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]

  Steve's Logo

From: Doug Randall

Steve Crook wrote:     

> In fact at one of them someone asked the
> killer question "Why do the people here
> like Powell (& Pressburger) films?" so
> I thought I'd ask you lot. We went around
> the room all giving a varied but interesting
> set of answers.

     I've been thinking about all the things that I love about P&P films -- the list growing into an essay longer than anyone would want to read in an Email, so instead I've decided to relate my favorite moment in all Michael and Emerichdom in hopes that it would convey what is in my heart. That favorite moment occurs during the last scene of TOH after the final chords chords conducted by Sir Thomas. He lays down his baton, closes the score and a hand stamps the cover "MADE IN ENGLAND."

     My own reaction to this moment, regardless of repeated viewings, is always passionate. I feel it speaks for the Archers entire body of work. It leaves no doubt as to the ownership of the material, the pride with which it is displayed, and the joy at which the task was undertaken. Just as the arrow hitting the bulls eye at the beginning boldly proclaims, "This is going to be good," the stamping hand exclaims, "I told you so!" Here we have just witnessed a collaboration of artists creating a work unconstrained by convention that is colourful, poetic, emotional, passionate, romantic, sensual, erotic, mystical, magical, and yes, by Jove, English! Oh, if only I could have been in the room with P&P, Syd, Hein, Reggie, Brian and a few others, tossing out ideas left and right whilst Sir Thomas sang Kleinzack at the piano.

     My favorite Archers film is IKWIG or LADOCB (I can't decide between them). I love these films because of the influence of the "More English than the English" Emerich Pressburger, who fleshes out characters you care about, along with the vision of Michael Powell who postulated, "All art is one." Please let's agree with him. Even in the historical drama BORP, there is poetry in "... the movement of ships at sea."

     As an American watching a Hitchcock film, one sees what an Englishman might do in a given situation -- watch a P & P film and one feels what an Englishman feels. While watching the heavenly trial in AMOLAD, I think I caught a glimpse of my ancestor Joseph Randall, who fought at the battle of Ticonderoga with Benedict Arnold. I know his heart was persuaded by Dr. Reeves at the end of the trial, as I know my heart has been persuaded by the Archers.

Thank you to Mickey, Imre and all the others,

     Douglas Randall

P.S. I can't write any more 'cause I'm a big crybaby.

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