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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Unique Viewing Opportunity Hits South Coast Town
Bognor Regis makes cinema history with classic film screening

December 2004

The opportunity to see a cult movie and a hit Television documentary series will be provided early in the New Year as part of a 1940's themed weekend event.

The Spirit of the 40s event is being hosted at the recently revamped Butlins complex in the famous south coast resort of Bognor Regis, West Sussex. During the weekend of 11th, 12th and 13th of February 2005, the independently organised event will include the music, films and dances of the 1940s era. Featured will be the legendary Cooper Big Band playing the music of the Glenn Miller era on Saturday evening and a full weekend programme of 1940s themed activities.

On Saturday 12th February, fans of black and white classic films will be able to view the famous British cult movie, A Canterbury Tale released in 1944. Although a box office failure at the time, this evocative tale produced by the legendary team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger is one of a kind and has been recognised as "one of the most beautiful films to come out of England during the 40s". The story captures the spirit of the times and the final scenes are acknowledged as some of the most uplifting in cinema history. Steven Spielberg is on record as saying it is a "Wonderful film, one of the most remarkable and unique in British cinema"

It has reached new audiences worldwide and has a tremendous following among post war generations including many members of the World War Two living history fraternity.

Among its star players are Sergeant John Sweet of the United States Army, Eric Portman and Sheila Sim. Miss Sim, who was making her scene debut, is probably now best known as Lady Attenborough. The wife of film legend Sir Richard Attenborough, Miss Sim has been a staunch supporter of the film in the decades since its release. John Sweet returned to a teaching post in America after the war.

Visitors to Kent, where the film was made on location, can join organised tours to the sites made famous by this classic. Restoration, in 1977, of the original version of the film was made possible by funds from the National Film Archive.

After the screening of A Canterbury Tale, Paul Tritton, author and a recognised expert on the film will give a short talk and will answer questions from the audience.

Rarely is this film shown, let alone to a cinema audience. The organisers of the Spirit of the 40s event, which will benefit charity, are welcoming all those with a love of classic British wartime cinema to join them on this very unique occasion.

If that is not enough, the following morning, Sunday 13th February, will afford the opportunity to see the entire six episodes of the highly acclaimed Summer of 44, screened during May and June 2004 in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of D-Day. This series, from ITV Meridian received a very positive response from viewers and it was a ratings success, week on week, during its summer screening. Starring a number of veterans and re-enactors from across the region, the factual, thought provoking, yet sensitive series records the first hand accounts of those who were there, the build up to, and eventual launch of D-Day and the massive contribution made by the south of England. It covers much new ground and manages to avoid a lot of recycling of previously seen archive footage.

It's a 'must see' for those who missed it first time round and a chance to view again for all those who enjoyed it when it was screened originally.

Guests can enjoy these screenings as a day ticket holder to the Spirit of the 40s event or as a staying guest.



This event is being organised independently and will benefit the Royal British Legion and the Honeypot Children's Charity.

Admission prices for the day ticket from Ron at and weekend package prices available by calling Susanne on 01243 810012 E-mail

Summer of 44 by kind permission of Colonial Pictures.

Images/interviews/Press information from John on 077 48310996 or E-mail

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