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Easdale, Brian (1909-1995)


Main image of Easdale, Brian (1909-1995)

Born in Manchester on 10 August 1909, Brian Easdale came to fame for his work on nine Powell and/or Pressburger films, beginning with Black Narcissus (1947) and winning an Oscar for The Red Shoes (1948), for which he composed the title ballet. Michael Powell found him 'the ideal musical collaborator', creating a sort of 'opera' in which 'music, emotion, image and voices all blended together into a new and splendid whole'.

Trained at the Royal College of Music, his pre-Powell experiences included writing concert music, music for the theatre, and, during WW2 when he was in the Royal Artillery, he was often assigned to writing music for documentaries, as he had begun to do in 1936, for the GPO and Crown Film Unit.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Battle of the River Plate, The (1956)Battle of the River Plate, The (1956)

Last of the Powell/Pressburger partnership - a WWII naval drama

Thumbnail image of Big Money (1937)Big Money (1937)

An inside look at how the GPO's finances work

Thumbnail image of Black Narcissus (1947)Black Narcissus (1947)

Remarkably passionate melodrama set in a Himalayan convent

Thumbnail image of Elusive Pimpernel, The (1950)Elusive Pimpernel, The (1950)

David Niven stars in an entertaining tale of revolutionary France

Thumbnail image of Ferry Pilot (1941)Ferry Pilot (1941)

World War II documentary about the Air Transport Auxiliary

Thumbnail image of Gone to Earth (1950)Gone to Earth (1950)

Rural melodrama of a young woman pursued by predatory men.

Thumbnail image of H.P.O., The (1938)H.P.O., The (1938)

Animated commercial for the 'Heavenly Post Office'

Thumbnail image of Miracle in Soho (1957)Miracle in Soho (1957)

Slight but poetic story about unexpected love in postwar Soho

Thumbnail image of Outcast of the Islands (1951)Outcast of the Islands (1951)

Underrated Joseph Conrad adaptation directed by Carol Reed

Thumbnail image of Peeping Tom (1960)Peeping Tom (1960)

Notorious horror film which all but ended Michael Powell's career

Thumbnail image of Red Shoes, The (1948)Red Shoes, The (1948)

Powell and Pressburger's beautiful and delirious ballet film

Thumbnail image of Small Back Room, The (1949)Small Back Room, The (1949)

Tense drama about an alcoholic bomb disposal expert

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