Powell Before Pressburger

Powell cut his teeth making low-budget films under the British ‘quota’ system from 1931-36.

All of the surviving titles from this period of Powell's career have been remastered by the BFI National Archive; we present a selection of them below.

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Rent for £2.50

The Phantom LightThe Phantom Light

Comedy193572 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Michael Powell’s gothic mystery of a haunted lighthouse where insanity thrives.

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Red EnsignRed Ensign

Drama193469 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Passionate shipbuilding tale from an on-the-up Michael Powell.

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Crown v. StevensCrown v. Stevens

Crime193667 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Patric Knowles stars as a naïve young man who becomes embroiled in the murderous, money-hungry scheming of his boss’s wife, in Michael Powell’s stylish proto-film noir.

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Crime193246 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Michael Powell’s earliest existing film is a twisty thriller crafted with a bold visual style that is unmistakeably influenced by Fritz Lang.

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Hotel SplendideHotel Splendide

Comedy193253 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Music hall veteran Jerry Verno stars as a lowly clerk who gets more than he bargained for when he inherits a hotel, in Michael Powell's charming comedy.

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The Night of the PartyThe Night of the Party

Crime193461 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Michael Powell’s fun stage adaptation about a murder at a society party, with characterful performances from its fine ensemble cast.

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Something Always HappensSomething Always Happens

Comedy193470 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Michael Powell’s sprightly comedy about a freeloading charmer who romances the daughter of a wealthy petrol station owner.

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Her Last AffaireHer Last Affaire

Drama193668 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Michael Powell's 'society drama’ involving suspicion, clandestine romance and presumed murder, and glorious comic double-act from Googie Withers and John Lurie.

Discover more of Powell's early films in our Subscription collection.