Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 6 August 2017
John Sweet (and a 4 star review)
First The Archers, now Weave makes me wonder what the difference is between a Fete and a Fair. All I can think of is that one is French. Perhaps you can tell me?
We watched 'A Canterbury Tale' for the 700th time the night before last. I never get fed up with it.
If you Google-up the Powell and Pressburger film, you will see that we are not alone in our obsession. There are large groups or associations devoted to it, and they make regular pilgrimages to the various locations around Canterbury where it was shot in 1944. The last time we went to Canterbury, all we saw was the Cathedral, but H.I. had never seen it before, whereas I lived there briefly.
I found pictures on the net the other day, and I was amazed to find out that Sergeant John Sweet of the U.S. Army only died in 2012. In the film he plays a U.S. Army Sergeant stationed near Canterbury, which is exactly what he was when Michael Powell chose him for the film. He came with his own costume.
It seems he became star-struck with his role, and spent the rest of his life trying to get parts in others, but although he was charming and quirky (as all Powell and Pressburg characters are), he was no actor and was never given a part in another film at home in the U.S. after the war.
I think I will make a special trip to the Canterbury area this year, just to visit the Town Hall location in the 'then and now' photos.
I just found this very eloquent review from someone who could not have been old enough to now the old English way of life before the 1950s and 60s. If you've got half an hour to spare, he sums up pretty much every reason why I love A Canterbury Tale so much: