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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Fascinating trivia (and any goofs) connected with the film

- When he was young, Michael Powell saw a documentary on the evacuation of the island of Hirta (St. Kilda), west of the Hebrides, and he thought he could make a great film about it.

- The cast and crew stayed on Foula for many months. This was before the airstrip was built and they had to use local fishing boats as ferries.

- Almost four hours of film was shot on the island and was edited down to just 80 minutes by Derek N. Twist.

- The wild Golden Eagle at the beginning has the falconer's jesses (leather straps) visible on it's legs.

- Just before the cliff race, Ruth Manson (Belle Chrystall) has no shoes on as she goes back to her cottage. She talks to her grandmother (Kitty Kirwan) and goes inside. When she comes out she's got her shoes on. But as she runs down to the cliff she's not wearing any shoes !!

- After completing the film, Michael Powell was sued for plagiarism by the owners of St. Kilda, the island where the original evacuation that had inspired the story, had taken place. This was despite the fact that Powell had been refused permission by them to film there. Powell won the case but costs were awarded against him so all his profits were taken up in legal fees.

- The film was first shown at what was then the New Gallery Cinema in Regent Street, now the British headquarters of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Dave Earl tells us:
- I can add that the Doctor who attended Ruth's baby in Lerwick harbour was played by James Garrioch.

- The young boy ringing the bell at the church scene who although uncredited in the movie was heard by John Laurie who played Peter Manson to be called 'James Andrew' was named Gerald Boyne, and the little girl seen toward the end of the movie at the evacuation scene with the cats & being carried on her mothers back in a basket was Jessamine Smith the School-teacher's daughter.

- Edith Gray, appeared in Roo scene, (very last shot plucking wool from a sheep) Foula reel dance & Church service.

- Aggie Jean Gray, in Roo scene, Church service, Foula reel dance, baby arrival scene (Kniting in background) & The Ghost sequence when Andrew arrives at deserted crofts,(she is carrying a chair.)

- Peter Manson (the real one!) is sitting left of Finley Currie at the boat parliament scene, also he is in one of the boats at the cliff climb and in the Kirk for the service.

- John Gray is the old man with the beard who shakes hands with Niall MacGinnis at the pier also seen in the Boat Parliament scene.

- Dodie Isbister was in the Church service scene, Boat Parliament, climb scene (In one of the boats) & Pier scene when Andrew leaves.

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