A CANTERBURY TALE
1944, MGM Repertory, 124 min, UK, Dir: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

A beautifully told, and surprisingly intricate interweaving of the stories of four contemporary "pilgrims" - an American and a British soldier, a British "Land Girl," and a local magistrate/historian - in the village of Canterbury during World War II. A CANTERBURY TALE is filled with Powell and Pressburger’s marvelous, worldly humor - along with one of their most bizarre and disturbing characters in the form of the mysterious "Glue Man," pouring paste into the hair of young girls as they sleep! (Interestingly, Powell himself was born not far from Canterbury, and educated at King’s School there.) Starring Thomas Colpeper, Alison Smith and Bob Johnson.


THE BIG SLEEP
1946, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Howard Hawks

The second of the Bacall-Bogart-Hawks collaborations turns Raymond Chandler’s acidic novel into a surprisingly exuberant piece of escapist entertainment. Packed with quotable lines (courtesy not only of Chandler but screenwriters William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman) and colorful supporting players (including Dorothy Malone and Elisha Cook Jr.), it’s both an elaborately plotted detective story and a breezy (and hilarious) romantic comedy. Bogart is sardonic private eye Philip Marlowe and Bacall is the fast, funny and very sexy daughter of his wealthy and mysterious client.


THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
1941, Warner Bros., 101 min, USA, Dir: John Huston

Based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, this classic mystery gives life to Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and a masterfully drawn group of characters involved in a dangerous and double-crossing hunt for a bejeweled golden falcon statue. The first-rate cast includes Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Huston’s father, Walter.


Syndicate content