ACT Trivia

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ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 9:48 am

Questions arose whether or not Stanley Kubrick had seen A Canterbury Tale prior to making his "2001 - A Space Odyssey." The Knight (a medieval Chaucer character) releases a falcon at the start of ACT. The bird flies high into the air and then turns into a World War Two Spitfire as the modern sequences that take up the rest of the movie begin. The idea is similar to a scene in "Odyssey" where a bone, thrown into the air by a prehistoric ape called Moon-Watcher at the end of the movie's first section, is transformed into a futuristic orbital weapon platform travelling through space, to usher in the second section, set about four million years later. Neither Kubrick or Powell ever confirmed the "coincidence."



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Andrew Wilson on Tue 25 Apr 2017, 12:59 am

Compare these two scenes from the Kubrick & Powell movies.





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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Tue 25 Apr 2017, 9:08 am

Roger Livesey was considered to play the role of the Glue Man.



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Miss Honey on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 2:24 am

I really don't think Roger Livesey would have been a convincing Glue Man. He was too young and handsome. Also, Portman had those penetrating eyes which was necessary to play the role of the villain.

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Country Boy on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 11:55 pm

The Hand of Glory was a right hand of a murderer that was severed while the corpse was still hanging from the gallows. Afterwards it was wrapped in a shroud and squeezed of blood then pickled for two weeks in an earthenware jar. It was either dried in an oven or laid out to dry in the sun during the hot days of August. When the hand was ready, candles were fitted between the fingers. They were called the "dead man's candles" and were made from another murderer's fat, with the wick being made from his hair. Thieves would often used the hand when breaking into buildings and homes.

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 11:25 pm

Burgess Meredith was the first choice to play Sergeant Bob Johnson, but John Sweet got the part. Meredith instead acted as a script editor for Johnson's character.



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Andrew Wilson on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 4:06 am

Burgess Meredith was a respected actor, but I can't for the life of me think that he could have done a better job than John Sweet. The original script mentioned that Bob Johnson was on his way to Canterbury as his ancestors had come from there.

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Richard Young on Sun 25 Jun 2017, 10:59 pm

A real engine driver helped with the opening railway scene in A Canterbury Tale when he was requested to purposely release more steam so his train could be easily spotted from a distance.



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Mon 26 Jun 2017, 8:57 am

Michael Powell's first choice to play Alison Smith was the well known actress Deborah Kerr. Later, Powell admitted, "Sheila Sim made it her own, delivering a performance of depth and sincerity."



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Country Boy on Mon 26 Jun 2017, 10:58 pm

The role of Alison Smith was best suited for an actress with "down-to-earth" looks. Deborah Kerr was a little too sophisticated and glamourous to be a convincing Land Girl in my opinion. Kerr reminds me of Eva Gabor who played the farm wife of Eddie Albert in Green Acres.



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:17 am

The draft script called for a knife to be used by Colpeper to slash the dresses of the girls who were dating the soldiers, but it was changed to pouring glue on their hair.

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Miss Honey on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 8:34 am

One of the themes of A Canterbury Tale is comparing life in a country village with life in a big city (Chillingbourne verses Chicago). We all know that a big city is the place where criminals commit acts of violence, including murder. So it would make no sense to depict an assailant in Chillingbourne using a knife which could cause terrible injuries including death. Also, Colpeper knew if he got caught slashing dresses with a knife, a Court of Law would punish him more severely than for pouring glue on hair.

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Country Boy on Wed 28 Jun 2017, 12:00 am

When the trio chase the Glue Man up "Charing Street" it was actually in a studio. The allusion of a longer street was made possible with the use of a boy wearing a coat running away in the dark.

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Wed 28 Jun 2017, 4:09 am

Michael Powell tells of cinematographer Erwin Hillier's love of cloudscapes which is a significant feature of A Canterbury Tale: "He detested a clear sky, and it sometimes seemed to me that he forgot about the story and the actors in order to gratify his passion." On location, Hillier would plead, "Meekee, Meekee, please wait another few minutes, there is a little cloud over there and it is coming our way, I'm sure it is." Powell later said of Hillier's filming of ACT: "He did a marvelous job."




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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Richard Young on Wed 28 Jun 2017, 9:44 am

Emeric Pressburger was refused a Temporary Residence Permit by Kent Chief Constable Percy Sillitoe on the grounds that he was a Hungarian who had once worked in Berlin.



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Country Boy on Wed 28 Jun 2017, 11:33 pm

When Peter Gibbs (Dennis Price) visits Colpeper's House he looks around for evidence. He opens a bookcase and chooses a volume at random. When he opens the book it clearly shows a photo of an island called Foula which is the location of Michael Powell's movie, "The Edge of the World."



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  James Brooks on Thu 29 Jun 2017, 4:25 am

At the end of A Canterbury Tale, the plan was to have the Royal East Kent Regiment play their regimental march. However, due to some questionable lyrics it was changed to "Sons of the Brave."

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Andrew Wilson on Fri 30 Jun 2017, 12:06 am

The Warriors Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral has a strong historical links with the Royal East Kent Regiment with ancient military flags adorning the walls. Work on the chapel first began in 1437 and it was consecrated just 12 days before the death of Lady Margaret Holland in December 1439. Lady Margaret had commissioned the work to make space for her tomb and that of her two late husbands.



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Fri 30 Jun 2017, 4:32 am

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge (Beaney Institute) was the inspiration for the Colpeper Institute.



In the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge there was a Buffs Gallery until it closed in 2009 for refurbishment. It contained the archives of the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). Around 1960 the collection was in the West Gate Towers Museum, then was moved to the Royal Museum in 1978. Prior to the refurbishment, the Beaney included a room on the regiment's history from the 16th century to 1961, when the regiment was amalgamated with the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. Ownership of the Buffs collection and archives was transferred to the National Army Museum in London in 2000. The collection is now stored by that Museum, with some objects on display at its base in Chelsea and some in the new displays at the Beaney itself. The collection includes pictures, trophies, mess silver, uniforms, weapons, and medals including Victoria Crosses telling stories of campaigns from North Africa and Burma to France and Germany. It also includes some material on East Kent's Volunteers and Militia.

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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Miss Honey on Sun 02 Jul 2017, 11:00 pm

James Tamsitt (General Terry) had a haircut to make him look tidy before he went to London with Leonard Smith and David Todd to do some scenes at Denham Studios. Upon his arrival in London, Powell & Pressburger told James he had to wear a wig (see photo) because his new haircut didn't match the longer hair he had in scenes filmed on location.



The boys who appeared in ACT were paid £9.00 each for two weeks work.
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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Richard Young on Tue 11 Jul 2017, 9:43 am

Sheila Sim had made her film debut in A Canterbury Tale. She drew on her own experience for the role of the land girl, having volunteered in 1940 to work for the Women's Land Army in Herefordshire.



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Country Boy on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 11:41 am

After the river battle a mystery man is seen backing away from behind Bob Johnson (John Sweet).



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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Andrew Wilson on Tue 18 Jul 2017, 2:26 am

In 1949 Margaret Mitchell died in hospital after she was hit by a drunk driver when she was crossing the road on her way to see A Canterbury Tale.


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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Saint George on Sat 22 Jul 2017, 1:29 am

As a boy, Michael Powell and his mother went on a journey on the Pilgrims Way from Canterbury to Southwark. Upon their arrival in Guildford and the Wey River passing by Merrow Down, they made a detour to see the beautiful church called Saint Martha-on-the-Hill which was his inspiration for the opening shots of A Canterbury Tale.



CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO SEE THE AREA OF THE OPENING SCENE OF A CANTERBURY TALE.
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Re: ACT Trivia

Post  Andrew Wilson Today at 2:35 am

The bell ringing in the opening and closing shots of the movie were a miniature replica of Canterbury Cathedral's tower. The bells were "rung" by local bell ringers who pulled the strings with finger and thumb to a playback of the real bells.

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