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.

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Original at Glasgow University

An investigation of the Archers
The production company behind the success of
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

The 'Archers' was the name of an independent production company, formed during the second world war which was the brain child of film-makers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. In the peculiar atmosphere of the time when British film studios were being turned over to producing propaganda, J. Arthur Rank took over as the biggest producer of films in the country once Britain's first movie mogul Alexander Korda left for Hollywood in 1940. Director Michael Powell and writer Emeric Pressburger had been put together as a team by Korda for the film The Spy in Black. The affinity they found for one another and the success of the film persuaded them that they should work together again. After another film for Korda they made film, 49th Parallel was made outside the British Studio system and was initially financed by the Ministry of Information. So began their career as independent producers. J. Arthur Rank, recognising the finacial success of movies whose final cut resided with the film-makers themselves established an arm of his production and exhibition network to fund a number of independent production companies. The Archers was one such company.

Powell and Pressburger were by this time sharing the 'written, produced and directed by' credits on all their films. The collaboration didn't end there however. The creative input of the artists, cameramen, craftsmen and musicians who were employed by the partners was richly encouraged.

Other P&P reviews