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A Canterbury Tale (1944)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 3,075 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 33 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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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Portman ...
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

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

Michael Powell and Emeric 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 »

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

Featured in The Making of an Englishman (1995) 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

 
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.


50 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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