A Canterbury Tale

A Canterbury Tale

Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger • 1944 • United Kingdom

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's beloved classic A CANTERBURY TALE is a profoundly personal journey to Powell's bucolic birthplace of Kent, England. Set amid the tumult of the Second World War, yet with a rhythm as delicate as a lullaby, the film follows three modern-day incarnations of Chaucer's pilgrims, a melancholy "landgirl," a plainspoken American GI, and a resourceful British sergeant, who are waylaid in the English countryside en route to the mythical town and forced to solve a bizarre village crime. Building to a majestic climax that ranks as one of the filmmaking duo's finest achievements, the dazzling A CANTERBURY TALE has acquired a following of devotees passionate enough to qualify as pilgrims themselves.

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A Canterbury Tale
  • A Canterbury Tale

    Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger • 1944 • United Kingdom

    Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's beloved classic A CANTERBURY TALE is a profoundly personal journey to Powell's bucolic birthplace of Kent, England. Set amid the tumult of the Second World War, yet with a rhythm a...

Extras

  • American Version Excerpts: Prologue

    A CANTERBURY TALE was considered a failure after its initial U.K. release, and Michael Powell agreed to reedit it for the American market. In addition to cutting the film by over twenty minutes and reordering scenes, he shot a new prologue and a scene near the end of the film that cast the main s...

  • American Version Excerpts: Ending Sequence

    A CANTERBURY TALE was considered a failure after its initial U.K. release, and Michael Powell agreed to reedit it for the American market. In addition to cutting the film by over twenty minutes and reordering scenes, he shot a new prologue and a scene near the end of the film that cast the main s...

  • Sheila Sim on A CANTERBURY TALE

    The following video interview with actress Sheila Sim (Lady Attenborough) was taped in London in February 2006.

  • John Sweet: A Pilgrim’s Return

    In 2001, Nick Burton and Eddie McMillan produced the following short documentary on John Sweet's first visit back to Canterbury since the making of A CANTERBURY TALE, in 1943. Sweet and his costar Sheila Sim were attending the Kent International Film Festival and its annual Michael Powell celebra...

  • LISTEN TO BRITAIN (Burgin)

    In 2001, the English artist Victor Burgin made a video piece, LISTEN TO BRITAIN, inspired by Humphrey Jennings's classic World War II documentary of the same name and Powell & Pressburger’s A CANTERBURY TALE. The seven-minute work was originally presented as a gallery installation and is designed...

  • LISTEN TO BRITAIN (Jennings)

    A portrait of England during World War II, this short propaganda film is considered a landmark in nonfiction filmmaking for its deft montage and visual poetry.