Celebrity Photo

Michael Powell

Highest Rated: 100% Age of Consent (1969)

Lowest Rated: 33% Sebastian (1969)

Birthday: Sep 30, 1905

Birthplace: Not Available

A one time studio gofer, still photographer, and comic actor, Michael Powell became one of the most celebrated and controversial directors ever to come out of England. Born in Canterbury, Powell became enamored of films while still a teenager and, after a start in the mid-'20s and a stint shooting stills and serving as a co-scenarist with Alfred Hitchcock in the early sound era, Powell broke into directing in low-budget British thrillers and comedies. After directing and writing his first notable movie in 1937, The Edge of the World, he moved to London Films where he began working with Emeric Pressburger, a gifted young author and screenwriter. Their two-decade association began shortly after they left London Films (where they collaborated on The Spy in Black and Powell co-directed The Thief of Bagdad). The wartime thrillers Contraband and Forty-Ninth Parallel -- the latter attracted much attention (including Oscar nominations for Best Picture and best original story) -- resulted in the creation of The Archers, an independent production company. Powell and Pressburger went on to jointly write, produce, and direct The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Canterbury Tale, I Know Where I'm Going, and Stairway to Heaven during World War II. The idiosyncratic humor and point-of-view of these films alienated many British critics, but delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. After the war, Powell and Pressburger made a series of movies that emblazoned their names around the world: Black Narcissus, a story of nuns who are nearly destroyed by their own passions while trying to found a convent in the Himalayas; The Red Shoes, a phenomenally successful film about the life and death of a ballet dancer, whose multi-year run in America and multimillion-dollar success made possible such pictures as An American in Paris and The Tales of Hoffmann, an opera/ballet amalgam of unprecedented stylistic flare and daring. The early '50s saw a decline in fortunes for the filmmakers, and their partnership dissolved in 1956. Powell continued to make movies of a fiercely personal nature until 1960, when the critical reaction to Peeping Tom -- about a man who mixes voyeurism, cinema, and murder, and is now considered a classic -- ended his career in England. He worked for American and European television during the 1960s and '70s, and was rediscovered in the late '70s with the help of Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, who regarded Powell as one of the most important influences on their individual work. Museum retrospectives, restorations, and reopenings of his classic films followed, along with a multi-volume autobiography that he completed prior to his death in 1990.

Highest Rated Movies



97% Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff Actor $20.5K 2011
70% Paul Actor $37.4M 2011
No Score Yet Golden Gong: The Story of Rank Films--British Cinema's Legendary Studio Actor 2004
No Score Yet The Boy Who Turned Yellow Director 1972
100% Age of Consent Producer Director 1969
33% Sebastian Producer 1969
No Score Yet They're a Weird Mob Director 1966
No Score Yet Bluebeard's Castle (Herzog Blaubarts Burg) Director 1964
No Score Yet The Queen's Guards Director 1961
96% Peeping Tom Director Mr. Lewis Producer 1960
No Score Yet Ill Met by Moonlight (Intelligence Service) (Night Ambush) Director 1958
82% The Battle of the River Plate (Pursuit of the Graf Spee) Director Producer Screenwriter 1956
No Score Yet Oh... Rosalinda!! Screenwriter Director 1956
83% The Small Back Room Director Screenwriter Gunnery Officer Producer 1952
86% The Tales of Hoffmann Director Producer Screenwriter 1951
No Score Yet Gone to Earth Screenwriter Director 1950
No Score Yet Elusive Pimpernel Director Actor 1950
92% A Canterbury Tale Director Screenwriter Producer 1949
97% The Red Shoes Director Producer Screenwriter 1948
100% I Know Where I'm Going! Screenwriter Producer 1947
100% Black Narcissus Screenwriter Director Producer 1947
97% Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death) Producer Screenwriter Director 1947
No Score Yet The End of the River Producer 1947
96% The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Screenwriter Director Producer 1943
No Score Yet The Silver Fleet Producer 1943
No Score Yet One of Our Aircraft Is Missing Producer Screenwriter Dispatching Officer Director 1942
92% 49th Parallel (The Invaders) Director Producer 1941
100% The Thief of Bagdad Actor Director 1940
100% Contraband Director Screenwriter 1940
100% The Spy in Black Director 1939
100% The Edge of the World Yachtsman Screenwriter Director 1937
No Score Yet Crown vs. Stevens Director 1936
No Score Yet Lazybones Director 1935
No Score Yet Something Always Happens Director 1934
No Score Yet Red Ensign (Strike!) Director 1934
No Score Yet Perfect Understanding Screenwriter 1933
86% Blackmail Screenwriter 1929
No Score Yet Tears, Laughter, Fear and Rage: Rage Actor
No Score Yet His Lordship Director
No Score Yet The Love Test Director


No Score Yet Meet the Press
Panelist 2014
No Score Yet NOW with Bill Moyers
Guest 2003


No quotes approved yet.