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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Powell & Pressburger - Frequently Asked Questions
Section 1. The Email Group.


1.4. What Is The Meaning Of All Those Acronyms?
Here's a list of some P&P acronyms & abbreviations you might see used. They are only intended to be used as a shorthand, not as a code, so if in doubt it's probably best to use the full name the first time you mention it in a message & then the acronym the next time. If other people use any acronyms or shorthand and you don't understand it then please ask. Education is always better than ignorance or misunderstanding.

So let's start off with that one I just used, which is the one you'll see most often

  • P&P or PnP - Powell and Pressburger
  • PaPAS - The Powell and Pressburger Appreciation Society

1.4.1 The Films (those we often use acronyms or abbreviations for)
  • The Edge of the World (1937) - EotW
  • The Spy in Black (1939) - SiB
    aka U-Boat 29
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1940) - ToB
  • 49th Parallel (1941) - 49P
    aka The Invaders
  • One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942) - OOOAIM
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) - LaDoCB, Blimp
  • A Canterbury Tale (1944) - ACT
  • I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) - IKWIG
  • A Matter of Life and Death (1946) - AMOLAD
    aka Stairway to Heaven - StH
  • Black Narcissus (1947) - BN
  • The End of the River (1947) - EotR
  • The Red Shoes (1948) - TRS
  • The Small Back Room (1949) - SBR
  • Gone to Earth (1950) - GtE
    aka The Wild Heart (1952) {Hacked version}
  • Tales of Hoffmann (1951) - ToH, Hoffmann
  • The Elusive Pimpernel (1951) - TEP, The Pimp
  • The Battle of the River Plate (1956) - BoRP
    aka Pursuit of the Graf Spee
  • Ill Met by Moonlight (1957) - Ill Met
  • Oh... Rosalinda!! - OR!
  • Peeping Tom (1960) - PT
  • They're a Weird Mob (1966) - TaWM
  • The Boy Who Turned Yellow (1972) - BWTY
  • Return to the Edge of the World (1978) - Return to the Edge

You get the idea :)

1.4.2 The People
Sometimes we just use a person's first name. We've seen them so often in the films that we feel we know them (even when we don't) :)

Some of the people have nicknames that are regularly used. Some are the nicknames they really had, some have been bestowed by members of the group.

1.4.2.1. The Masters :-
  • Michael Powell - MP, Micky
  • Emeric Pressburger - EP, Imrie (his real name)
  • Powell and Pressburger - P&P, PnP

1.4.2.2. The Ladies :-
  • Deborah Kerr
  • Wendy Hiller
  • Kim Hunter
  • Glynis Johns
  • Kathleen Byron
  • Pamela Brown
  • Moira Shearer
  • Valerie Hobson
  • June Duprez
  • Jennifer Jones - JJ
  • Sheila Sim - Lady A (she's married to Lord Dickie Attenborough)
  • Ludmilla Tchérina - Ludmilla Unpronounceable
    So christened by Nicky when she couldn't remember that surname

1.4.2.3. The Gents :-
  • Esmond Knight
  • David Farrar
  • David Niven
  • Raymond Massey - Ray Massey
  • Roger Livesey
  • Anton Walbrook
  • Marius Goring
  • Cyril Cusack
  • Conrad Veidt - Connie Veidt
  • James Mason
  • Dirk Bogarde
  • Richard Attenborough - Lord Dickie
  • Robert Helpmann - Bobby
  • Léonide Massine

1.4.2.4. The Acolytes :-
  • Jack Cardiff
  • Alfred Junge - Uncle Alfred
  • Hein Heckroth
  • W. Percy Day - "Poppa"

1.4.2.5. Other People
  • Kevin Powell (Michael's elder son, now living in Australia)
  • Columba Powell (Michael's younger son who was in PT, now living in Gloucestershire)
  • Frankie Reidy
    Micky's first wife, mother of Kevin & Columba Powell
  • Martin Scorsese - Marty
    Yes, the film director. One of many directors who are fans of P&P
  • Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell
    Micky's second wife,
    Oscar winning film editor who works with Marty
  • Agí Pressburger (née Donáth)
    Emeric's first wife
  • Wendy Pressburger (née Orme)
    Emeric's second wife, mother of Angela
  • Angela Pressburger
    Emeric's daughter, mother of Andrew & Kevin MacDonald
  • Andrew MacDonald
    Emeric's grandson
    film producer (Shallow Grave (1994), Trainspotting (1996), A Life Less Ordinary (1997) etc)
  • Kevin MacDonald
    Emeric's grandson & biographer
    Oscar winning documentary maker & author of book & documentary about Emeric.
  • Leo Marks
    Writer of Peeping Tom & Sebastian
    Wartime head of agent's codes for SOE
  • Ian Christie
    Professor Ian Christie - writer of various P&P books, organiser of events and all round "good guy"
  • Nick Burton
    Head of Radio, Film & Television Studies Dept at CCCUC.
  • Paul Tritton
    Author of ACT Book

1.4.3. Places
  • Kent
    • Howlett's Farm, Nr Canterbury, Kent
      Michael Powell's place of birth
    • Fordwich, Nr Canterbury, Kent
      Used for the majority of the scenes in ACT
    • Chilham, Nr Canterbury, Kent
      Used for the most of the other exterior scenes in ACT
    • Canterbury Christ Church University College - CCC, CCCUC
      Location of the "Michael Powell Building"
    • Ramsgate
      Used as the harbour in Contraband

  • London
    • 15 Ovington Square, SW3
      Used as the model for Aunt Margaret's house in Blimp
    • Melbury Rd, W14 - Powell lived at 8 Melbury Rd, London W14.
      (Mark's house in Peeping Tom was No. 5 Melbury Rd.)

  • Scotland
    • Foula
      The island (in the Shetland Islands, North of Scotland) where they filmed The Edge of the World
    • St Kilda
      The island to the far West of Scotland (beyond the Western Isles) which is the real Hirta. They weren't allowed to film there.
    • Mull
      The island to the West of Scotland (in the Inner Hebrides group) where they filmed most of IKWIG.

  • Shropshire
    • Much Wenlock
      The village seen in GTE where JJ buys her new dress.
      Steve stayed there and used it as a base when he went location touring with Nick Dando.

  • Other places
    • Avening - Powell lived with Pamela Brown at Lee Cottages, Avening, Gloucestershire.
      Pamela is buried in The Holy Cross Church, Avening.
      Micky married Thelma at The Holy Cross Church, Avening.
      Micky is buried (next to Pamela) in The Holy Cross Church, Avening.
      Columba & Susan Powell now live there.
      See report & pictures of Steve's trip to Avening


See also the list of Locations used in the films.

1.4.4. The Books
Some of the books get referred to so often that they get acronyms as well.
  • A Life in Movies - ALIM
    Micky's auto-biog (Vol 1)
  • Million Dollar Movie - MDM
    Micky's auto-biog (Vol 2)
  • The Life and Death of a Screenwriter - LaDoaS
    Kevin Macdonald's biography of Emeric (his grandfather)

1.4.5. Other Names and Acronyms

  • The Archers - the production company that P&P built.
    Remember that they were a VERY collaberative group. The Archers weren't just Powell and Pressburger but also their regular stable of actors and crew members as well.
  • IMDb - The Internet Movie Database
    A very useful web resource.
  • BFI - The British Film Institute
    Once erroneously referred to as the FBI by list member Tracey Brown but we were so amused by the typo that we still often call them that.
  • NFT - The National Film Theatre, on the South Bank Arts complex in London
  • NFTVA - The National Film and Television Archive

1.4.6. Other TLAs
What's a TLA?
A Three Letter Acronym - even though they're not all 3 letters :)

They are in common use in email messages and we tend to use them as well.

  • AFAIK - As Far As I Know
  • FWIW - For What It's Worth
  • OT - Off/On Topic (as applicable)
  • BTW - By The Way
  • OBTW - Oh, By The Way
  • FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions (usually with answers, like this is)
  • FYI - For Your Information
  • IMHO - In My Humble Opinion (very rarely humble)
  • IMVHO - In My Very Humble Opinion (even less likely to be humble)
  • ISTR - I Seem To Recall
  • LOL - Lots Of Laughs
  • ROFL - Rolls On Floor Laughing
  • SWMBO - the wife/girlfriend (She Who Must Be Obeyed)
  • IYSWIM - If You See What I Mean
  • DINTAFLTT? - Do I Need To Apologise For Lowering The Tone
  • DINTAFP? - Do I Need To Apologise For Pedantry
  • ICBM - I Could Be Mistaken
  • ICBM - Inter-Continental Ballistic missile :)
  • WOEDTAM? - What On Earth Does This Acronym Mean?

There are lots and lots of lists of these things. See, for instance:

But if you use the more obscure ones don't expect everyone to know what you're talking about.

The general rule is - "If in doubt, ASK".

We don't expect everyone to know everything, we're all here to learn as well as to share what knowledge or opinions we have and for all of us, there was a time when we knew nothing (Yes, even me!)


Remainder of FAQ Section 1


Other Sections of the FAQ