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A Canterbury Tale 1944

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A Canterbury Tale 1944
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British Film Institute

 Pilgrimage and the Reasons

A Canterbury Tale 1944

No matter what the subject of their films, the results have always been nothing less than special. We are speaking here of the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and  A Canterbury Tale is no exception, it illustrates, perfectly the "very Englishness" of the English, if that makes sense. Set in war time England the story follows four people (two soldiers, a woman and a local magistrate) as they eventually make a modern day pilgrimage to Canterbury. Each has their own personal problem and worry mostly brought on by the war. Their stories intertwine with each other as they become acquainted on their journey. The end results are quite special. The end results were probably dictated by the need for an uplifting movie during the War but the results have neither the of the feelings of being maudlin or contrived and hold up very well after fifty years.It is tempting, as it always is with a film like this, to single out individual performances by the cast members but this is clearly an ensemble piece and all, from the major to the minor roles, are simply superb. A Canterbury Tale is true gem of a film.

Eric Portman (Thomas Colpeper, JP)
Sheila Sim (Alison Smith)
Dennis Price (Peter Gibbs)
Sgt John Sweet (Bob Johnson)
Charles Hawtrey (Thomas Duckett)
Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Producers: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Screenplay: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Director of Photography: Erwin Hillier
Editor: John Seabourne
Music: Allan Gray
Production Company: The Archers Film Productions
Running Time: 124 minutes

A Canterbury Tale 1944 [click for larger image]
Shelia Sim

For a further look at films from the same period, have a look at
our new website It Is Forever England.
The site is very much under construction, so please bear with us.

The Archers

A Canterbury Tale opening [click for larger image}

the webpages at screenonline
at the British Film Institute

massive thanks go out to
Neil Murray for these.
they can be  found on a
 website about the work of
Powell and Pressburger,
run by Steve Crook.
it's a labour of love, and
it shows. Thanks Steve!

related internet links

Charles Hawtrey   (1914 - 1988)

Eric Portman  (1903 -1969)

Michael Powell   (1905 - 1990)

Emric Pressburger  (1902 - 1988)

A Canterbury Tale 1944
also available on DVD

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