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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P&P Campaigns
Blue Plaques

We have begun a campaign to honour Powell & Pressburger in various ways. These are long term plans, but we're in no rush :)

2002 - An English Heritage Blue Plaque for Emeric Pressburger
In December 2002 Emeric would have been 100 so he becomes eligible for an English Heritage Blue Plaque on his old house at 54 Eaton Square, London.

2005 - An English Heritage Blue Plaque for Michael Powell
In September 2005 Michael would have been 100 so he becomes eligible for an English Heritage Blue Plaque on his old house at 8 Melbury Road, London W4.

There are already two plaques on No. 8 Melbury Road. One is for Michael, by the Directors Guild of Great Britain, the other is an English Heritage Blue Plaque but its to commemorate Marcus Stone (1840-1921), Artist, who lived there 1877-1921. But there is nothing in the rules to prevent another one being put up there (The English Heritage Blue Plaque for Michael).

There are quite a few other blue plaques in Melbury Road, there was quite a large community of artists living there at various times.
31 Melbury Road Sir Samuel Luke Fildes (1844-1927), Artist, lived here 1878-1927.
18 Melbury Road William Holman-Hunt, OM (1827-1910), Painter, lived and died here.
33 Melbury Court
Off Melbury Road
Sir David Low (1891-1963), Cartoonist (creator of Colonel Blimp), lived here
8 Melbury Road Marcus Stone (1840-1921), Artist, lived here 1877-1921.
2a Melbury Road Sir Hamo Thornycroft (1850-1925), Sculptor, lived here.

What are English Heritage Blue Plaques?

English Heritage Blue Plaques are the major scheme for erecting commemorative plaques at the homes or places of work of famous people. The scheme was initially only for buildings in London but it has recently begun to spread to include Liverpool as well. There are other schemes, but the English Heritage Blue Plaques are the original and the best.

The history of the plaques, criteria for selection and the list of the Blue Plaques currently erected can be found at the English Heritage web site and then search for information about Blue Plaques. It's usually under Research & Conservation but it does seem to move around a bit so it's hard to put a link straight to it.

Update, 27th November 2008
I've just had a letter from English Heritage saying that the Blue Plaques Panel has approved the erection of the plaques for Michael & Emeric. Hooray!!

It has been a long, slow process. But we're getting there.

I had initially contacted members of the family of Michael & Emeric to tell them what I intended to do and to get their blessing, which they gave gladly. Then I wrote the proposals for Powell & Pressburger to be honoured with Blue Plaques, laying out the reasons why I felt they were worthy of this honour.

My proposal and application went through an initial assessment process and then English Heritage assigned a researcher/historian to prepare a full report. I worked closely with her, providing lots of information - and making sure that nobody tried to do a joint plaque, they were separate and equal in their contribution. Thelma Schoonmaker (Michael Powell's widow and Martin Scorsese's multiple Oscar® winning editor) was also a big help.

They've got to sort out the permissions with the current owners of the buildings and they'll let me know when that's been done. Then they'll actually make the plaques and we'll start to organise the unveiling ceremony/ies.

They're looking at 16 Green Lane, Hendon for Emeric. He lived there from 1942-47. And they're looking at 65A Chester Square for Michael as he was there from 1939-48. Those are the periods when they were most productive and did their most incredible work.

There are still those other, comparatively minor hurdles to overcome. But it's all looking very good.

Update, 2012
English Heritage tried and tried, but the owners of the proposed properties didn't like the idea of a plaque on their buildings. Strange, most people consider it to be quite an honour. But it was not to be.

So it was finally decided that we would get a joint plaque on the old Archers' office at Dorset House, Gloucester Place NW1. In a way that's even nicer because now they will be together in commemoration as they were in their work and in their friendship.

That was all finally decided at the back end of 2013, but when could it be done and who would perform the unveiling ceremony? Well as it happens, Marty & Thelma will both be in London because they've both been nominated for BAFTAs for The Wolf of Wall Street and that happens on the 16th February. So we'll unveil the plaque on the 17th. We've also got the nod from Kevin & Andrew Macdonald that they'll be joining us. So they can represent Emeric, Thelma can represent Micky and Marty can represent The Archers. It all seems to fit.

Dorset House, showing where the blue plaque will go

See the full report of an amazing event, with pictures and videos

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