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

- The people hired for the scene in the market at Basra included 8 Indian cooks recruited from London. They brought their own utensils. Raised 10 inches off the ground was a large sheet of burnished copper with a wood fire underneath. Then they proceeded to mix a rather dirty-looking dough. When it had been neaded and made into little balls about six inches across, the chief cook, Kass Heebu, who is over eighty, took control of the balls of dough, and with his remarkably agile fingers, proceeded to make a large flat scone rather like a pancake.

- Mary Morris had to dance like a mechanical doll. She was taught how to dance like an automoton by Wendy Toye, noted ballerina.

- Mary had to have her whole body covered with the blue and silver make-up which took four and a half hours to apply.

- Sabu played Abu, the thief and had to steal various items including the key from the jailer and a ring from Jaffar [cut from final film]. He decided to practice on people on the set and by approaching them in a friendly mannaer, he aquired three pencils, two pens, one box of matches, one pocket Technicolor meter, a comb, a driving license and a wallet from a visiting journalist.

- Mary Morris, the flashing brunette who plays the role of an exotic dancing girl, completed an around-the-world trek to make her motion picture debut in Prison Without Bars. Besides riding and playing cricket in which she excels, Mary spends her spare time making furniture. The actress learned carving in the Fiji Islands where her father was the chief medical officer, and her apartment is decorated with queer tokens representing sea serpents, native heads and ebony walking sticks. She doesn't believe in slenderizing diets.

- Rex Ingram, featured as the Djinni, began his motion picture career through sheer accident in 1919. He was standing on a corner in Los Angeles when a harried scout came up and asked if he'd like to be in a picture. His debut was as a tribal chief (uncredited) in a Tarzan picture - Tarzan of the Apes (1918). Since then he has alternated between stage and screen. Before he became an actor he was a doctor... Has a powerful singing voice which made him famous as "de Lawd" in The Green Pastures (1936)... Loves to cook and drives a car.

- When Abu is seen in the hand of the Djinni, that hand was a model of a real hand and was some forty feet from the wrist to the tips of the fingers. This required seven tons of clay to manufacture and was made in sections to fit over the machinery which allowed the hand to open and close in a realistic manner. When the whole hand was completed it was sprayed with over a hundred coats of rubber cement which took the place of the skin and masked the joints as it opened and closed.

From the American press-book

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