Monday, August 22, 2022

The Canterbury premiere of A Canterbury Tale

I've been looking at the contemporary reviews of A Canterbury Tale and it's fair to say they are not enthusiastic.

But the Faversham News and East Kent Journal has a nice account of the film's premiere, which took place in the city:

The Friars Theatre, Canterbury, was crowded out on Thursday afternoon, last week, when the new film "A Canterbury Tale" had its first showing. Incidentally, the occasion was a historic one in the film industry, for it was the first time a world premiere had been given in a provincial theatre. 

Music was played by the Band of The Buffs prior to the curtain going Up on the picture, in which, by the way, they appear.

To Kent people the film has a particular interest inasmuch as it was largely filmed in Canterbury and district and some beautiful glimpses are given of the countryside in the neighbourhood. There are also "Village pageant" sequences of Chaucer's pilgrims. 

For the rest, the story concerns the detection of a mysterious night assailant who resorts to throwing gum on girls' hair if he sees them with soldiers! 

Eric Portman figures as a magistrate bearing the name of a one-time prominent East Kent family—that of Culpepper. It will be recalled that it was while parts of this film were being shot ,in the Canterbury district that the famous screen actor paid a visit to the Odeon theatre at Faversham sortie months ago. Other leading figures in the cast are Sheila Sim, as a Land Girl, and Sergeant John Sweet, of the U.S. Army. and Dennis Price, as two soldiers. They are the three pilgrim "detectives." 

Mr. Michael Powell (who, with Mr. Emeric Pressburger, produced the film) was, at the conclusion of the showing, introduced by Mr. R. C. Overs, the , manager of the theatre, and had a great reception. lie apologised for the absence of Mr. Emeric Preasburger, his co-producer, and Mr. Junge, co-designer, and explained that they were aliens. There could not, he thought, be a finer tribute to the brotherhood of man, than that those two men, although aliens, should have collaborated in the making of this film. 

Mr. Eric Portman and others of the cast were afterwards introduced and received ovations.

The clip above shows Sheila Sim going to work for Freda Jackson, who is currently this blog's favourite actor.

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