• From left: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Six films from the legendary British directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger are now available to stream at SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Movies

3 Dec 2019 - 1:11 PM  UPDATED 7 Oct 2020 - 1:53 PM

The directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (nicknamed "The Archers", after their production company) made 24 films together and are best known for their delirious technicolour melodramas; the most famous being 1948's ballet drama The Red Shoes, which influenced Martin Scorsese so much that he spearheaded an effort to restore the film in 2009 (he called it "the movie that plays in my heart"). At SBS On Demand, you can stream the six iconic features they made in succession in the '40s: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948).

 

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

PG
UK, 1943
Genre: War, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Language: English, French, German
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Starring: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Adolf Wohlbrück, Roland Culver
What's it about?
General Candy (Livesey), who's overseeing an English squad in 1943, is a veteran leader who doesn't have the respect of the men he's training and is considered out-of-touch with what's needed to win the war. But it wasn't always this way. Flashing back to his early career in the Boer War and World War I, we see a dashing young officer whose life has been shaped by three different women, and by a lasting friendship with a German soldier.

LEAVING SBS ON DEMAND OCTOBER 31, 2020

A Canterbury Tale

G
UK, 1944
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Starring: Eric Portman, Dennis Price, Sheila Sim, John Sweet
What's it about?
When American soldier Bob Johnson (John Sweet), en route to Canterbury, gets off a train at the wrong station, he is frustrated to learn that he is stuck in the town of Chillingbourne for the evening. Thus halted on his pilgrimage to Canterbury, Bob (together with land girl Alison and British soldier Peter) heads to the nearest hotel. But the journey of the three travelers is waylaid by the mysterious "Glue Man" – a notorious antagonist who pours glue into girls' hair before running away unseen. Now, the three pilgrims must band together to solve the bizarre crime.

A Canterbury Tale Review

LEAVING SBS ON DEMAND OCTOBER 31, 2020

I Know Where I'm Going!

G
UK, 1945
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
Starring: Roger Livesey, Wendy Hiller
What's it about?
Joan Webster (Hiller) is a headstrong young woman who knows exactly where she's going. Her dreams of an easy life come to fruition when she becomes engaged to the wealthy Sir Robert Bellinger (Norman Shelley), who is many years her senior and the head of the company for which she works. But Joan's dream future comes to a screaming halt when bad weather prevents her progression to her new home on the remote island of Kiloran. Stranded on a neighbouring isle, she meets a debonair young army naval officer, Torquil (Livesey), and suddenly her plans seem much less definite...

I Know Where I'm Going! Review

LEAVING SBS ON DEMAND OCTOBER 31, 2020

A Matter of Life and Death

PG
UK, 1946
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Drama
Language: English
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Starring: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Kathleen Byron, Richard Attenborough
What's it about?
When a young airman (Niven) miraculously survives bailing out of his aeroplane without a parachute, he falls in love with an American radio operator. But the officials in the other world realise their mistake, and despatch an angel to collect him.

LEAVING SBS ON DEMAND NOVEMBER 12, 2020

Black Narcissus

PG
UK, 1947
Genre: Drama
Language: English, Hindi
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Starring: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Jean Simmons, Flora Robson, Kathleen Byron, SABU
What's it about?
This Powell and Pressburger classic is set in a community of nuns high in the Himalayas. Their spiritual aims are hampered by the arrival of a beautiful native girl (Simmons) and a young general (Farrar). As the two elope together, the nuns are left attributing blame to each other and, when a young child dies in their care, tensions begin to increase. 

LEAVING SBS ON DEMAND OCTOBER 31, 2020

The Red Shoes

PG
UK, 1948
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Michael Powell
Starring: Moira Shearer, Marius Goring, Anton Walbrook
What's it about?
'Why do you want to dance?" asks imperious artistic director Boris Lermontov (Walbrook) to ballerina hopeful, Vicky Page (Shearer), who can answer only with another question: 'Why do you want to live?" Under the authoritarian rule of Lermontov his proteges realise the full promise of their talents, but at a price — utter devotion to their art and complete loyalty to Lermontov himself. Vicky is begrudgingly admitted into Lermontov's troupe, soon becoming its star while falling in love with the equally driven young composer, Julian (Goring).

Restoring The Red Shoes

LEAVING SBS ON DEMAND OCTOBER 31, 2020

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