Tag Archives: Michael Powell

Stairway to Heaven (1946) Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Drama, Fantasy, Comedy

Returning to England from a bombing run in May 1945, flyer Peter Carter’s plane is damaged and his parachute ripped to shreds. He has his crew bail out safely, but figures it is curtains for himself. He gets on the radio, and talks to June, a young American woman working for the USAAF, and they are quite moved by each other’s voices. Then he jumps, preferring this to burning up with his plane. He wakes up in the surf. It was his time to die, but there was a mixup in heaven. They couldn’t find him in all that fog. By the time his “Conductor” catches up with him 20 hours later, Peter and June have met and fallen in love. This changes everything, and since it happened through no fault of his own, Peter figures that heaven owes him a second chance. Heaven agrees to a trial to decide his fate.

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Black Narcissus (1947) Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson, Drama

Black Narcissus (1947)
This explosive work about the conflict between the spirit and the flesh is the epitome of the sensuous style of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A group of nuns – played by some of Britain’s finest actresses, including Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron, and Flora Robson – struggle to establish a convent in the Himalayas, while isolation, extreme weather, altitude, and culture clashes all conspire to drive the well-intentioned missionaries mad. A darkly grand film that won Oscars for Alfred Junge’s art direction and Jack Cardiff’s cinematography , Black Narcissus is one of the greatest achievements by two of cinema’s true visionaries.

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Peeping Tom (1960) Michael Powell, Karlheinz Böhm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer, Drama, Horror, Thriller

Mark Lewis, works as a focus puller in a British film studio. On his off hours, he supplies a local porno shop with cheesecake photos and also dabbles in filmmaking. A lonely, unfriendly, sexually repressed fellow, Mark is obsessed with the effects of fear and how they are registered on the face and behavior of the frightened. This obsession dates from the time when, as a child, he served as the subject of some cold-blooded experiments in the psychology of terror conducted by his own scientist father. As a grown man, Mark becomes a compulsive murderer who kills women and records their contorted features and dying gasps on film. His ongoing project is a documentary on fear. With 16mm camera in hand, he accompanies a prostitute to her room and stabs her with a blade concealed in his tripod, all the while photographing her contorted face in the throes of terror and death. Alone in his room, he surrounds himself with the sights and sounds of terror: taped screams, black-and-white “home movies” of convulsed faces. At his house, he meets Helen Stephens, a young woman who lives with her blind mother in a downstairs flat. She visits his flat, where he shows her black-and-white films that were taken of him when he was a child. She is horrified to see that his father used him as a guinea pig in various experiments, taking movies of his reactions of fear.

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