Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Movie Review of Canterbury Tales

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The British film entitled A Canterbury Tale was released in 1944 and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The movie was successful enough in adapting the themes of Chaucer’s creation. It is a mixture of Comedy Drama which enticed the audience and kept them tuck in their seats. The magnificent genre and plot was performed artistically by actors and actresses in the film.

The film depicts the era of the 14th century, giving audience a glimpse of what really happened during that time. The Canterbury Tales (written form) is one of the greatest works done during the 14th century but for a work to be considered “the work of the century” it must exemplify the major events that happened during that period. Good thing that the directors successfully gave audience a clear representation of the book by Chaucer.

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The film was set in Britain and deals with the system of locking up young daughters as part of the policy adopted by Thomas Colpepper, J.P. (Erick Portman) in the film. In order to escape from he claws of Portman, Sgt. Peter Gibbs (Dennis Price) who is a British tank sergeant led the troop on a journey towards many discoveries.

He traveled with Alison Smith (Sheila Sim) a shopkeeper and American GI Bob Johnson (John Sweet). They traveled towards Canterbury. The journey of the main characters made them discover many things about life. The stereotypical notion about Yankees was reversed by Sweet’s experience as he met his true love along the way to Canterbury. There is magic in every life of the characters and the actors and actresses played their part very well.

The movie is also magnificent in terms of cinematography since there are scenes that made it possible for audience to see themselves united with the characters. The camera angles are set in a way that viewers will see the emotion of the characters more clearly.

The Canterbury Tales as it were, holds a mirror to the life of the Chaucer’s age and shows it manners and morals completely, “not in fragments”. The director of the film replaces effectively the shadowy delineations of the old romantic and allegorical school with the vivid and pulsating pictures of contemporary life that made the film more appealing. Chaucer’s tone as a poet is wonderfully instinct with geniality, tolerance, humor, and freshness which are absent from that of his contemporaries and predecessors who are too dreamy or too serious to be interesting.

Another thing that made the film outstanding is the variation of characters in terms of profession, experiences in life and point of views. Although the film was made in black and white, viewers can still enjoy watching because of the plot and the theme. A Canterbury Tale film was adopted from The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer, and loosely uses Chaucer's theme of unconventional characters on a pilgrimage' to highlight the period of war, the experiences of the citizens of Kent and persuade the friendship and understanding of Anglo-American.

The film was shot in locations like Kent countryside. It is a representation of the real environment were war is rampant and in Canterbury itself. Large participation of people was also utilized since there is a need for crowd performances like river battles and children activities. It creates a dynamic and interactive environment that made viewers enticed.

The directors of the film made the characters detailed and true to life-like because he intended to make the viewers of the time reflect on their actions. The film shows clearly the good and bad situations in Canterbury, and it was intended to be easily understood by the audience.

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Movie Review of Canterbury Tales. (2016, Jun 22). Retrieved from

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