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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Fascinating trivia (and any goofs) connected with the film

- Because the "real" Canterbury Cathedral had had all it's windows taken out because of the air raids, they re-built the interior of the cathedral in Denham Studio.

- The blacksmith's and wheelwright's used in the scenes where they put a new wheel on Alison's cart were run by Claude Horton (the wheelwright) and Neville Horton (the blacksmith) at Shottenden. The film not only keeps their surname but they may be seen amongst the bystanders.

- Bill Paton was regular assistant of Michael Powell's and visited the crew on location whilst on leave from the Royal Navy. There he met his future wife Myrtle, the daughter of Neville Horton the blacksmith at Shottenden. Myrtle was home on leave from duties as a hospital matron. They married 6 months later at Chilham.

- When Bob is talking about wood to Jim Horton (Edward Rigby) and Bob says how they lay out two planks at a time, Jim replies "Well so do us". But that's more like Yorkshire dialect (or somewhere oop North). It certainly isn't Kent dialect, I checked with a few locals.

- When Alison & Bob ask about the news and Ned Horton (George Merritt) says they get their news when the pub opens, the real Neville Horton (wire-frame glasses and no hat) starts to laugh before the joke.

- The organ music had to be played on the St Alban's cathedral organ because the one at Canterbury Cathedral had been dismantled and stored away for the duration.

- The Cathedral bells seen in the opening and closing shots were a miniature replica of Canterbury's Bell Harry Tower to allow the camera to track up to and through them. The bells were "rung" by bell ringers from the Cathedral who pulled the strings with finger and thumb to a playback of the real bells.

- The hay waggon is pulled past the inn where Sgt Bob is staying by two horses, one of them was called Turps.

- The boys in the river battle were paid £9 each for two weeks work. £1 10/- when on standby and £3 per day when working.
See Notes of pre-decimal British currency

- James Tamsitt had a haircut to make him look tidy before he went to London with Leonard Smith and David Todd to do some scenes at Denham Studio. But his new haircut didn't match the unruly mop he had in scenes filmed on location. So he had to wear a wig.

- Among the various books and pictures seen in Colpeper's sitting room is a photograph of the Shetland Island of Foula, the location of director Michael Powell's first acclaimed feature film The Edge of the World (1937).

- The lines on verse of the board outside the "Chillingbourne Institute" are the last two lines from Happy The Man by John Dryden (1631-1700), Poet Laureate and Dramatist.

       Happy The Man

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

Imitation of Horace. Book iii. Ode 29

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