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Heckroth, Hein (1901-1970)


Main image of Heckroth, Hein (1901-1970)

A surrealist painter, and a production designer for German theatre and ballet, Hein Heckroth emigrated to Britain in 1935. He entered British films as costume designer for Caesar And Cleopatra (d. Gabriel Pascal, 1945), and then worked in the same capacity for Powell and Pressburger, before becoming their principal production designer in 1948.

His best work, on The Red Shoes (1948, an Oscar) and The Tales Of Hoffman (1951), reveals Heckroth's formative influences in surrealism, as well as his affinities to the ballet, to striking effect. On Black Narcissus (1947), he memorably created the Himalayan palace/convent at Pinewood.

His later work, including Hitchcock's Torn Curtain (1966), remained meticulous, but tended more towards the conventional.

Catherine A. Surowiec, Accent on Design: Four European Art Directors, 1992.

Tim Bergfelder, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

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 Gone to Earth (1950)Gone to Earth (1950)

Rural melodrama of a young woman pursued by predatory men.

Thumbnail image of Matter of Life and Death, A (1946)Matter of Life and Death, A (1946)

Romance fantasy bridging the gap between two worlds

Thumbnail image of Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955)Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955)

Powell & Pressburger musical comedy based on 'Die Fledermaus'

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

Thumbnail image of Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The (1953)Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The (1953)

Technicolor biopic of the masters of the Victorian operetta

Thumbnail image of Tales of Hoffmann, The (1951)Tales of Hoffmann, The (1951)

Visually ravishing Powell & Pressburger film of the Offenbach opera

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Thumbnail image of Powell, Michael (1905-1990)Powell, Michael (1905-1990)

Director, Writer, Producer