Michael Powell

Scen.: Michael Powell, da una lettera apparsa su “The Times”; F.: Michael Powell, Bernard Browne; Int.: John Gielgud (narratore), Michael Powell (lettore del prologo, non accr.); Prod.: Michael Powell; 35mm. D.: 5’.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes


Made quickly and impulsively by Powell, using many personal items (and his dogs!), this short film dramatises one of the inspirational moments of the Battle of Britain phase of WW2, and anticipates many of the themes of A Matter of Life and Death. A letter from a young airman had appeared posthumously in “The Times” and was quickly reprinted as a pamphlet. Its tone was not only patriotic – ‘history resounds with illustrious names who have given all [for] the British Empire, where there is a measure of peace, justice and freedom for all’ – but also coolly mystical, hinting at the strong sense of destiny and spiritual survival shared by many during the inter-war years. All Powell’s heroes – T. E. Lawrence, Captain Scott – are here, in an intensely English ‘anthem for doomed youth’.

Ian Christie

Copy From