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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.

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by Jack Karr
Toronto Star, May 1, 1945

A Canadian premiere of a new and slightly wonderful (they tell us) English film is to be held in Ottawa May 10. This is the Archers' techincolor picture "Colonel Blimp" which has already scored a tremendous success in New York and which it is reasonable to suppose will be shown to Toronto as soon after the Ottawa date as possible. It stars a flock of folks - like Deborah Kerr, Roger Livesey, Roland Culver and Anton Walbrook.
   Producers of this little package, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, passed through Malton airport the other day en route from Hollywood to London, Eng. They didn't need to come this way at all it developed, but, according to their own way of describing it, they were sentimentally attached to the route for the ground over which their plane flew was the ground on which their successful "49th Parallel" was produced.
   What the boys were doing in Hollywood was a bit of a mystery, but this much they did divulge, during a half-hour stopover at the airport Pressburger picked up the Oscar he had won in the Academy Awards three years sgo for the most original story in "49th Parallel". The statuette was shipped to him at the time of the award never did arrive in England having been, apparently, a victim of the U-boat war. Additionally, and probably more important, they were in the film colony to sign up a couple of US actresses for their next film "A Matter of Life and Death." They are hiring the real article rather than have English actresses attempt to play Yankee. Who the damsels are they wouldn't say.
   Well, we wanted to know if Powell and Pressburger were dissatisfied with the progress English films have made in Canada and the U.S. and Powell said, "In view of the reception 'The Silver Fleet' and 'Col. Blimp' have had in New York, how could we be dissatisfied?" We then wondered if they would offer any criticism of British pictures themselves and Powell and Pressburger said they'd found the people in Hollywood who are doing really good stuff were thinking along the same lines as the movie-makers in England.
   One thing they did insist on was that English stars would be given better publicity after the war - not a glamourization a la Hollywood - but better publicity, anyway, "If it is properly handled," said Powell, "people may come to prefer a more natural type of beauty rather than the synthetic type."
   They think that an exchnage of artists between the movie colonies of England, the US and Russia is inevitable and to be encouraged, and pointed to the fact that they were borrowing two Hollywood ladies as a step in this direction. And when we suggested that they might produce pictures in Canada after the war, the boys said it was quite possible, quite possible indeed. After all they'd produced "49th Parallel" here during total war and that seemed to be inducement enough for them to try again in the days of peace.
    And about then the loud speaker system in the aiarport was urging them to get on their plane, so the whole thing had to be dropped right there. Powell and Pressburger went to Ottawa to arrange for the "Blimp" premiere, and from there they'll go to Montreal to get a plane for overseas and home.

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