A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s underrated tale of the mysterious ‘glue man’ is one of their most moving films.

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Film details

Alternative titles

  • Canterbury Tales Working


One of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s few box-office flops, this film was unsuccessfully recut and rereleased in the USA – though many now claim it to be a masterpiece. Its propaganda element centres on a land girl’s friendship with an American soldier.

Casting a non-actor lead (a real hero) is its biggest failing, although his lack of charisma is curiously harmonious with the film’s tempo and Chaucerian view of Britain.

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