A Canterbury Tale (1944)

“Well, there are more ways than one of getting close to your ancestors. Follow the old road, and as you walk, think of them and of the old England. They climbed Chillingbourne Hill, just as you. They sweated and paused for breath just as you did today. And when you see the bluebells in the…

The Red Shoes (1948)

“Don’t forget, a great impression of simplicity can only be achieved by great agony of body and spirit.” ‘The Red Shoes’, directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in 1948, is a British romantic drama starring  Moira Shearer, Marius Goring and Anton Walbrook. Shearer plays Vicky Page, an aspiring ballerina who bewitches two men: Boris…

Notorious (1946)

“When he told me a few years ago what he was, everything went to pot. I didn’t care what happened to me. Now I remember how nice he once was, how nice we both were. It’s a very curious feeling, a feeling as if something had happened to me, not to him. You see I…

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

“You know that, after the war, we had very bad years in Germany. We got poorer and poorer. Every day retired officers or schoolteachers were caught shoplifting. Money lost its value, the price of everything rose except of human beings. We read in the newspapers that the after-war years were bad everywhere, that crime was…

Sergeant York (1941)

“Well I’m as much agin’ killin’ as ever, sir. But it was this way, Colonel. When I started out, I felt just like you said, but when I hear them machine guns a-goin’, and all them fellas are droppin’ around me… I figured them guns was killin’ hundreds, maybe thousands, and there weren’t nothin’ anybody…

Cat People (1942)

“You see, the Mameluks came to Serbia long ago and they made the people slaves. Well, at first, the people were good and worshipped God in a true Christian way. But, eh, little by little, the people changed. When King John drove out the Mameluks and came to our village, he found dreadful things. The…

Mildred Pierce (1945)

“With this money I can get away from you. From you and your chickens and your pies and your kitchens and everything that smells of grease. I can get away from this shack with its cheap furniture. And this town and its dollar days, and its women that wear uniforms and its men that wear…

Gaslight (1944)

“If I were not mad, I could have helped you. Whatever you had done, I could have pitied and protected you. But because I am mad, I hate you. Because I am mad, I have betrayed you. And because I’m mad, I’m rejoicing in my heart, without a shred of pity, without a shred of…

La Belle et la Bête (1947)

“God of the forest. Let me go back to him. It is my only wish. My only desire.” ‘La Belle et la Bête’, directed by Jean Cocteau in 1947, is a French fantasy movie. An adaptation of an C18 fairy tale telling the story of a young woman, Belle, who rejects a suitor but, owing…

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

“Members of the jury, as Sir Walter Scott is always saying… In peace, Love tunes the shepherd’s reed; In war, he mounts the warrior’s steed; In halls, in gay attire is seen; In hamlets, dances on the green. Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, and men below, and saints above; For Love is…

Paisà (1946)

“Beautiful Shots! That is the one thing that makes me sick!” ‘Paisà’, directed by Roberto Rossellini in 1946, is the second of his trilogy of neorealist war movies that started with ‘Rome, Open City’ and concluded with ‘Germany, Year Zero’. Unlike those films, which told single, small scale stories on the enormous canvas of cities…

Odd Man Out (1947)

“I remember. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child. But when I became a man, I put way childish things. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become a sounding brass or…