After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
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>
Gone with the Wind (1939) author Margaret Mitchell was on her way to see a showing of this film with her husband when she was hit by a speeding car. She was knocked out, and died five days later, having never recovered consciousness. See more »
Some of the Archers' films have moved and delighted me -- BLACK NARCISSUS, THE RED SHOES. Others have interested me but left me rather cold -- PEEPING TOM, TALES OF HOFFMANN. This one falls right in the middle. The wartime milieu, the surprisingly *dark* nighttime photography, the central characters, the supporting cast of Kentish country folk -- all these engaged me for about the first hour of the movie. But in the second hour, as the "Glue Man" theme became increasingly worn out and the prospect of "miracles" in Canterbury loomed larger, I felt more and more detached from the proceedings. Especially unwelcome was the churchy quality of the denouement. Still, I have no argument with the commenters who have praised the film so highly. So let me turn the denouement of my own commentary into a list of the positive impressions that stayed with me after "The End" appeared so unexpectedly on the screen.
First -- I loved the camaraderie that developed immediately among all the ordinary folks thrown together and forced to work as teammates for the common cause. (If war is good for anything, it must be that.) Second -- I liked the tall skinny American soldier and the difficulties and simple pleasures he found among the Brits -- I've been there, done that, and P&P captured the feeling very nicely. (Note: Bob Johnson's accent is quite authentic for a rural Oregonian, so stop complaining, you funny Commonwealth lot!). Third -- I enjoyed every minute that Sheila Sim was on camera. Finally -- that cut in the prologue, from the hawk to the fighter plane, was excellent indeed. (And yes, I'd bet my piggy bank that Stanley Kubrick got his idea for the bone-to-space station cut in 2001 from this very film.)
But wait, I realize that I do have to register one last complaint. I love black & white movies, so much that whenever I hear twentysomething kids whine that they can only watch movies in color, I am nauseated. And yet -- I wager that any filmmakers who purport to represent the beauty of the Kentish countryside on a summer day will truly achieve their goal only if they film in color. England's green and pleasant land just can't be painted in shades of gray.
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