A Canterbury Tale
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Bob Johnson (John Sweet), an American serviceman on his way to meet a friend in Canterbury, gets out at a small village station by mistake in the blackout. Bewildered, he is befriended by Alison Smith (Sheila Sim), a London salesgirl turned landgirl and Peter Gibbs (Dennis Price), a British soldier on his way back to camp outside the village. As they leave the station, a mysterious figure jumps from the shadows and pours glue on Alison's hair. Bob and Peter give chase to the town hall, but the only person there is the local magistrate, Thomas Colpeper (Eric Portman), a gentleman farmer for whom Alison has come to work. She learns that she is the glueman's eleventh victim, and that Colpeper has no use for inexperienced landgirls. Next day, she gets a job on another farm, while Bob, curious about the glueman's identity, decides to stay on to help expose him. While attending a lantern-slide lecture about the Pilgrim's Way by Colpeper (well-attended since few local girls are willing to go out at night with servicemen for fear of the glueman), Bob, Peter and Alison all come under the spell of Colpeper's words. Alison is already familiar with this part of the country from a pre-war holiday with her archaeologist fianc, now missing, presumed dead, in action. Bob also fears that he has lost his girlfriend, who is not answering his letters. Peter is a cynic who studied classical music but opted instead for the money he can earn as a cinema organist. With gangs of children enlisted in unmasking the glueman, all the evidence points to Colpeper. Confronted on the train into Canterbury, he confesses but pleads that he did it for the 'higher good': not only preventing local girls from taking up with GIs while their husbands/boyfriends are away at war, but boosting attendances at his lectures on the national heritage. Peter intends to alert the police but, once in Canterbury, the trio of pilgrims find the blessings they receive outweigh any desire to bring the glueman to book. Alison's fianc is found to be alive; Bob's girlfriend has joined the WACs and not been receiving his letters; Peter is given the chance to play the great cathedral organ during a service for the departing troops...


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