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Discover The Bigger Picture

For Their Own Reasons

A Canterbury Tale 1944

This compelling drama by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger is now acknowledged as one of their finest films. Their reworking of Chaucer's epic 14th century tale, largely set in wartime Kent, centres on an American army sergeant John Sweet, British soldier Dennis Price and landgirl Sheila Sim who, before making a modern-day pilgrimage to Canterbury, solve the bizarre mystery of a man who pours glue over the hair of village girls at night. Stunning cinematography (notably a superb opening shot of a medieval falcon flying up and transforming into a WW2 Spitfire) is matched by fine performances from Smith, Price, Sim and  Portman.The end results are quite special, though these same end results were probably dictated by the need for an uplifting movie during the War but  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.

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
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

This Way

Sway With Me

opening sequence [click for larger image]

the British Film Institute's
webpage on this absolutely
brilliant and stunning film
 

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

sway with me (thanks trees)
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