Emeric Pressburger


Suggested Films:

49th Parallel (1941)
One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942)
The Red Shoes (1948)

Emeric Pressburger was born in Miskolc, Hungary, on December 5 1902. He was educated at the Universities of Prague and Stuttgart and he worked as a journalist, an author and a scriptwriter in Berlin and Paris. Eventually working for screenwriter for directors Robert Siodmak and Max Ophuls.

He then fled Europe after after Hitler's rise to power (he was a Jew) and eventually came to England, where he joined London Films as a screenwriter. But life was difficult in a country where the native language was not your own -so he taught himself to understand not only the finer nuances of the language but also of the British people. He worked briefly for Alexander Korda (1938) and then he rewrote ‘The Spy in Black’ (1939), directed by Michael Powell. They then left London films and frmed a formed a filmmaking partnership, known corporately as ‘The Archers’, in which they shared joint screenwriter-producer-director credit . Pressburger got his first producer credit on ‘One of our Aircraft Is Missing’ (1942).

Their collaborations together included 49th Parallel, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Canterbury Tale, I Know Where I'm Going, Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death), Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, The Small Back Room, and The Tales of Hoffmann. Amongst this slection they were nominated fro 5 Amrcian Oscars (winning just one) anda further BAFTA nomination for ‘The battle of the River Plate’ (1956).
Their work was generally more acclaimed internationally than in Britain (where very often they got mixed reviews).

The partnership split up after 1956, and Pressburger returned to writing after one attempt at directing (Twice Upon a Time) and producing (Miracle in Soho). Pressburger's novel ‘Killing a Mouse on Sunday’ was later adapted into the movie ‘Behold a Pale Horse’. The perception of many of those around them was in the Powell/Pressburger partnership, Powell was the partly out-of-control genius, while Pressburger was the force that focused the team onto their most viable projects

Pressburger often showed a deep understanding of the British that is only granted to those "outside, looking in". He always prided himself on being "more English than the English". After all, some of use were just BORN English, but he CHOSE to become English. He spent his last days at Shoemakers Cottage, Aspall, Stowmarket, Suffolk in the English countryside that he loved so well. He died in Suffolk on February 5 1988.













Emeric Pressburger , british film, british director, british movie