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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
...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Tamsitt had a haircut to make him look tidy before he went to London with Leonard Smith and David Todd to do some scenes at Denham Studio. Unfortunately, his new haircut didn't match the unruly mop he had in scenes filmed on location, so he had to wear a wig. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Colpeper, JP: [hidden in the tall grass] Glorious, isn't it?
Alison Smith: [startled] Is anybody there?
Thomas Colpeper, JP: [standing] It's a real voice you heard. You're not dreaming.
Alison Smith: You know, just now I - I heard sounds.
Thomas Colpeper, JP: What sounds did you hear?
Alison Smith: Horses' hooves, voices, and a lute. Or an instrument like a lute. Did you hear anything?
Thomas Colpeper, JP: Those sounds come from inside, not outside. Then only when you're concentrating, when you believe strongly in something. Just now I was concentrating on who was coming up the hill to disturb me.
Alison Smith: Disturb you? At ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Bond of Friendship
(uncredited)
Written by John MacKenzie Rogan
March played by the military band
See more »

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User Reviews

A deep & entertaining study
14 October 1999 | by (New Delhi, India) – See all my reviews

This is a multilayered, erudite, passionate exploration of England's national character. The route Powell and Pressburger take for this rather difficult task is to follow John Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress'. During the second war a group of disparate people are thrown together one night at a deserted railway platform in Kent. Using a plot device of a mysterious, though harmless, assailant who preys upon women, P & P examines English country life, the Englishman's love for nature, the idisyncracies, the distrust of foreigners, the 'pubbing', the resilience, the faith in institutions (the church, the gentry), etc.

The scope of the movie is amazing, and in 2 hours it covers enormous ground. The entire thing is so skillfully and assuredly done that in spite of the absence of any stars and (almost) of a story, and the fact that John Bull is never my companion of choice in any desert island, I was riveted to this movie. Besides the acting, this effect was achieved also by Alfred Junge's brilliant art direction (I couldn't believe the Canterbury church was just a set) and William Hillier's black and white photography. Two scenes stand out - a bird 'turning into' an airplane signifying time going on ahead by a few centuries, and an armoured car breaking through bushes and undergrowth (a very 'Predator'-ish shot).

This is a must see.


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