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A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 21 January 1949 (USA)
Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.
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Cast

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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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) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The boys in the river battle were paid £9 each for two weeks work. £1 10/- when on standby and £3 per day when working. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Colpeper, JP: Well, there are more ways than one of getting close to your ancestors. Follow the old road, and as you walk, think of them and of the old England. They climbed Chillingbourne Hill, just as you. They sweated and paused for breath just as you did today. And when you see the bluebells in the spring and the wild thyme, and the broom and the heather, you're only seeing what their eyes saw. You ford the same rivers. The same birds are singing. When you lie flat on your back and rest, and watch the ...
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Onward Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould
Sung in the cathedral
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.


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