Michael Latham Powell (30 September 1905 – 19 February 1990) was an English film director, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. Through their production company "The Archers", they together wrote, produced, and directed a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel (1941), The Life and Death of Colonel blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946, also called Stairway to Heaven), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). His later controversial 1960 film Peeping Tom, while today considered a classic, and a contender as the first "slasher", was so vilified on the first release that his career was seriously damaged.
Many film-makers such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and George A. Romero have cited Powell as an influence. In 1981, he received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award along with his partner Pressburger, the highest honor the British film Academy can give a filmmaker.