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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What the papers said
The Times (The Kentish Times)
October 19th 2000
Note: The newspaper article was photocopied and sent to me so the quality of the images isn't great. A lot of them are from Paul's book of the film so you can refer to your copy to see what they should look like.
If you don't have the book you can order it here.
THE BOOK: Paul Tritton's new book on the film A Canterbury Tale.
UNVEILING: John Sweet does the honours with Lady Attenborough and Marlowe Theatre director Mark Everett as a commemorative plaque is opened at [sic] in the foyer of the theatre.
STYLISH: Sheila Sim, later Lady Attenborough, as Alison Smith.
GAZING: Bill Clover and John Sweet adopt a classic movie pose.
NOSTALGIC: Back in familiar surroundings, John Sweet relives memories from over half a century ago.
CULT CLASSIC: Lady Attenborough signs a copy of Paul Tritton's book A Canterbury Tale.
Stars of A Canterbury Tale
relive their movie memories
By BRUCE ACKLAND
Two old friends from the cast of the classic wartime movie A Canterbury Tale have met for the first time in more than half a century.
Former American GI John Sweet, who played Sgt Bob Johnson, and Lady Attenborough, who appeared as the Land Girl, met up again for a series of events to celebrate the cult film as part of the Kent International Film Festival.
First up was a charity screening of the 1944 movie milestone, directed by Michael Powell, [and Emeric Pressburger] at the ABC Cinema in Canterbury.
The two long lost chums caught up on old times and signed copies of author Paul Tritton's new book on the making of the film before settling down to watch their finest big screen moments all over again.
After the screening, John and his former leading lady paid a visit to the Marlowe Theatre to unveil a plaque to acknowledge the theatre's history with the film.
A Canterbury Tale received it's 1944 world premiere at the Friar's Cinema situated where the Marlowe Theatre now stands. [in the same building]
Marlowe spokesman John Baker said: "The theatre is delighted to commemortae its history with A Canterbury Tale, a film with a reputation which continues to grow through the years.
John Sweet's favourite part of his return to Canterbury was his nostalgic trip to Fordwich, where [much of] A Canterbury tale was filmed.
It was here that John was able to meet another old friend, local man Len Smith, 66, who was just nine when he appeared as young Lesley in the movie.
He said "I was just walking to school when a photographer from the crew pulled me to one side and asked me if I wanted to be in the film. It is stunning to see John Sweet after 56 years. I feel like I have known him all my life.
"I have seen A Canterbury Tale 20 times because I have it on video.
"After appearing in the film I went to another audition, but it didn't work out. In any case, Michael Powell had spoken to my mother and said he thought I should not stay in acting!"
The thrill of seeing so many faces from the past was quite overwhelming for John Sweet who was thoroughly excited by his trip down memory lane.
After flying in especially from his North carolina home, the 84-year-old retired school master was fascinated to pay a visit to Fordwich town hall which was copied into a model to double as the town hall in A Canterbury Tale. [because the real Town Hall was too small to get the Technicolor cameras in] He said: "This is the first time I have seen the actual town hall and it is exactly the same as the model.
"This really brings the memories flooding back. It fills me with great pride and excitement to be here and see the fans that have made the movie such a cult."
John was just 27 and a serving soldier when he made his one time big screen appearance in the immortal classic.
"I think that the movie endures because of its very real setting, its beautiful themes and the great talents involved behind the scenes," he added.
The American has only actually seen his landmark performance three times, including last week's charity screening, and always remembers working under Michael Powell.
"Working with Powell was not all that nice because he was a very difficult, incredibly demanding and an absolute perfectionist," he said.
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