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A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 21 January 1949 (USA)
A 'Land Girl', an American GI, and a British soldier find themselves together in a small Kent town on the road to Canterbury. The town is being plagued by a mysterious "glue-man", who pours... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheila Sim ...
...
Peter Gibbs
John Sweet ...
Bob Johnson (as Sergt. John Sweet U.S. Army)
...
Narrator (non-US versions) / Seven-Sisters Soldier / Village Idiot
Charles Hawtrey ...
Thomas Duckett
Hay Petrie ...
Woodcock
George Merritt ...
Ned Horton
Edward Rigby ...
Jim Horton
Freda Jackson ...
Prudence Honeywood
Betty Jardine ...
Fee Baker
Eliot Makeham ...
Organist
Harvey Golden ...
Sergt. Roczinsky
Leonard Smith ...
Leslie
James Tamsitt ...
Terry
Edit

Storyline

A 'Land Girl', an American GI, and a British soldier find themselves together in a small Kent town on the road to Canterbury. The town is being plagued by a mysterious "glue-man", who pours glue on the hair of girls dating soldiers after dark. The three attempt to track him down, and begin to have suspicions of the local magistrate, an eccentric figure with a strange, mystical vision of the history of England in general and Canterbury in particular. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Four modern pilgrims in a story of today - yet away from war.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 January 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canterbury mesék  »

Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cathedral bells seen in the opening and closing shots were a miniature replica of Canterbury's Bell Harry Tower to allow the camera to track up to and through them. The bells were "rung" by bell ringers from the Cathedral, who pulled the strings with finger and thumb to a playback of the real bells. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Colpeper, JP: Pity.
Bob Johnson: Pity?
Thomas Colpeper, JP: Pity when you get home and people ask what you've seen in England and you say "Well I saw a movie in Salisbury. And I made a pilgrimage to Canterbury and I saw another one."
Bob Johnson: [laughs] You've got me all wrong. I know that in Canterbury I have to look out for a cathedral.
Thomas Colpeper, JP: Yes do look out for it. It's just behind the movie theatre. You can't miss it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Days of Heaven (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played on the organ in the cathedral
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I recant.
22 January 2001 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Just a brief note to say that I was wrong. Subsequent viewings have revealed to me that John Sweet's character doesn't ruin the film; I don't know why he seemed at first to dominate, but he actually moves on and off centre stage with remarkable grace. I certainly can't claim that he takes up too much screen time in Canterbury. His acting, and the character portrayed, have grown on me; I now find both charming. (The key is to realise that he's more modest and unassuming than his accent may lead you to suppose - although, judging from some comments, some people were never led to be mistaken on this point; perhaps it was just me.)

The scenes before Canterbury, entrancing enough the first time around, also reveal more of their magic on second and third acquaintance. Could this turn out to be Powell and Pressburger's best work...? On reflection, certainly not, but that's only because of the extremely strong competition.


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