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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.

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.

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Powell & Pressburger - Frequently Asked Questions

3.2. Other Unanswered Questions
There are plenty of other questions that have already been debated quite a bit. Some can never be completely resolved.

A few to start you off ...

  • Blimp
    • As we withdraw from the duel between Clive & Theo we track down to Babyface & Edith in the carriage. What is Babyface writing in the misted up window?

    • Why did Kim wear her rose with the head of the flower downwards? Was it a 1940's fashion? [Apparently yes it was. We have been told by someone who was "a young lady in America" at in the 1940's that they used to wear them like that so that there was no danger of the sap dripping out & soiling their dress]

    • Did the princesses attend the 1946 Royal Command performance?
      [Yes they did]
      What might they (or even Mr & Mrs King) have thought of it?

    • How did Jack Cardiff do that marvellous effect of them walking through the door from the Operating Theatre back to the lobby where June is waiting, frozen in time.
      [This has been since revealed (by Jack Cardiff) that it was a matte and that the door was put in afterwards. But I think we can still admire it, it was beautifully done.]

  • TRS
    • Does Vicky die? OK she "will never dance again" and she's obviously badly injured but does she actually die? Nobody says she is dying do they?
      [Marianne points out: The French doctor says, "Nul espoir" - "No hope" - to Julian. And the symbolism means she must die when the shoes are taken off, like her character in the ballet. When she asks Julian to take off the shoes, it means she wants to let go of life in the same way as in the ballet scene with Ivan as the minister. It's also implicit in the way Boris corrects himself to speak of her in the past tense when he introduces the ballet. Were she still alive, however injured, she would still be spoken of in the present tense.]

    • Why does Julian wear that shiny black (PVC?) coat in the South of France? Isn't he melting inside it?
      [Marianne comments: He probably is - but when he left home he probably needed it. Also, think of the parallels with the ballet: he has to be wearing something black like the minister played by Ivan.]

    • Why is Vicky wearing the red shoes when she's preparing to dance the ballet for the second time? Her entrance should be in "normal" point shoes and then she will "jump into" the red shoes on stage.
      [Marianne reminds us: She's just breaking them in before the performance - they would be new. Her dresser is carrying the other shoes for her to put on.]
      [Steve adds: And most important of all, it's artistically right that she does :)
      Apparently people pointed out to Powell that she wouldn't be wearing the red shoes for her entrance but he dismissed all discussion on the subject knowing that she had to be wearing the red shoes for them to dance her out to her final scene.

    • Is it really Emeric standing on the station as the train pulls in when Lermontov goes to talk Vicky into rejoining them? [This is suggested by Kevin MacDonald in his book on Emeric] He's facing away from the camera in the blue short sleeved shirt.

    • Compare IKWIG and The Birds

      Richard Layne has pointed out the similarities between IKWIG & The Birds :-

      A spoilt, rich young woman heads for a rural community and meets a young man. While there, she stays at the house of a second woman who she believes may have been in a relationship with the young man, but it transpires was not. Due to the forces of nature, she is forced to remain in the community long enough to fall in love.

      Of course, IKWIG is far superior since P&P felt no-need to resort to such attention-grabbing tactics as killer birds !

      Steve then pointed out that IKWIG does indeed have a killer bird - Torquil the Golden Eagle.

  • ACT
    • Compare ACT & Twin Peaks

      Richard has also pointed out the similarities between ACT & Twin Peaks :-

      A group of people investigate a bizarre serial attacker. The identity of the culprit is ultimately less important than mystical interludes and long conversations about wood.

      To which Malcolm added that they also both have an American intruder with odd characteristics by the name of "Bob."

Remainder of FAQ Section 3