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 Mark Fuller
A Film Discovery
From: Evening Standard
13 May 1944
"A Canterbury Tale" (Odeon) is noteworthy because, British though it is, it introduces a new American personality to the screen in Sergt. John Sweet of the U.S. Army.
In this production by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Sgt. Sweet plays the part of an American sergeant who is one of the modern pilgrims to Canterbury. He has never appeared in films, but in attractive manly qualities he has about 90% of Hollywood's male stars beaten.
His simplicity, his homely drawl and the warmth of his sympathetic personality impressed me from the moment he stumbles out of a train in the black-out of a Kentish village.
Through his wondering eyes you perceive the tranquil beauties and unfading wonders of the English scene, and the endearing oddities of the British character.
These form the keynote of a film unusual in its exposition of our less advertised qualities. The story is rambling, but it has imagination, humour and beauty.
Sweet, who is 28, has been stationed in England for two years. At home he was a schoolmaster, and he told me he wants to return to his job when the war is over. If he does, films will lose a real discovery.
The acting achieves perfection in some of the small parts - notably in a beautifully written sequence in a woodworker's shed - as well as those played by Sheila Sim as a land girl, Dennis Price as a cinema organist turned soldier, and Eric Portman as a very strange kind of local J.P. who, in pursuit of his ideals and his love of England, behaves in a curiously magisterial way that would justify treatment by a psychiatrist.
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