A Canterbury Tale Screening!

Peter Gibbs in the Cathedral with the priest

A Canterbury Tale © Granada International

For the first time a film was screened at Canterbury Cathedral

BBC South East, with support from Kent Film Office and Screen South, organised a prestigious event at Canterbury Cathedral. For the first time Michael Powell’s  film  A Canterbury Tale  was shown in the Cathedral Nave. The event was attended by Michael Powell’s widow Thelma Schoonmaker, who has won Oscars for her work as an editor, mainly for Martin Scorsese, and Lady Attenborough who was the film’s heroine. Other guests were Paul McGann, Susannah Harker, Shaum Williamson and  Lord Attenborough.       

Made in 1944, the film was a modern adaptation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tale and followed the quest of three pilgrims, two soldiers and a young woman to unmask the mystery ‘Glue Man’ who attacks young girls in the village by pouring glue in their hair.  A Canterbury Tale was shot entirely in Kent and showcases the  Pilgrims Way on which the three main characters conduct their pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral.

Born and raised on a farm in Bekesbourne, just a few miles outside of Canterbury,  Michael Powell attended The King’s School next to the cathedral and these childhood influences are apparent in the film. Particularly in the final sequences which portray Canterbury Cathedral as a palpable focal point for all the characters.

The event was held to celebrate the work of one of Kent’s famous sons and also to raise money for the Save Canterbury Cathedral Campaign as the building is in need of £50 Million pounds to undertake extensive conservation work.

BBC South East Today , presented by Geoff Clark and Beverley Thompson was broadcast live from the Cathedral  on the 19th September and Kent TV has exclusive coverage of the event and celebrity interviews.


For more information about filming in Kent please contact: filmoffice@kent.gov.uk

For more information about the film: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/1944/11/a-canterbury-tale-1944/

For more information about the event at the Cathedral visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/content/articles/2007/08/21/canterbury_tale_screening_feature.shtml