Michael Powell - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Powell

Highest Rated:   100% The Edge of the World (2000)
Lowest Rated:   71% Paul (2011)
Birthday:  
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

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
96% Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff
  • Actor
$20.5k 2011
71% Paul
  • Actor
$37.4M 2011
No Score Yet Golden Gong: The Story of Rank Films--British Cinema's Legendary Studio
  • Actor
2004
100% The Edge of the World
  • Yachtsman
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2000
No Score Yet The Boy Who Turned Yellow
  • Director
1972
100% Age of Consent
  • Producer
1969
No Score Yet 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
80% The Battle of the River Plate (Pursuit of the Graf Spee)
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1956
No Score Yet Oh... Rosalinda!!
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1956
80% The Small Back Room
  • Director
  • Gunnery Officer
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1952
85% The Tales of Hoffmann
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1951
No Score Yet Gone to Earth
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1950
No Score Yet Elusive Pimpernel
  • Director
  • Actor
1950
85% A Canterbury Tale
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1949
96% The Red Shoes
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1948
100% I Know Where I'm Going
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1947
100% Black Narcissus
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1947
95% Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death)
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
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
88% 49th Parallel (The Invaders)
  • Director
  • Producer
1941
100% The Thief of Bagdad
  • Actor
  • Director
1940
100% Contraband
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1940
100% The Spy in Black
  • Director
1939
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
90% 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

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Meet the Press
1947
  • Panelist
  • 2014

Quotes from Michael Powell's Characters

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