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Submitted by Nicky Smith

Contemporary Authors
Emeric Pressburger (1902 - 1988)

Nationality: Hungarian
Entry Updated: 11/26/2001

Place of Birth: Miskolc, Hungary

Genre(s): Screenplays

Academy Award, Original Motion Picture Story, 1942, for "The Invaders."

Table of Contents:
Personal Information
Further Readings About the Author
Obituary Sources

Personal Information:
Family: Born December 5, 1902, in Miskolc, Hungary; immigrated to England; died of bronchial pneumonia, February 5, 1988, in Saxstead, England; married; children: one daughter.
Education: Attended University of Prague and University of Stuttgart.

Career: Writer. Associated with Universum-Film Aktien-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany; co-owner of Archers Film Producing Co., England, 1941-56; co-owner of Vega Productions Ltd. Producer of more than fifteen films, including "The Small Back Room" (alternate title "Hour of Glory"), Snader Productions, 1948, and "Behold a Pale Horse" (adapted from his novel Killing a Mouse on Sunday), Columbia, 1964.

Writings By The Author:

(With Michael Powell) Story of the Film: "One of Our Aircraft Is Missing," H.M.S.O., 1942.

Killing a Mouse on Sunday (novel), Harcourt, 1961 (reprinted in England as Behold a Pale Horse, Collins, 1964).

The Glass Pearls (novel), Heinemann, 1966.

(With Powell) The Red Shoes, Avon, 1978. Screenplays:

"The Spy in Black" (alternate title "U-Boat Twenty-Nine"), Columbia, 1939.

(Author of screen story) "Contraband" (original title "Blackout"), Anglo American, 1940.

(With Gordon Welesley and Edward Dryhurst) "Sons of the Sea" (alternate title "Atlantic Ferry"), Warner Bros., 1941.

"The Invaders" (alternate title "49th Parallel"), Columbia, 1942.

"Colonel Blimp" (alternate title "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"), Archers-General, 1943.

(With Powell) "Black Narcissus," Universal, 1947.

(Under pseudonym Richard Imrie; with Derry Quinn and Rigby; also director) "Operation Crossbow" (alternate title "The Great Spy Mission"), MGM, 1965.

(And director) "Twice Upon a Time," 1952.

"Miracle in Soho," 1957.

"They're a Weird Mob," 1966.

"The Boy Who Turned Yellow," 1972.

Screenplays Written And Directed With Powell:

"One of Our Aircraft Is Missing," United Artists, 1942.

"I Know Where I'm Going," Universal, 1945.

"Stairway to Heaven" (original title "A Matter of Life and Death"), Universal, 1946.

"The Red Shoes," Eagle Lion, 1948.

"The Wild Heart" (original title "Gone to Earth"), RKO, 1950.

"The Tales of Hoffmann," Lopert, 1951.

"Pursuit of the Graf Spee" (original title "Battle of the River Plate"), J. Arthur Rank, 1956.

"Night Ambush," J. Arthur Rank, 1957.

"Oh, Rosalinda!," 1955.

"Sidelights" A producer, director, screenwriter, and novelist, Emeric Pressburger is best remembered as a partner in one of Britain's most famous motion picture production teams. In collaboration with Michael Powell, he wrote, produced, and directed many popular films of the 1940s and 1950s, including the classic ballet epic "The Red Shoes." Before settling in England, Pressburger served as a writer in the script department of Germany's UFA film company until he fled after the Nazi regime came to power. His other screen credits include "The Invaders," an Oscar-winning 1941 film about Nazis hiding in Canada during World War II, "Colonel Blimp," and, under the pseudonym Richard Imrie, "Operation Crossbow." Pressburger wrote the novels Killing a Mouse on Sunday (reprinted as Behold a Pale Horse), and The Glass Pearls. With Powell he also penned The Red Shoes, a novelization of their best-known film.

Further Readings About the Author


Christie, Ian, editor, Powell, Pressburger, and Others, British Film Institute, 1978.

Christie, Ian, Arrows of Desire: The Films of a Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Faber and Faber (London), 1994.

Macdonald, Kevin, Emeric Pressburger: The Life and Death of a Screenwriter, foreword by Billy Wilder, Faber and Faber, 1994.

Salwolke, Scott, The Films of Michael Powell and the Archers, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 1997.*

Obituary and Other Sources:

Chicago Tribune, February 9, 1988.
Los Angeles Times, February 7, 1988.
New York Times, February 6, 1988.
Times (London), February 6, 1988.
Washington Post, February 8, 1988.*

Source: Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2001.

Gale Database: Contemporary Authors

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