For Their Own Reasons
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:
Editor: John Seabourne
Music: Allan Gray
Production Company: The Archers Film Productions
Running Time: 124 minutes
For a further look at films from the same period, have a look at
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