Philosophy: A Canterbury Tale U

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 25 April 2024

When three young people arrive in a Kentish town near Canterbury late one night, they are attacked by a mysterious figure who pours glue into “Land Girl” Alison’s hair. In order to catch the culprit, the three work together to unravel the mystery, whilst facing the other personal challenges to their lives caused by the war they find themselves in.

Named after Chaucer’s 14th-century magnum opus ‘The Canterbury Tales’, Powell and Pressburger (directors of A Matter of Life and Death and The Red Shoes) explore the idea of pilgrimage in the context of the Second World War. In contrast to the technicolour worlds of The Archers later films, A Canterbury Tale captures the beauty of the Garden of England in romantic black and white.

This film is part of our Philosophy at Showroom series and will be introduced by a philosopher from the University of Sheffield, and followed by an opportunity to continue the discussion in our Café Bar.


Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
2 hours 4 minutes
Dennis Price, Eric Portman, Sheila Sim


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