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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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Submitted by Mark Fuller

I Know Where I'm Going

From: News Chronicle
19 November 1945

A week with three new British films, two American and one Russian represents a reasonable share-out of British screen space and perhaps a foretaste of the future we hopefully await.

     I cannot say that any one of the six adds up to my idea of the first-rate movie, but in sheer weight of charm the British "I Know Where I'm Going" nearly does and quite overpowers the rest. "I Know Where I'm Going" (Odeon) was written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the partnership responsible for "Colonel Blimp", "49th Parallel", and "Canterbury Tale". And the same strange individual quality is present in this modern "Tour to the Hebrides", the same poetic impulse shining through a foggy plot.

     It can be said that Powell and Pressburger don't know where they're going, but they're so madly enthusiastic about the trip that they sell you on it.

     You are as little interested in the story as you feel them to be. You don't, in fact, care if Wendy Hiller, the epitome of refined boorishness, on her way to marry an entrepreneur with a title in one of the Western Isles of Scotland falls in love with the handsome but poor Laird of Kiloran (Roger Livesey) or not.

     But you care very much about the local characters talking about their affairs in a bus, about the mysterious quality of Pamela Brown (the most interesting member of the cast), about Captain Duncan MacKechnie [sic] with his hawk and his eagle, about the whole of the Gaelic outfit on the island of Mull.

     You have dreamed about the faraway magic of the Hebrides: Stevenson caught it for you - and so in their confused way have Powell and Pressburger. What does a piffling story matter when the movie camera has been allowed to adventure in the clear and stormy air of these bleak, beautiful places? But if the story had made sense, what a film.

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