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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.

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dvd press release

bfi Video presents

The Edge of the World

A film by Michael Powell

“I don’t think I shall ever make another film, however good it may turn out to be, that will mean as much to me as The Edge of the World.”

Michael Powell, BBC Radio - Desert Island Discs, 1942

Shot over four arduous months in the wild, windswept Shetland Islands, Michael Powell’s first independent production establishes the daring techniques and experimentation that would later become familiar hallmarks of his career.

The Edge of the World tells the moving story of a remote island and its inhabitants, whose traditions and way of life are threatened by a rapidly industrialising world. To settle an argument over whether the islanders should give up their livelihood and move to the mainland, two childhood friends follow an ancient tradition and climb the island’s highest cliff face. The outcome shatters the island’s peace and splits the two clans apart.

Restored by the National Film and Television Archive in 1990 and with its picture and sound further restored by bfi Video for this DVD release, The Edge of the World has been admired by directors such as Martin Scorsese.

Making the film proved so demanding and sensational that its 32-year-old director was moved to write a full-scale book about his obsession with the tragic grandeur of Scotland’s Outer Isles and his struggle to film it, 200,000 Feet on Foula, which actor Daniel Day-Lewis reads from on this DVD.

DVD extras

Release date: 12 January 2004

DVD: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIVD589 / cert U

UK / 1937 / black and white / 74 mins + extra material / Academy Radio (1.33:1)

Contact Jill Reading, Press Officer, bfi Video Publishing

Tel: (020) 7957 4759 / (020) 7960 3160 or e-mail

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Details on all bfi Video releases are available at