Emeric Pressburger

Emeric Pressburger

Powell and Pressburger received co-directing credit on the similarly engrossing "Contraband" (1940) and became official partners in 1942. They formed The Archers production company, and went on to co-write, co-produce and co-direct 14 films between 1942 and 1956. Among their most outstanding productions were "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" (1943), "A Matter of Life and Death" (1945), "Black Narcissus" (1947), "The Red Shoes" (1948) and "The Tales of Hoffman" (1951). Although the Archers' film bore the credit "Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger" it is generally acknowledged that Powell did most of the directing, Pressburger was the primary writer, and the two men shared producing responsibilities. Whatever the case, the duo's films marked a watershed event in British film history, their genuinely strange and imaginative melodramas, beautifully written, produced and photographed, standing out among many more mainstream British films of the 1940s and 50s. Pressburger's later efforts, including his only film as a solo director, "Twice Upon a Time" (1953), were generally less effective than his earlier work. He wrote Michael Anderson's adroitly handled WWII thriller "Operation Crossbow" (1965) under the pseudonym Richard Imrie and briefly re-teamed with Powell on the 1972 British children's film, "The Boy Who Turned Yellow."