Photo of Michael Powell Michael Powell

Born Sept. 30, 1905, in Kent, England, director Michael Powell got his start working for noted silent-film director Rex Ingram. Honing his directing chops by churning out a raft of "quota quickies" -- short films made to fulfill quota/tariff agreements between Britain and America between the wars -- Powell quickly became one of England's most prominent filmmakers.

In 1939, Powell met screenwriter and producer Emeric Pressburger while working on The Spy in Black, and together, the two went on to make 19 films, the best of which -- such as Oscar nominees The Red Shoes and 49th Parallel -- are considered classics of British cinema.

Powell's career came to an abrupt end, however, in the early 1960s when his psychological thriller Peeping Tom met with an excoriating response from audiences and critics. He died Feb. 9, 1990.

Michael Powell in Age of Consent

Age of Consent

1969 NR

Desperate for inspiration, artist Bradley Morahan (James Mason) leaves New York City and moves to a small island off the coast of his native Australia, where he discovers a muse in a beautiful 17-year-old named Cora Ryan (Helen Mirren). But Bradley's newfound bliss is interrupted by the dishonest dealings of an old friend and the protests of Cora's grandmother. Director Michael Powell's 1969 romantic drama marks Mirren's first major screen role.

  • Michael Powell in The Red Shoes The Red Shoes
  • Michael Powell in A Canterbury Tale A Canterbury Tale
  • Michael Powell in The Thief of Bagdad The Thief of Bagdad
  • Michael Powell in 49th Parallel 49th Parallel
  • Michael Powell in Black Narcissus Black Narcissus
  • Michael Powell in I Know Where I'm Going! I Know Where I'm Going!
  • Michael Powell in A Matter of Life and Death A Matter of Life and Death
  • Michael Powell in The Battle of the River Plate The Battle of the River Plate
  • Michael Powell in Phantom Light/Red Ensign/Upturned Glass Phantom Light/Red Ensign/Upturned Glass
  • Michael Powell in The Edge of the World The Edge of the World
  • Michael Powell in The Small Back Room The Small Back Room
  • Michael Powell in Peeping Tom Peeping Tom
  • Michael Powell in The Golden Gong The Golden Gong