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Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

The Red Shoes Film Directors

The film-making partnership of the British Michael Powell (1905-1990) and Hungarian Emeric Pressburger (1902-1988) produced many classics of British cinema such as THE RED SHOES, A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, BLACK NARCISSUS, I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING and THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP. Their imagination and visual extravagance stands out against the realist tendencies of the time, and many film-makers, such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and George A. Romero, have cited them as a major influence.

The pair met in 1939 at Alexander Korda's London Films. Powell's poignant film THE EDGE OF THE WORLD had brought him to the attention of the mogul and Pressburger was working as a screenwriter, having fled the Nazis in Germany.

In 1943 they established their own company, 'The Archers', and routinely shared a 'written, produced and directed by' credit. Their partnership officially ended in 1957, although they would later re-unite for a couple of films.

In 1981 Powell and Pressburger were recognised for their contributions to British cinema with the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the most prestigious award given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.


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