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A Life in Movies Paperback – October 16, 2000
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49th Parallel"; "The Canterbury Tales: "Black Narcissus": "Peeping Tom" and countless others tells the story of his long,productive and adventurous life (1905-1990).
Powell grew up in bucolic middle class farm life in Canterbury, Kent. His father divorced his mother moving to France following World War I. It was while staying with his father that Powell became involved in moviemaking as he joined the company led by director Rex Ingram on the French Riveria.
Powell later became associated with Alfred Hitchcock, Arthur
Rank, Michael Balcon and J. Arthur Rank . He made his first hit with his eccentric view of life in the Orkney islands in "The
Edge of the World."
Powell knew many of the great actors, directors and technicians who made the movies the folk tales of the 20th
Powell's closest associate was the Hungarian writer Pressburg with whom he organized Archer Film Studios.One classic from this association was "The Red Shoes" which is arguably the finest ballet movie ever made!
Among other things Powell was:
a. A womanizer who wed several times and romanced the likes of actresses Deborah Kerr and Pamela Brown.
b. A novelist and a director who actually read books! His writing style is anecdotal and very readable!
c. Powell's love for film is manifest Even though British film culture turned its back on him following his controversial "Peeping Tom" in 1960 he never gave up his love for film, storytelling and art.
Powell is sadly little known on our side of the pond.Read more ›
However, on at least one detail, at the risk of sounding trivial, his memory didn't quite match. Example: about "The Red Shoes", he gives the full name of the conductor Livy (played by Esmond Knight) as "Sir Edmund Livingstone", whereas in one shot of the film, Livy's full name is actually "Mr. Livingstone Montague". On other points, one has to keep in mind his selective memory. For example, he chooses not to mention the name of his first wife from his very short-lived first marriage, basically saying that "Her name was - well, what does it matter?" and that they were young and foolish. (For the record, Powell's first wife was Gloria Mary Rouger.) Likewise, during the filming of "Black Narcissus", Powell didn't mention the name of the actress with whom he was having an affair, simply saying that "my two mistresses, one ex and one current, were both working for me in the same picture". The "ex" was Deborah Kerr, of course, while the "current" was Kathleen Byron, whom Powell more explicitly mentioned in volume two of his autobiography.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I rarely read bio's, this one is a gem. What a life, filled with surprising experiences and insight to living life to the fullest.Published 13 months ago by Francis Palazzolo
WIth an enthusiasm never stifled, Michael Powell lives his life in life and his life in film out front for us right here. Read more
Good book, good subject, fairly well written in chatty style. Film is one of my interests and this man was at the forefront of the early UK and USA film direction with some great... Read morePublished on April 13, 2014 by Michael A. Cropper
He tells a fairly good story but it could have been told more succinctly and with a little more humility.Published on January 21, 2014 by Pamela Fiori
This book was put together the day after I ordered, obviously a botched computer job. The font is minuscule, and it gets smaller at times. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by m. pizarro