Set in wartime Britain, Powell & Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale's is the story of an American GI, a British tank sergeant and Alison, a girl from London who is off to work on a farm as a "Land Girl". The three of them coincidentally meet in the small town Kent, on their way to Cantebury. The town is being tormented by a mysterious "glue-man", who pours glue in the hair of woman who are dating soldiers. On their way to Cantebury, the three individuals all find their lives changed forever. A Cantebury tale has a good amount of silliness, comedy, romance and drama as we explore the lives of these three individuals. One of the more interesting aspects of the film for me was the American GI's interactons with the British troops and civilians of the town. There are some great conversations, exposing the cultural differences of Americans and British, but also showing how similar both cultures are. Thematically the film is about the links between the past and present, and how important the past can be in understanding the present. This is demonstrated by the past details these character exchange and how by the end, we learn how important they actually are in understanding these characters. This all being said, I would be lying if I didn't say that I found this to be pretty disappointing considering the other Powell & Pressburger adaptions I have seen. The films pacing left something to be desired, and the whole mystery involving the "glue man" wasn't very mysterious as it's clear early on who this man is. One could definitely make an argument that this is not important to the story or theme, but then why make it a central part of the story? Visually it's a film that is very much soaked in English Realism, but there are definitely a few sequences that very atmospheric and expressive, though they are few and far between. I completely understand the significance of this film and how beautifully it captures the character and values of a nation, but I just was never all that invested emotionally, at least until the end, and found the film to be, dare I say, dull at times.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.