The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Submitted by Roger Mellor

A Canterbury Tale (1944)
"Radio Times" film guide

Director - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Screenplay - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Producers - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Starring - Eric Portman & Sheila Sim
Running Time - 119 mins
Country of Origin - UK

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's re-think of Chaucer is the most peculiar piece of wartime propaganda ever devised. Two army sergeants (one British, one American) and a girl arrive at a Kentish village which is within praying distance of Canterbury. The girls hereabouts fraternise with servicemen and one local yokel pours glue into their hair as punishment. Our three modern pilgrims set out to find the perpetrator. While it's hard to convey the film's eerie shifts of mood, it impresses as a study of a community resistant to change. In the year of D-Day, Powell and Pressburger seem torn between welcoming American support and warning of a loss of traditional English values. A far-sighted film, then, dismissed at the time, and lyrical in its celebration of a disappearing England.

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