128) The Small Back Room (1949) Dir: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger Date Released: February 1952 Date Seen: April 5, 2010 Rating: 4/5
Was there anything Powell & Pressburger couldn't do? I mean, the espionage overplot in The Small Back Room is a bit flat-footed but its really not the focus of the film. Powell and Pressburger's consummate drive to experiment and their unparalleled ability to succeed at whatever they tried to do is the real engine of the film. In fact, I remember distinctly that the film's plot had a tendency towards exploring one tangential subplot after another until the viewer begins to want a a return to some semblance of normalcy just as much as the film's alky of a protagonist does. And it works because you want to be lost in Powell and Pressburger's charming patter for as long as you can. The film's depiction of addiction is quaint by today's standards but it makes for good drama. I'll be damned if that nightmare sequence isn't great.