A Canterbury Tale (1944) Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price

Also starring: Sergt John Sweet US Army, Charles Hawtrey
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.


48 Replies to “A Canterbury Tale (1944) Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price”

  1. The moment at 3:45 when it cuts from a falcon to a plane influenced Stanley Kubrick for the moment in 2OO1: A Space Odyssey when the bone turns into a satellite.

  2. Michael Powell was born in Bekesbourne, England. He attended the King's School in Canterbury. A CANTERBURY TALE is a cinematic ode to the fields and folklore of Powell's homeland showcasing traditional ENGLISH culture and scenes of the Pilgrims Way in Kent. We don't want the evil EU telling the British people how to live their lives and we don't need IGNORANT glass jaw traitors attacking patriots. Always Pounds – never Euros and FREEDOM again with Article 50.

  3. Watched this first over 20 years ago.And i watch it 2-3 times a year still.Takes me somewhere else and I seem to switch off while watching it.A total relax.

  4. On the whole, a quiet sweet film; that captures the 'Discreet Charm' of the average rural, suburban middle-class Soul and Spirit of a time and of a Nation — a people, who through no fault of their own, had their whole life-style ripped from them. By those of an Ideology that sought to conform the New Masses into a rubber stamped copy, a proletariate of either the Right, or the Left.

  5. How many students still learn "Whan that Aprille with his shoores soote"? Or "The curfew tolls the knell of parting day"? Or "Yet once more O ye laurels and once more ye myrtles green"? Or "Of man's first disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree"? So much civilization is packed in these poems. I agree with phaasch below, we need a portable version of what made us great. Would that colleges required memorization again.

  6. i was brought up in kent and though i think brexit has more or less finished me with the Uk when you are up on the downs on a hot summers day you can almost hear the ghosts of pilgrims

  7. This is a propaganda movie released early in 1944 mostly for US serviceman consumption before they hit the beaches of Europe. A great history film. Too bad it's not in colour.
    Other 40's wartime propaganda movies in the same vein are 49th Parallel, Mrs Miniver & Laurence Olivier's Henry 5th. All meant to stiffen spines.

  8. From Wikipedia: John Sweet (February 8, 1916 – July 5, 2011) was a US Army sergeant serving in the UK in World War II when he was selected by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger to play the role of Sgt. Bob Johnson, one of the three pilgrims, in the 1944 feature film, A Canterbury Tale.Sweet was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.After the movie, he went back to the United States and made a few attempts at an acting career, notably in theater, but finally decided to go back to his original profession, teaching.Sweet returned to Canterbury in October 2000[1] to join Sheila Sim for a Michael Powell celebration and gave a 20-minute interview in the documentary A Pilgrim's Return by Nick Burton and Eddie McMillan. This documentary is featured in the Criterion Collection DVD of the film. The soft-spoken Sweet provides details about the shooting of the movie, his relationship with Michael Powell and the rest of the crew, and the effect the film has had on his life. Sweet stated that "The few months I spent making the film were the most profound and influential of my life".Sweet was paid $2,000 for working on A Canterbury Tale, all of which he donated to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a remarkable gesture for the time.[2]Sweet died at home in Fearrington Village, North Carolina on July 5, 2011, aged 95.[3]

  9. bad news about the pub….but despite all there will always be some oldness and strangeness in the world,,,, we will just have to look harder for it..Canterbury miracle though ive never had one,I can still feel the power of the cathedral

  10. A Canterbury Tale, (1944) dirs. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. Sheila Sim. One of the most beautiful films of all time. B/W NC-17 Drama, mystery. England.

  11. At the very end of the end credits, after the football match, I think we see soldiers arriving at the Culpeper Institute with their girlfreinds. So maybe Alsion got her way after all. I suppose Tom was still lecturing.. I don't imagine the glue routine would have earned him a jail sentence !

  12. Aw geez: the kids playing in a group, in beautiful surroundings, reminds me of my childhood!
    How could I have never seen this movie before now? It's a gem: thank you for up loading it x

  13. What a strange yet wonderful film !! One thing, the bells ringing at the end ,we know from ´Dads Army´ that church bells ringing was an alarm for an invasion!

  14. This is the movie that killed Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind.

    She was on the way to seeing it with her husband, at the Arts Theater in Atlanta, when she was hit by a car and killed.

  15. 1944 – POWELL Michaël & PRESSBURGER Emeric – A Canterbury Tale – avec : Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price, Sergent John Sweet. U.S. Army, Charles Hawtrey, …

  16. There may come a time in the not too distant future, when all our national culture is either subsumed, or repackaged neatly for the new order to come. Then at least we will be able to look at something like this, albeit with a lump in our throats, and remember who we once were.

  17. nice film . bad ending . because somehow the church converted all the positive factual outcomes of people's situations into a mythical magical outcome brought about by the church

  18. 51:05 no mention of industrious young boys Bricklayers,carpenters,plasterers and men who built council estates fit for heros BULLSHIT
    Women were hard but thankful they had a violent man back who the loved MY MOTHER

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