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

Press Release

London Film Studios
Big Ben London Film Studios
London Films International Ltd
Telephone:- Mayfair 8272 · Telegrams:- LondonFilm Audley London · Cables:- LondonFilm London
146 Piccadilly · London · W1


The Small Back Room

Written, produced and Directed
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

- A Production of The Archers -


     The film is an adaptation of Nigel Balchin's wartime best-seller of the love affair of a neurotic, crippled, back-room scientist with the back-room's secretary, told against a background of Ministerial intrigue and 'empire building'. Through this love story is told the dramatic history of his research on a new-type German booby bomb which causes many deaths, including that of his colleague, before he successfully solves its mechanism by taking it apart.

     Nigel Balchin served during the war as Brigadier in the Psychological Warfare Department of the War Office, and thus had first-hand experience both of officialdom and the complexity of human nature. This is his second novel to be filmed. The first, "Mine Own Executioner", was one of the most notable of last year's films. Sammy Rice, the crippled scientist, is a finely drawn characterisation of a man whose life is warped by his physical disability. It embitters his love for Susan, a girl of warm personality and ambition for him; it makes him unsure in his job; it warps his valuation of himself as a man. Eventually, by successfully solving the problem of a new type German booby bomb, he justifies himself and his love.

     The strong cast is headed by David Farrar as Sammy, and a new star, Kathleen Byron, as Susan. It is a renewal of their successful partnetship started in "Black Narcissus", in which David Farrar won international fame with his portrayal of the cynical English agent, Mr. Dean, and Kathleen Byron leapt to the forefront of screen actresses with the role of the mad Sister Ruth who fell in love with him.

     They are supported by Michael Gough, Renee Asherson, Leslie Banks, Jack Hawkins, Cyril Cusack, Anthony Bushell, Walter Fitzgerald, Milton Rosmer, Emrys Jones and Henry Caine.

Back to index