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

2.6. Where Can I See The Films?

At The Cinema
As the films that either Michael Powell or Emeric Pressburger were connected with were released between 1926 and 1992 you're unlikely to see them as a part of a mainstream cinemas main program - sadly :(

What you should look out for is the special exhibitions, retrospectives and the like. In fact one of the reasons for setting up this group was so that we could alert each other when these were due to happen.

At Home
At home you can enjoy many of the works of P&P either

  • On broadcast TV - a surprising number appear quite regularly, either on specialist movie channels (TCM, Carlton Cinema, FilmFour etc) or on more "mainstream" channels either during the day or in the small hours.

  • On video

  • On laserdisc

  • On DVD

Our (self appointed <G>) expert on DVD's, Alan Head, has also done a nice summary of Home Cinema & Entertainment. What's available and a glossary of terms.

Note: (running times on TV)
Because of the different frame rates between projected film (24 frames per second) and that on TV (25 frames per second) a film shown on TV (or recorded onto video/DVD/LD etc.) will have a slightly shorter running time to that shown in most sources for the film as the TV version is being shown a fraction faster. To check, take the running time given for the cinematic release, multiply by 24 & divide by 25. If that's not the same as the running time on TV (to within a minute or two) then there have probably been cuts made.

P&P On Broadcast TV
Of course this varies from country to country, but I try to produce (ir)regular lists of what's due to be shown on TV. If anyone else on the list spots anything that is due to be shown they are encouraged to announce the fact so that others on the list can set their VCR's.

P&P On Video & DVD
Quite a few films have been released on home video. One trouble is that because the video companies don't expect to sell many these tend to appear for only a short while in a limited number before being withdrawn from the catalogues.

Of course there is nothing to stop people recording films that are shown on TV for their own use and I am told that some people even swap these even though it is strictly illegal and I would never condone such a practise :)

There is a full list of all the known video & DVD releases & where to buy them.

There's the additional complication of the different video standards.

  • VHS PAL is in use in most of the world
    • BlackStar Videos
      Enter Michael Powell or Emeric Pressburger into the search box.
      Note: Allows you to set up "watch list".

    • (video, DVD & books)
      Search in DVD & Video for Michael Powell
      Search by Director for Michael Powell

    • Choices Direct (used to be Video+ Direct)
      Enter Powell or Pressburger as Director in search at top of page

    • Movie Mail (video, DVD & books)
      Enter Michael Powell or Emeric Pressburger in search field

      Enter Michael Powell as a R2 Director

    • Benson's World
      Enter Michael Powell or Emeric Pressburger in search field as Director.

    • Elm, Classic video in Switzerland always seem to have a good collection available.
      See their list.

  • VHS NTSC is in use in most of the Americas & Japan
    • (video, DVD & books)
      Search in DVD & Video for Michael Powell
      Search by Director for Michael Powell

    • Critic's Choice video
      Search by Director for Michael Powell

    • Movies Unlimited
      Search by Director for Michael Powell

    • DVD Empire
      Search by Cast & Crew for Michael Powell or Emeric Pressburger

      Search in DVDs/Movies for "Michael Powell" or Pressburger.
      (Note: The quotation marks around "Michael Powell" are needed or it will list every other Michael & every other Powell)

    • Nostalgia Family Video
      Search for title or Michael Powell or Emeric Pressburger
      Videos come in a Nostalgia Family Video cover.

    • (US) and (Canada)
      They show quite a few P&P titles but some might be unavailable.

    • Another place that may be useful (but isn't online) is
      Henwood Video
      Box 376
      PA 18929

  • France and a few other places use SECAM
    • (video, DVD & books)
    • If anyone knows of any other online sources of SECAM videos, please email me

  • Then there may be some people who still have BetaMax tapes
    • If anyone knows of any information about BetaMax P&P videos, please email me

Both types of VHS tapes (PAL & NTSC) are all physically the same but the way the information is recorded is different.

Some newer VCR's can playback (and sometimes even record in) different standards from the "native" standard. This is most common with PAL VCR's that can often play NTSC videos.

Otherwise you might have to go to a commercial conversion service. As these are usually geared up for bulk, commercial, conversions the cost may be prohibitive.

There are some multi-standard VCR's such as :-

  • AIWA HV-MX-l00

P&P On Laserdisk
The laserdisks are a wonderful system but are now showing their age as a system (sorry Paula).

If you have one you should still be able to buy disks but there aren't a lot of new ones being produced.

The next generation of home video systems seems to have settled (for now) on the DVD (the Digital Versatile Disk).

Our local expert (self appointed <G>) on DVD's is Alan Head and he's done a DVD section which will give you a good idea of the state of the market.

For a list of where to buy P&P on DVD see the P&P on Video list above as most retailers sell video & DVD.

See also ThePriceSearch for a system that searches for retailers and does a price comparison.

Second hand
P&P films often appear on the second hand market (on video, laserdisk or even on DVD) although personally I don't see how anyone could bear to part with them :)

eBay is probably the biggest sales arena although there are others.

Remainder of FAQ Section 2