A Canterbury Tale Overview:

A Canterbury Tale (1944) was a Mystery - Comedy Film directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and produced by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger and Jock Laurence.

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“A CANTERBURY TALE” ( 1944 )

By Theresa Brown on Jan 25, 2015 From CineMaven's Essays from the Couch

?A CANTERBURY TALE? ( 1944 ) – This movie is as much about feelings, emotions…longings, memories, as it is of plot points and solving a mystery. It takes its own sweet time moving the plot along. In no great hurry, it weaves and wends its way as you might, walking down a country road in ... Read full article


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Quotes from

Thomas Colpeper, JP: Pity.
Bob Johnson: Pity?
Thomas Colpeper, JP: Pity when you get home and people ask what you've seen in England and you say "Well I saw a movie in Salisbury. And I made a pilgrimage to Canterbury and I saw another one."
Bob Johnson: [laughs] You've got me all wrong. I know that in Canterbury I have to look out for a cathedral.
Thomas Colpeper, JP: Yes do look out for it. It's just behind the movie theatre. You can't miss it.


Thomas Colpeper, JP: Well, there are more ways than one of getting close to your ancestors. Follow the old road, and as you walk, think of them and of the old England. They climbed Chillingbourne Hill, just as you. They sweated and paused for breath just as you did today. And when you see the bluebells in the spring and the wild thyme, and the broom and the heather, you're only seeing what their eyes saw. You ford the same rivers. The same birds are singing. When you lie flat on your back and rest, and watch the clouds sailing, as I often do, you're so close to those other people, that you can hear the thrumming of the hoofs of their horses, and the sound of the wheels on the road, and their laughter and talk, and the music of the instruments they carried. And when I turn the bend in the road, where they too saw the towers of Canterbury, I feel I've only to turn my head, to see them on the road behind me.


Thomas Colpeper, JP: [hidden in the tall grass] Glorious, isn't it?
Alison Smith: [startled] Is anybody there?
Thomas Colpeper, JP: [standing] It's a real voice you heard. You're not dreaming.
Alison Smith: You know, just now I - I heard sounds.
Thomas Colpeper, JP: What sounds did you hear?
Alison Smith: Horses' hooves, voices, and a lute. Or an instrument like a lute. Did you hear anything?
Thomas Colpeper, JP: Those sounds come from inside, not outside. Then only when you're concentrating, when you believe strongly in something. Just now I was concentrating on who was coming up the hill to disturb me.
Alison Smith: Disturb you? At what?
Thomas Colpeper, JP: Breathing the air, smelling the earth, watching the clouds. Why don't you sit down?


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Facts about

The boys in the river battle were paid £9 each for two weeks work. £1 10/- when on standby and £3 per day when working.
On the 19th September 2007, 'A Canterbury Tale' became the first film ever to be projected to an audience in Canterbury Cathedral and was shown as a fund-raising event to pay for repairs to the cathedral caused by WW2 bomb damage.
Among the various books and pictures seen in Colpepper's sitting room is a photograph of the Shetland Island of Foula, the location of director Michael Powell's first acclaimed feature film The Edge of the World.
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