A Canterbury Tale

A Canterbury Tale

Eric Portman
Director: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell Cast: Eric Portman
Eric Portman
, Sheila Sim
Sheila Sim
Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell,

DVD (Full Frame)

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Set not in the 14th century milieu of Geoffrey Chaucer but in wartime Britain, A Canterbury Tale begins with rural justice of the peace Eric Portman adopting a "lock up your daughters" policy when the American soldiers are stationed nearby. To escape the arbitrary edicts of Portman, British tank sergeant Dennis Price, American GI John Sweet and shopkeeper Sheila Sim head down the road to Canterbury. Each of the principals finds their lives changed by the journey. In particular, Sweet (a real-life American sergeant, rather than the usual stereotyped "yank" common to British war films) encounters genuine romance. A product of the always adventuresome "Archers" (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger), A Canterbury Tale contains some extremely creative cinematic moments, though it is the quieter scenes which work best. Esmond Knight narrates the film and shows up in a couple of amusing cameos. A ubiquitous presence on American TV, Canterbury Tale is available in two versions; the American release version, cut from 124 to 95 minutes and including several arbitrary scenes with Kim Hunter, is the lesser of the two.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/25/2006
UPC: 0715515018920
Original Release: 1944
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 2:04:00
Sales rank: 30,767

Special Features

Closed Caption; New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Audio commentary by film historian Ian Christie; Excerpts from the American version, with Kim Hunter; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; New video interview with actress Sheila Sim; A Pilgrim's Return, a documentary about John Sweet, by Nick Burton and Eddie McMillan; A Canterbury Trail, a new documentary visiting the film locations, by David Thompson; Listen to Britain, a 2001 video-installation piece inspired by A Canterbury Tale, by artist Victor Burgin; Listen to Britain, a 1942 documentary by Humphrey Jennings; A booklet featuring essays by Graham Fuller, Peter von Bagh, and actor John Sweet

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eric Portman Thomas Colpepper, J.P.
Sheila Sim Alison Smith
Dennis Price Sgt. Peter Gibbs
John Sweet Bob Johnson
Charles Hawtrey Thomas Duckett
Freda Jackson Prudence Honeywood
Hay Petrie Woodcock
George Merritt Ned Horton
Edward Rigby Jim Horton
Betty Jardine Fee Baker
Esmond Knight Narrator/ Seven-Sisters Soldier/ Village Idiot
Leonard Smith Leslie
Eliot Makeham Organist
Harvey Golden Sgt. Roczinsky
James Tamsitt Terry
David Todd David
Beresford Egan P.C. Ovenden
Charles Paton Ernie Brooks
Jane Millican Susanna Foster
John Slater Sergeant Len
Michael Golden Sergeant Smale
Graham Moffatt Sergeant Stuffy
Esma Cannon Agnes
Michael Howard Archie
Judith Furse Dorothy Bird
Barbara Waring Polly Finn
Jeanne Shepherd Gladys Swinton
Joss Ambler Police Inspector
H.F. Maltby Mr. Portal
Eric Maturin Geoffrey's Father
Kim Hunter Johnson's Girl
Anthony Holles Sergeant Bassett
Margaret Scudamore Mrs. Colpeper

Technical Credits
Emeric Pressburger Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Michael Powell Director,Producer,Screenwriter
George R. Busby Asst. Director
Cecil Cooney Camera Operator
Desmond Dew Sound/Sound Designer
Allan Gray Score Composer
Erwin Hillier Cinematographer
Alfred Junge Production Designer
George Maynard Production Manager
John Seabourne Editor
C.C. Stevens Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Canterbury Tale: The Film
1. Prologue [5:47]
2. "Next Stop, Canterbury" [7:33]
3. Mr. Colpeper [7:32]
4. The Hand of Glory [9:10]
5. The Wheelwright [6:09]
6. "Things Don't Always Add Up" [5:23]
7. Landgirl [8:23]
8. Colpeper's Lecture [8:07]
9. Village Mystery [3:32]
10. Sticks and Stones [11:18]
11. Salvage Mission [11:05]
12. Miracles [8:41]
13. Higher Courts [8:32]
14. "Always an Organist" [7:27]
15. The Caravan [7:11]
16. Heavenly Messenger [7:31]
17. End Credits [1:19]
1. Literary Connections [5:47]
2. The Three Travelers [7:33]
3. Eric Portman [7:32]
4. Country and City [9:10]
5. Documentary Realism [6:09]
6. A Minor Miracle [5:23]
7. "Hopping" [8:23]
8. "What Is His Message?" [8:07]
9. Alfred Junge [3:32]
10. A Children's World [11:18]
11. Attention to Detail [11:05]
12. The Power of Imagination [8:41]
13. Court of Conscience [8:32]
14. The Cinematic Cathedral [7:27]
15. Neoromanticims [7:11]
16. Yanks in Britain [7:31]
17. End Credits [1:19]

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