The Small Back Room

The Small Back Room

Michael Powell (1949)

PG Certificate


Our Score
After the sumptuous theatrics of Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger returned to the muted naturalism of their earlier collaborations for this adaptation of Nigel Balchin's novel about scientists feeling the strain in wartime. The lengthy passages of chat in which the backroom boffins bicker about their latest inventions tend to drag. But the surreal sequence in which David Farrar's disillusioned hero loses himself in alcoholic oblivion is inspired, while the bomb-disposal finale is given an unbearable tension by the directors' masterful use of camera angles and cutting.


A bomb disposal expert with a drink problem regains his self-respect by defusing an unexploded German doodlebug. Powell and Pressburger's thriller, starring David Farrar, Kathleen Byron and Leslie Banks.

Cast & Crew

Actor David Farrar
Actor Kathleen Byron
Actor Leslie Banks
Actor Jack Hawkins
Actor Robert Morley
Director Michael Powell
Director Emeric Pressburger
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: British Lion Film Corp LtdAvailable on: video and DVD