Academy Awards for for Best Color Cinematography and Best Color Art Direction
Made one of the most famous of the Archers Productions, "The Red Shoes", about a ballerina torn between two men; film received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture
With Pressburger, crafted the remake "The Elusive Pimpernel", starring David Niven; film was originally intended as a musical but the production numbers were dropped
Difficulties in getting work in Britain due to "Peeping Tom", directs episodes of "Espionage" and "The Defenders" for TV
Produced and directed the controversial film "Peeping Tom"; at time of its release was nearly universally panned; has since been re-evaluated as a masterpiece
Following the ill-fated reaction to "Peeping Tom", had difficulty in obtaining work in Britain; began helming episodes of the TV series "Espionage" and "The Defenders"
Produced and directed "They're a Weird Mob", a comedy written by Pressburger (under the pen name Richard Imrie)
Marries film editor Thelma Schoonmaker
First edition of his autobiography, "A Life in Movies"
Published novel "A Waiting Game"
Served as senior director in residence at Zoetrope Studios
Second volume of memoirs, "Million Dollar Movie", published posthumously

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