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A Canterbury Tale (1944)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,913 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 32 critic

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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Title: A Canterbury Tale (1944)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Portman ...
Thomas Colpeper, JP
Sheila Sim ...
Alison Smith
...
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

Plot Keywords:

glue | village | soldier | magistrate | england | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

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

Powell and Pressburger had originally planned to use Burgess Meredith in the role of Sgt. Bob Johnson, but changed their mind in favour of an unknown. Meredith acted as a script editor for Johnson's character. See more »

Goofs

Sgt Bob Johnson says that his father states that a crib made out of Lebonon Cedar, which is good enough for Soloman, is good enough for someone from Johnson County. Earlier Sgt. Johnson stated he was from Oregon. There is no Johnson County in Oregon. See more »

Quotes

Alison Smith: Did you hear the news about last night Mr. Horton?
Jim Horton: There wasn't nothing on the wireless.
Alison Smith: No I didn't mean that sort of news. I meant what happened here last night.
Ned Horton: We get all our local news at 6 o'clock, Miss.
Bob Johnson: You got a local newspaper?
Ned Horton: No. That's when the pub opens.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Arena: A Pretty British Affair (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Angelus ad Virginem
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard as a peal of bells in the opening titles
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps the best "war" film ever made.
14 March 2002 | by (Croydon, England) – See all my reviews

My first amazed viewing of this spiritually uplifting film was on a wet Sunday afternoon about fifteen years ago. I was thoroughly depressed for various reasons, but by the end of this movie, the entire world had subtly transformed itself. The delivery of the "message" of this film may seem, to modern audiences, naively done, but its power to move surely remains as robustly valid today as it must have been to audiences in war-torn Britain. (I have not seen the American version.)This is a feel-good film of the very first order.

The photography is geared towards presenting the glory of the English countryside, and beautifully conveys an England which was fast disappearing by the time war broke out. Watch especially for the shots of Alison on the downs just after looking towards Canterbury. Gorgeous!

You will either love or hate this film, but you MUST see it if you have not already done so. I've just bought it on DVD, and am ditching various copies taped from TV over the years.

PS: If anyone with any influence at Carlton reads this, please urgently consider transcribing "I Know Where I'm Going" - another fine Powell/Pressburger movie - onto DVD.


49 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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