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A Canterbury Tale

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A Canterbury Tale U rating

Powell and Pressburger's most personal film combines a Chaucer-inspired pilgrimage with a war-time celebration of English landscape and values to create a gem of British cinema.

War 1944 125 mins

Director: Michael Powell


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Powell and Pressburger's most personal and unusual film remains one of the remarkable films in British cinema, delighting and surprising at every turn. Evoking Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the film charts the progress of a select band of modern pilgrims during World War Two – a land girl, an American officer and a British soldier.

With its glorification of the Kent countryside and attempts to define a spiritual - even pre-Christian -vision of English identity, the film can be seen as a very sophisticated form of war-time reassurance, presenting a beguiling moral alternative to the harsh material objectives of fascism.