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]

  Steve's Logo

Fascinating trivia (and any goofs) connected with the film

- In the segment showing german bombers attacking Britain, they show them trying to bomb London but being put off by the barrage balloons. In fact the bombing of London didn't start until September 1940. Early raids were all on RAF aerodromes and radar stations.

- In fact there are quite a few elements in the film that stretch the truth. Britain did have a radar network but it wasn't shown in the film because it was still a secret. Night fighters didn't start attacking bombers until a few years later (and they weren't very successful at first).

- When the bombers are flying on the raid on the Keil Canal they fly over a British warship. Somehow they have time to flash their regognition code in morse and read a reply wishing them "Good Luck". They must have been flying very slowly to have had time to do all that.

- Because it was started and completed so soon after the declaration of war and was seen to show how useful films could be in wartime, this film is considered to have done a lot towards allowing the British film industry to remain active throughout WWII, unlike in WWI when all cinemas were closed and filming effectively stopped for the duration.

- The bombers are told to cross the coast at Sheringham (Norfolk) and then follow a course of 110 degrees (approx ESE). They should expect some resistance at Silt (sp?) and then their final course is 145 degrees (approx SE by S) to target 1 and 121 degrees (approx SE by E) to target 2.
This would take them nearer to Switzerland than Kiel (on the German/Danish border).
Unless they really started in the north of Scotland and the Sheringham reference was wrong.

- When they show how we would be defended against attack, one Nazi bomber was shot down twice - from two separate raids (same film clip re-used)

- We're still not 100% sure exactly who did what on this film, but as far as we can tell...
Adrian Brunel put together the documentary section, mainly from existing documentary footage but also the footage that was shot just for this film, like the preparations for the Kiel raid and the raid itself.
Powell filmed the real bombers returning from the Kiel raid.
Powell also did much of the part about the Nazi bomber raid on London and the defence against it.
Brian Desmond Hurst did the scenes between Ralph Richardson & Merle Oberon. They are a bit too twee for Powell to have done.
Ian Dalrymple acted as producer and did a lot of the editing.

Back to index