The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

A lot of the documents have been sent to me or have come from other web sites. The name of the web site is given where known. If I have unintentionally included an image or document that is copyrighted or that I shouldn't have done then please email me and I'll remove it.

I make no money from this site, it's purely for the love of the films.

[Any comments are by me (Steve Crook) and other members of the email list]

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Timeline for the life of Michael Powell


This is a work in progress. I'm still trying to pin down some of the exact dates. Micky's autobiographies are a but shy on exact dates and they have to be reckoned by context with other events. But he does jump around in time quite a bit with well disguised flash-forwards and flash-backs.
When Where What Context
30th September 1905 Howlett's Farm, Bekesbourne, Kent Michael was born.
Michael's father is a "gentleman farmer" running a smallish farm just East of Canterbury. Michael is the younger of two boys and worships his elder brother John.
 
April 1911 Hoath Farm, Bekesbourne, Kent According to the 1911 census, the Powell family is living at "The Hoath, Canterbury". This is the Hoath Farm on Bekesbourne Lane which is off to the south of Littlebourne Road (A257) the Sandwich road out of Canterbury.

Recorded as living there are:
Thomas William Powell, aged 35, farmer & hop grower, born in Upper Wick, Worcester
Mabel Powell, aged 39, married for 10 years, born in Mary Terrace, Worcester
John Miles Powell, aged 8, born in Leigh, Worcester
Michael Latham Powell, aged 5, born in Bekesbourne, Kent
Cecil Edward Danson Scott, aged 31, a visiting farm student from South Kensington, London
Emma Jefferies, aged 20, a housemaid and domestic servant
 
  King's School Canterbury Halcyon days, until...
1918, John, Micky's brother, dies from a burst appendix
 
1920-1922 Dulwich College, South London    
1922-1925 National & Provincial bank, Canterbury Working as a bank clerk. Not happy.  
1925 Studios de la Victorine, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France Assistant to director and producer Rex Ingram  
1926 Victorine studios General dogsbody on Mare Nostrum and
minor comedic rôle in The Magician
 
1926 South of France Met Jacques Feyder and Luis Bu˝uel whilst working on Carmen  
1927 South of France Made Riviera Revels - Travelaugh series with Harry Lachman Briefly married to Gloria Mary Rouger, divorced the same year
1927 Victorine studios Minor comedic rôle in The Garden of Allah for Ingram  
1928-1929 South of France Working in all sorts of jobs, stills photographer, title cutter, editor, set designer, assistant director, camera operator etc. for various directors  
1929 England Working as stills photographer, camera operator etc. for various directors including Alfred Hitchcock on Champagne, Blackmail, The Manxman  
1930   Working as writer and uncredited assistant director on Caste for Campbell Gullan  
1931 London Directed Two Crowded Hours  
1931-1937   Directed 23 films. Many, but not all, were "quota quickies" made under the Cinematograph Films Act 1927. They were all quite low budget films though but gave Michael a chance to really learn his trade thoroughly. He appeared in minor roles in some of them. Not to "do a Hitchcock" but just to fill in small roles cheaply.  
1937 Foula, Shetland, Scotland Made his first really personal film, The Edge of the World.  
1939 London & Orkney, Scotland EotW seen by Alexander Korda who hired Powell as a contract director and brought him in to work on The Spy in Black where Powell was introduced to the writer, Emeric Pressburger.  
1939-1957 Just about everywhere Powell and Pressburger both realise that their meeting is a "match made in Heaven" and they go on to make 19 films together over the next 18 years. Marries Frankie Reidy, 1st July 1943.
Kevin Powell born, 24th August, 1945
Columba Powell born, 1951
1957   The partnership splits up so that they can both work on their own projects. There are differences of opinion but no great arguments. They remain very close friends and will work on a few other projects together later in their lives.  
1959 Spain Makes Luna de Miel (aka Honeymoon) in Spain  
1960 London Makes Peeping Tom. The film receives some killer reviews from the mainstream press although the trade press gives quite positive reviews.  
1961   Makes The Queen's Guards. The less said the better.  
1964 Germany Makes Herzog Blaubarts Burg (aka Bluebeard's Castle) with his old friend, Hein Heckroth and Norman Foster.  
1964-1965 England & Europe Makes some episodes for TV series "Espionage", "The Defenders" & "The Nurses"  
1966 Sydney, Australia Makes They're a Weird Mob with a script written by Emeric.  
1969 Australia Makes Age of Consent with James Mason & Helen Mirren.  
1972 London Makes The Boy Who Turned Yellow with a script written by Emeric.  
1978 London & Foula Makes Return to the Edge of the World as colour "bookends" for The Edge of the World (1937), revisiting Foula with some of the cast & crew  
1978   Michael & Emeric start to be remembered, recognised for what they did and honoured.
1978, Hon DLitt, University of East Anglia
1978, Hon DLitt, University of Kent
1981, BAFTA Fellowship
1983, BFI Fellowship
1987, Hon Doctorate, Royal College of Arts
1970, retrospective of P&P films at the NFT
1973, Europalia exhibition, Belgium
1978, complete retrospective of extant works, London
1978, publication of "Powell, Pressburger and others" by Ian Christie
1985, publication of "Arrows of Desire" by Ian Christie
1979   Published novel "A Waiting Game"  
1981 Zoetrope Studios, California Michael is made Director in Residence at Francis Ford Coppola's short lived Zoetrope Studios  
    Martin Scorsese, long fascinated by the films of P&P which he's seen on TV in B&W (even the colour films) as a youth, tracks down Micky & Emeric  
5th July 1983   Frankie dies after surgery following a stroke  
19th May 1984 Avening, Gloucestershire Michael marries Thelma Scoonmaker, Scorsese's long time editor  
1985   First volume of autobiography "A Life in Movies" is published  
1990 Avening, Gloucestershire Michael dies after battling cancer for some time  
1995   The second volume of his autobiography, "Million Dollar Movie", is published posthumously  

At various times Micky Powell lived at


Offices of The Archers


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